There is a delicate balance of how to effectively step outside your comfort zone. If you never step outside it, you risk not experiencing any drastic personal growth. However, if you venture outside your comfort zone, you also run the risk of exposing yourself to overwhelming situations before you’re ready to experience them. That is why you need to find a balance and this article will address how to effectively step out of your comfort zone.
1. Evaluate the Risk Factor
This first step in evaluating the risk factor involves ascertaining your hesitations in stepping out. If you can take an honest look at why you fear certain situations, you can figure out a way to overcome those anxieties. Honestly evaluating the reasons behind your fear will open you up to new possibilities for stepping outside your comfort zone. Additionally, you need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses so that you can properly assess the risk factors involved. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, you must first figure out why. Are you fearful of messing up your speech? Are you afraid you won’t be able to speak at all once you get in front of people? During this evaluation process, you will figure out which risks are viable and which ones you shouldn’t take yet.
2. Ascertain Your Goals
Once you’ve evaluated the risk factor, you can then ascertain your goals. Making goals with regard to stepping out of your comfort zone will ensure that you have greater success in developing in this area. Set goals in the three basic areas: immediate, short-term, and long-term. For example, maybe your immediate goal might be to make a list of ways to step outside your comfort zone. A short-term goal can be accomplishing something that resembles a “baby step” toward your personal development. Remember, you need to evaluate the risks and make sure you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone in that specific area. You want the experience to be a positive growing one so that you don’t get scarred from a failed attempt—and never want to step out again. A long-term goal may be attempting something that is out of your scope of ability in the beginning stages of this journey.
3. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
This step involves implementing your first immediate goal. It may be something small. However, it’s an actual step in the right direction—which basically consists of any step you take. The important point to remember is that any steps you take during this journey should be made with the intention of improving your skill set. Don’t be afraid of feeling uncomfortable during this period. Those feelings are to be expected and dealt with in an effective and accepting manner. When you can move forward even when afraid, you greatly increase your chances of growing and developing as a person. Basically, you are mastering the art of stepping outside your comfort zone.
4. Expect to Make Mistakes
This point may seem in conflict with the very purpose of this journey. However, you should expect to make mistakes while trying to step outside your comfort zone. Making mistakes is different than taking too high of a risk. For example, if you step out of your comfort zone and make a mistake with your speech by stuttering or forgetting some lines, that’s a mistake. Doing that is ok and expected. Taking too high of a risk would be stepping out before you’re ready and then hindering yourself from ever stepping out into that arena again.
5. Build Your Support Network
While you are embarking on this journey of stepping outside your comfort zone, be sure to build your support network. It is important to surround yourself with trusted friends, family, coworkers and others in your professional network who can provide you with support during this journey. This process of stepping outside your comfort zone will stir many different feelings inside you, including fear and depression. If those emotions threaten to overwhelm you and derail you from completing the process, it is important to have this support system around you. These individuals can provide you with objective advice and positive encouragement.
Stepping outside your comfort zone can be one of the most rewarding processes you ever experience. You will grow and develop as a person. Your perspective will be expanded in ways you never imagined. If you’ve ever stepped outside your comfort zone, what did you attempt to do and how did you accomplish it? Your thoughts and comments below please...