See if this sounds familiar:
You wake up in the morning to plan your day. Everything seems familiar. You already know what to expect when you do this or that. Already in your mind, you know that all will be well. After all, you have done this every day for years. Deep down though, you don’t really feel fulfilled. Granted, you are more comfortable knowing there is a measure of order and control to your day—But, you feel that there is more to life. Surely there has to be. You often wonder if there lies within you abilities that have yet to find expression.
Suddenly, you know what you should do. You consider your options but are afraid of the outcome. Silently, you say to yourself, what if it does not work? What if I lose my family, my friends, or my money? Or, worse yet—what if I lose my mind (the song Kryptonite, by 3 Doors Down, comes to mind).
Well, you are not alone. Many people are seeking to get out of their comfort zone—in fact, desperately want the benefits it can provide–but are afraid.
But, it has been said that to achieve extraordinary results there must be extraordinary measures. Nothing less.
So, How Do I Step Out Of My Comfort Zone?
The comfort zone has been defined as the place where you feel most comfortable with little stress and anxiety.
It is the place where you don’t need to do much.
In the comfort zone, you can deliver consistent and steady results.
…Nothing new, nothing unexpected.
However, stepping out of the comfort zone opens up the potential for maximum performance. Think of the students who used to perform well in school. They are the ones that went out of their comfort zone by studying more, waking up earlier and doing what others found uncomfortable. Understanding the importance of going the extra mile is one step to moving out of your comfort zone.
There are things that you can do to get out of the comfort zone which are extremely rewarding.
The key is in the DOING.
Change Your Routine…
Changing your routine can make you feel uncomfortable. Luckily, it will only feel this way during the first few days.
Science has proven that our bodies take at least 21 days to adapt to a new routine.
You can start by waking up an hour earlier. Then define what you do with the extra hour. You can read a book, exercise or learn a new skill. The key is to utilize your time. Otherwise you will only be wasting your time for no good reason. When this gets comfortable, stretch again to improve production.
The human body does not like discipline naturally. It is something that must be instilled. As a child, you learned with training–and sometimes punishment–how to clean up after yourself. As an adult, there is no one to discipline you. This therefore requires self-discipline. Examine how you spend your time throughout the day. Cut off activities that do not add any value to your life. For example, if you are used to drinking for two hours a day, reduce this to one or stop completely.
Come to think of it, does drinking or gossiping help you achieve your dreams?
Does hard work and discipline?
Try Something New…
The only way to know if you are good at something is to try it. Therefore, search within yourself and find out what you would like to try. It should not be familiar or easy. It will probably require commitment, discipline and hard work. Choose this type of thing. Maybe you enjoy playing games. A game like chess helps to open your mind enabling you to think broadly. These are abilities that you will require in your daily life. Who knows? Maybe you are the future chess champion that the world is waiting for!
Take A Risk…
It is not a secret that many people do not like taking risks. But the very essence of stepping out of your comfort zone is to take a risk. Have you been thinking about starting a new business? Well, the time is now. By taking a risk, you engage your mind to think widely. Carry out research to find a way to improve and establish your business. Read a book or two, do not be afraid. The most successful people take risks every day–oblivious to what tomorrow brings. Life could have been very boring if no one took a risk to discover new things. Can you imagine what the world would be like now if no one took the risk to discover electricity or computers?
Speak To Yourself…
Imagine looking at yourself in the mirror and then speaking to yourself.
Well, this may feel a little strange at first, but you need to instruct your mind and body to adjust to what you want to do. Science has proven that this helps to reduce your body’s response to stress and anxiety.
Tell yourself that you are meant for greater things, that all your dreams are valid, that you can become whatever you want to be. Being aware of what you can do can help your mind step out of the comfort zone.
Let’s say you determine to do all the above–and much more–consistently…
Then this is what will happen to you a year down the line…
You will have attained a healthy body and mind, you run a successful business, you have developed rewarding relationships, you are on your way to living out your dreams. You have discovered abilities you didn’t know you had.
You are proud of your achievements and you are generally a happy and fulfilled person.
If you ignore the issues discussed above, then this what will happen to you down the line…
You will probably be on the internet searching for how to get out of your comfort zone, your life has remained literally the same, and you have lost hope about everything–wondering if this is who you were meant to be…
You probably want to be in the first category.
This is because you were meant for greatness, not mediocrity.
Understanding that self-improvement and success comes at the cost of your comfort is key to producing optimum results.
That being said, it is important to note that there is a limit to everything.
Even as you seek to stretch out, move one step at a time.
Pushing your potential too far/too fast might increase stress and anxiety–hence decreasing your production levels.
Find the level at which you are most productive and stay there.
All the best.