Before you go ahead, ask yourself these questions:
As we grow and learn in our jobs and in our careers, we’re constantly faced with situations where we need to adapt our behaviour. We know we need to take some actions but it just so happens that we are not able to.
An easy response to these situations is avoidance. Why would anybody prefer to feel anxious when one doesn’t have to?
In such situations, instead of inviting anxiety almost everybody prefers to take a back step and tries to avoid situations like this.
When one avoids situations such as these that create internal discomfort, and tries to do or stay with only what is familiar or seems easy, it is said that the person is in the ‘comfort zone’.
We all have our comfort zone, a place that feels safe and familiar. For me, its working on one-on-one basis rather than facing large audience. A comfort zone can be described as “a psychological state in which things feel familiar and easy. A state where we feel in control of our environment which helps us feel calm and less anxious.
However the main problem arises when the tasks that are avoided are not only important but at times necessary. Most of us still avoid the tasks to stay in an area of relative comfort and safety because it creates an illusion of safety.
So a comfort zone isn’t a bad or a good thing, it’s a natural state that most people experience. But although living in a comfort zone feels safe unfortunately nothing grows here. In order to become a person you aspire to be it is necessary to step out of your comfort zone.
What stops us from moving out of our Comfort Zone?
The problem is that very often comfort zones are built on the past experience such as a painful rejection. In order to avoid the pain of being rejected one might create a comfort zone and may stay in it by using the past experience as justification. This can become an important factor that holds us back from achieving our goals and may inhibit the personal growth necessary to reach them.
Remember growth is about becoming more than what one is now, and the only way you’ll be able to become more than what you are is by experiencing what is outside of your comfort zone.
Despite the power that comfort zone holds over you, with the right effort and some patience, its quite easy to develop the habit to step out of it. Finding the right way is the key.
Here are 4 easy ways to step out of your comfort zone.
- Make a Procrastination List: Make the list of things you have been procrastinating. For instance, making a doctor’s appointment, speaking up in public or asking someone a question. Anything however small you’ve been putting off for a few weeks or more.
- Do one or more smallest items on your list: Take one of the smallest tasks on your list that you have been putting off for the past couple of weeks and do it immediately. It could be something as simple as initiating a conversation. just as long as its something you have resisted doing for some time, (a sign its outside your comfort zone).
- Keep taking one step at a time: By starting with a simple task and stepping out of the comfort zone slightly, you get a sense of energy and confidence to take a bigger step forward and further outside your comfort zone. One you are done with one task pick another item on your list, do it till you finally feel the new tasks have become a part of your comfort zone.
- Learn to manage your thoughts and emotions: Sometimes our thoughts and our emotions are the biggest roadblock in being able to come out of our comfort zone. Thoughts like what if people laugh at me, what if I don’t do it properly lead to us feeling helpless and makes us to go back into our comfort zone. It is for this reason that we must learn to manage our thoughts and emotions. “If Then statements”, can be a very powerful technique that you can use to manage your thoughts. The NLP SWISH pattern and also anchoring can help you change the way you feel about new tasks.
But the questions is are you ready to learn and ready to grow?