Change is how we grow. It takes courage to venture beyond what you know on many levels, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Once you decide to step out of your comfort zone, your perspective of how you view the world changes. New possibilities are likely to be revealed to you. Change begins beyond your comfort zone.
Times when you do step outside your element, your comfort zone that you experience who you really are. Think back to your childhood when you were curious about the world around you when everything was interesting and new. You survived new experiences and thrived. As adults, we get comfortable with what is known.
We often live our lives with the “I cannot,” “I don’t do that,” or “it’s too difficult” thoughts that keep us stuck. Only until we realize that when we stop letting our negative thoughts control us, that we find our true self.
Staying in our comfort zone keeps us from stepping into that unknown. It keeps us secure and safe. Your comfort zone is the basis of your life now. It’s how you define who and what you are now. Human beings are capable of growing and learning throughout their lives.
Stepping into the unknown can be unsettling, it is often the place just beyond where we can see the outcome. That’s the part that makes our hearts pump faster, makes us break out into a cold sweat, and yet, we yearn to see what’s there. Perhaps it’s doubts about our ability to face our fears and dare to do things we are passionate about, and lastly, questioning what others might think of us.
But what would happen if you stretched outside that zone? Would bad things happen? Or would you suddenly be excited about life?
How do you know if you should step into the unknown? Here is a simple exercise for thinking through that possibility. Begin by writing down 10 things that don’t scare you, and you often do. This could be things like shopping in a newly opened store, tasting a food product, or whatever it is that doesn’t scare you. It’ll be different for each person because we all have different comfort zones.
Describe how it feels to live within your comfort zone. Be as detailed as possible, using feeling words. How does it make you feel to be in your body, your mind, and your life?
Then ask yourself these questions:
- Are there things you want to achieve but haven’t yet?
- Do you want to change the conditions in your daily life?
- Do deferred goals and passions keep appearing, tugging at you?
- Have others achieved or done things you secretly want?
Once you’ve answered these questions, think about what’s keeping you from going after what you want. What makes you uncomfortable? Is it fear? Are you reluctant to take chances or make changes?
Write down 10 things that scare or stop you.
Now describe how it would feel if you were living outside your current comfort zone, doing, and attaining those longed-for goals. Be as detailed as possible. Describe in detail how it feels, what you see, hear, or where you are. Use images, color, or visualization to help you create your life.
Take your time with these steps. Once you realize what’s keeping you from stepping into the unknown, you can begin taking small steps outside your comfort zone to get there.
Your life can be as fulfilled and exciting as you desire it to be once you step into the unknown where you find your true self. “Yes, you can do better and be better.” Should you need help setting up your personal action plan, contact me.