CAREER ADVANCEMENT / NOV. 15, 2014
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Top 10 Tips to Learning to Live Outside Your Comfort Zone

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Breaking out of your comfort zone will enable you to be more proactive, accomplish goals and live a healthier and more fulfilling life. However, not everyone is able to easily step outside that safe place—where risks are not taken and opportunities are lost. This article will address 10 tips on learning how to live outside your comfort zone.

 

1. Make a Decision

 

The first place to begin is to take an introspective look at yourself and current life perspective. Nothing will automatically happen simply because you wish it into existence. If you want to step outside your comfort zone, you must take specific actions steps and start with making a decision to change your life perspective. Be open to change and experiencing life with a new outlook.

2. Create an Action Plan

After you have made a decision to change your perspective, you need to create a specific action plan. Write your ideas and thoughts on the issue in a journal or document it in a digital file. It is important to have something to fall back on to inspire you to complete your journey if you get off track. List 3 – 5 goals that you would like to accomplish in the immediate future as well as goals for where you would like to see your progress in the next few years. Remember, that these goals should be based on ways to step outside your comfort zone and your reasons why you want to.

3. Find a Trusted Mentor

After your action plan is in place, you should seek out a trusted mentor or advisor. This person should be someone who has experience in stepping outside his or her comfort zone. Look for someone from your personal or professional life that exhibits a positive perspective on life and lives by the code that life is better when calculated risks are taken. This individual should have had positive as well as negative experiences to share regarding stepping outside the comfort zone so that you receive well-rounded advice on the subject.

4. Stare Fear in the Face

Sometimes the best way to overcome your fears is to simply get out there and do what you’re afraid of doing. However, utilize wisdom and don’t do anything foolish. In many cases, the fear of the unknown, fear of rejection and fear of failure is what holds people back from stepping outside their comfort zones. If you can learn how to master your fear and step out even while still afraid, you will eventually begin to gain confidence and conquer your fears.

5. Think Outside the Box

If you are more introverted and used to consistently following your daily routine, try something new. For example, if you always follow the same route to work because you don’t like to get lost or drive in unfamiliar areas, be brave and take a different way in to work. Utilise your GPS in case you get completely lost. However, the point is to try to step outside your comfort zone and enjoy the experience of trying a new direction and seeing different scenery.

6. Venture Out to Meet New People  

If your company holds networking events or mixers and you never attended any, now is the time to step outside your comfort zone and meet new people. Don’t be afraid to say hello to your neighbors. Start a friendly conversation in the lunchroom at work with someone you don’t know very well. More often than not, most people will welcome the interaction. However, if you don’t get a friendly reciprocal response, don’t allow that to discourage you from continuing down this journey of stepping into new experiences.

7. Bring a Wingman Along

When my sister and I moved to a new area and were roommates in our own apartment, we decided to venture out to a singles group after we got settled in. We attended the events together. Having a trusted friend or family member with you during these new excursions will provide the encouragement and support you need to lift your confidence level and help you make quicker progress.

8. Do Your Research

Take a moment to analyze what you are afraid of. For example, I have an irrational fear of heights. Maybe you don’t like public speaking. You might fear committing to relationships or work projects and anything goal-oriented. Whatever your fears are, you need to list them and rationally evaluate the listing. Then do your research and weed out the real fears from the imaginary. Many times we fear things that will never even happen. This step is something that you should also review with your advisor or mentor.

9. Focus on the Positive Experiences

There will be times that you fail during this process. However, that is why it is vitally important that you continue to focus on your positive experiences. Deal with the negative experiences, process what happened and then let them go. If you have a negative experience and feel like you simply want to curl up into a ball and hide away forever, turn back to your journal entries. Review your goals and reasons for starting this process in the first place. That should encourage and inspire you to continue with your journey.

10. Take the Time to Relax

During this process you will experience negative emotions and stress. However, if you can learn how to positively deal with these stressors and can then decompress and relax, you will make progress. There are several tips that can help you relax while you are stepping outside your comfort zone.

  • Practice meditation techniques that can be utilized in the instant you begin to feel tense.
  • Practice yoga and that will reinforce the calming breathes that you need to take while in tense situations.
  • Listen to music which inspires and motivates you to get outside your comfort zone.
  • Learn to listen to your body as it shows you how various stressors negatively affect you.
  • Utilize visualization techniques to inspire and encourage you to experience new things.

Stepping outside your comfort zone takes a diligent effort and a strong desire to see the process through to success. By following the ten tips listed in this article, you will increase your chances of successfully stepping outside your comfort zone.

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