Do you need to get out of your comfort zone to achieve your goals?
If you’ve set yourself some challenges or goals this year, this might be the point where you’re starting to feel a little unsettled. But that’s good news, it means you are pushing the boundaries and it’s time to get out of your comfort zone.
We set our goals, our motivation is high, but then sometimes doubt starts to creep in. We might lose confidence, or the goals we set seem hard to achieve. Opportunities come along, but we shy away from them if they feel too uncomfortable, instead choosing to remain in our comfort zone and stick with what feels familiar and safe.
We really want these things we’ve planned for ourselves, so why do we get stuck? It might be because your brain is telling you to stay safe and keep inside of your comfort zone. So it’s time to push a little harder at those boundaries.
Our brains are just trying to keep us safe
That hesitation, self-doubt or lack of confidence you feel is just your mind’s way of trying to keep your body safe. Your survival instinct. You’re safe in your comfort zone, your brain is saying don’t take risks, but most likely your heart is calling you to follow your passion. I think it’s always worth remembering this quote at this point.
But why is getting out of your comfort zone so difficult?
There are so many reasons. You might be pushing against everything you’ve been taught about safety, common sense, and acting responsibility. It may be that you don’t feel confident enough to try something new, or you feel too vulnerable, afraid of being judged by others, or scared of failure. All of those thoughts and feelings are your mind’s way of trying to keep you safe. Self-preservation is a strong instinct to overcome. But you can do it.
So how can you get out of your comfort zone?
Well, if you’re feeling brave, you could just dive straight into the unknown and take whatever comes. But if not, and you’re really struggling to leave the safety of your comfort zone, then here are some things to think about.
Has this ever been done by anyone else before?
If so then you know the thing you want to do is possible, and your doubts may be more about yourself and your ability to achieve it. You know the task isn’t impossible, so work on your own confidence, or get support and encouragement. Take one small step at a time, and build your confidence with each step.
It may not be as scary out there as you think
We create stories and pre-conceptions about how we think things will turn out, and often we picture the worse case scenario as our minds try to keep us safe by building our fears. Instead, try to focus on more positive possibilities and outcomes. Which brings me too ..
Be okay with ‘failure’
Things don’t always work out as you might have hoped. The best laid plans don’t always go as expected. Learn to be okay with failure, seeing it as an opportunity to discover that something didn’t work, and a chance to test another idea. The goals we set for ourselves in life are important to us, and we have a huge emotional investment in the things that we want to achieve. It’s painful when things don’t work out, but learning to manage expectations and accepting that sometimes things don’t go to plan, helps build resilience and gives you the strength to get back up and try again.
Every time you try, your comfort zone expands
Each time you take that one step forward, your comfort zone expands. Even if things don’t work out as you hoped, it’s still progress. You tried, you pushed through the barrier, and you survived to tell the tale. Now you can try again from that new starting point.
Be brave enough to be vulnerable
Being okay with vulnerability will make it easier to push the limits of your comfort zone. Accept that sometimes you need to allow yourself to feel exposed and vulnerable in order to take that next step.
Don’t get trapped in someone else’s comfort zone
When you’re trying something new, try not to let other people’s opinions affect you. Remember that people might think you’re crazy or just not understand, but this is because what you’re doing is outside of their comfort zone, or doesn’t fit the stories they’ve told themselves for protection. Don’t try to take anyone into the unknown with you if they’re determined to stay in their comfort zone. They’ll join you when they’re ready.
Are you ready to step outside of your comfort zone?
Can you make a commitment to yourself right now to do just one thing that’s outside of your comfort zone? I’d love to know what you decide to do. You could post it in the Facebook group. I love hearing your success stories.
If you missed the webinar on Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone, you can watch the replay video here https://youtu.be/Oj6DYQSTScE
Ruth Randall is a Life and Leadership Coach, and Team Development Specialist. Ruth works with teams to help them to build trust, develop strong working relationships, manage stress, and increase productivity and job satisfaction. She also coaches individual clients who want to make changes in their lives, careers and relationships.