Your Comfort zone is a situation where you feel very safe and at ease. This described me like 5 to 6 years ago. I always wanted to be around people I know, I go to places where I am very familiar with, I never explored new things and always needed to have something figured out before I delve in.
Did this help me? Well, in all honesty, I hardly ever got stranded or run into trouble. I always had most things figured out but the fact remained I was not learning enough, I was not experiencing things for myself enough, I made a lot of conclusions based on other people’s experiences or documented work. It got boring and I realized nothing ever grows in one’s comfort zone.
Like I did, you can make a list of things you want to try out on your own, places you will like to go, career progression, trainings to sign up for, people you will love to talk to and basically new experiences to indulge in. I realized you can actually step out of your comfort zone and still be able to plan to live meaningfully.
One of the things I had on my list was resolving to gain the confidence I needed to start driving a car. Ordinarily, I preferred being driven around and this meant spending so much on car hire services/Uber. I realized this was not helping my saving habit and more so, how do I explain to my kids (when they come) that ‘only daddy knows how to drive’? What if there is an emergency and I need to get somewhere on my own? Being driven in a car was my comfort zone, driving is an important skill so I had to leave my comfort zone by determining to break the threshold of fear.
As we get older, our reality starts to evolve and responsibilities increase. There is only so much we can do when we decide to stay in the box that is super comfortable but stagnant. As an adult, you need to think about your career, personal development, your family, personal goals and all these cannot be repositioned until you start to feel uncomfortable and actually leave your comfort zone.
Related: Pushing The Envelope
Reasons To Leave Your Comfort Zone
This feels like being asked to give up fizzy drinks and cupcakes because you are getting older and it’s consumption is unhealthy. How can one give up something so tasty because it is suddenly unhealthy as one gets older?
It is all in understanding the concept of change and making necessary adjustments to live meaningfully. Think of it this way, your current comfort zone was once something, a place or goal you hoped to achieve.
There’s a tendency to remain there once you achieve your aim because you worked so hard for it and you are now comfortable. However, are you growing in that space? If you aren’t, the question is why are suddenly so comfortable, why don’t you want to achieve more? what are your fears? why are you relaxed?
• You need to leave your comfort zone because you may be settling for less than you deserve.
• You need to leave your comfort zone because it does not guarantee growth.
• You need to leave your comfort zone once you stop craving growth/expansion.
• You need to leave you comfort zone because you may miss opportunities to better your craft.
• You need to leave your comfort zone because staying back leaves you close minded. You miss out on new experiences.
• Leaving your comfort zone can boost your confidence (you probably didn’t even know you could achieve much).
• How do you discover new things about yourself if you remain in your comfort zone?
Resolve to leave your comfort zone!
How To Leave Your Comfort Zone
Humans are backed up by habit, we thrive more in familiar spaces and routine. We prefer to indulge in things that we already know the possible outcome. This is totally normal because, we can easily pull it off in less time and without stress.
However, remaining in your comfort zone stunts growth and if you eventually decide to leave, it can be tasking. Tasking yes, but very doable. Here are seven ways to gradually leave your comfort zone. It has helped me through different situations and I know you can learn from this too:
1. Be Curious
From personal experience, if I am not interested in knowing about something, I just do not bother about it. It is safe to say that a number of people feel the same way.
The truth is, you cannot leave your comfort zone if you still have this mindset like I previously had. It is important to develop interest in new things and opportunities. This can be seamless when you become curious, observe things and imagine yourself being in that space. Why is a business thriving better than yours? why are you making less sales?
Being curious and asking questions can lead you to the truth about yourself and your goals.
2. List Out The Possible Benefits.
I mentioned that one of the things I finally resolved to do was to start driving. Three to four years ago, I preferred being driven and I just couldn’t get over my fear of driving on busy roads.
An important step I took to leave that comfort zone was to list out the benefits of driving. What do I stand to gain now and in future once I start driving alone? Have I mentioned I once lost the opportunity to act in a movie because I could not drive?
List out the benefits of this new interest just to see if it is useful for you or your projected goals.
3. Can The Reasons Be A Motivating Factor?
Once you have accessed the benefits, find out if they can motivate you to actually leave your comfort zone. Leaving your comfort zone is difficult but if the benefits are worth it, that can be a reason to tarry through difficult times. Oh! There will be difficult times.
4. Take Little Steps
Like most new ventures, you are expected to put in one foot first while planning to leave your comfort zone. Take baby steps, work with supervision, ask questions, learn, take correction, implement gradually etc
While learning to drive, my baby steps were – driving in the estate where there is less vehicular traffic and then gradually moving to having my tutor in the car with me while I drive to and from work. It will be scary, but then again ‘remember the benefits’.
5. Be Vulnerable
You know how we are either scared to fail or make mistakes in front of people or even scared we might be mistaken for being dumb because we ask too many questions, that cannot be your mindset when trying to leave your comfort zone.
Be open to making mistakes, allow yourself to be corrected, being to self conscious will get you into more trouble. Keep trying and keep learning on the job. My first scary experience while driving almost made me go back to being driven but I got encouraged and learnt how to react better in a given situation. Be vulnerable but never be discouraged when challenges come.
6. Evaluate Your Progress.
How well are you doing? Do you feel stressed or happy at the end of the day?
Re-evaluate your reasons and what you need to do better. What areas do you need to focus on? To discover your true worth, you need to keep learning and unlearning.
7. Grab The Bull By The Horn
This is where you go for it completely. If you have to learn, don’t be in a hurry to complete the process. When your learning process is over, grab the bull by the horn and go for your goals. Everyone else is afraid and the feeling of regret is worse than not trying at all.
I totally imagine the time when I will start driving unaccompanied on major roads. It’s a fulfilling experience to look forward to and this is why I will not be going back to my comfort zone. I will complete the learning process and win at my goal.
This should be you as well, looking at the final result you want for yourself and refusing to go back into your comfort zone.
You know why? It is because nothing ever grows in your comfort zone .
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