By Follow Your Own Rhythm
Getting out of our comfort zone is scary.
It makes us feel vulnerable.
It makes us do things that we are not used to doing.
It triggers deep feelings of fear and inadequacy and brings other painful emotions to the surface.
None of which are pleasant to deal with.
However, getting out of our comfort zone is the only way that we can ever try new things, overcome fears, change bad habits, and grow as a person.
Getting out of our comfort zone is the only way to live life fully.
However big or small, and however simple and trivial it may seem to others, we all have our “things” that makes us feel uncomfortable.
And that’s okay, we just have to make sure that we don’t avoid doing things because we don’t want to feel the pain of discomfort.
Because no matter how you look at it, change, in any form, always brings with it feelings of discomfort, so if you ever want to change anything about yourself or your life, you will always have to face some level of discomfort.
So it's better to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
Why is it important to regularly go out of your comfort zone?
In addition to what I just mentioned above, which is to make positive changes in our lives, here are some other benefits of going out of your comfort zone:
> We get stuck in our ways. We get used to doing things a certain way over and over and over again. When we get comfortable, we stop having new life experiences. When we stop having new life experiences, we stop growing. When we stop growing, we never fulfill our true potential and we never live a truly happy and satisfying life.
> Going out of your comfort zone tests your limits and reminds you of how strong and capable you actually are! It shows you that “wow, I can actually do this! I can overcome this! I can do anything!”
> It brings to the surface emotions and pain that has been buried deep inside of you so that you can learn to deal with these feelings and let them go.
> It teaches you about life and how much it’s here to serve you and not hurt you. When you go out of your comfort zone and actually try something new, you experience how things fall into place and work out great, or if they don't, you witness how much you have grown as a person.
So if that’s not enough reason to go out of your comfort zone, I don’t know what is! Here are 3 ways to make it easier...
3 ways to make "getting out your comfort zone" EASIER
1. Do something that is within your level of readiness.
This requires being honest with yourself about what you are truly ready for and what you are just avoiding because you're too scared to try.
But once you get clear on this, try not to face a fear or do something that is too challenging, too uncomfortable, and something that completely terrifies you as you will most likely just get overwhelmed and give up.
For example, if you’re deathly afraid of heights, you probably wouldn’t attempt to go skydiving right off the bat, right? That would be TOO much.
If you have not yet learned addition and subtraction, you wouldn’t attempt to solve an algebra problem right?
So the key is to focus on doing things that have the potential to challenge you, but not SOOO far out of your comfort zone that it would make you shut down, give up, and create even more fear around that area.
So it's all about taking baby steps... starting at the beginning... avoiding jumping into the deep end before knowing how to swim (because then you'll just drown).
So with regards to a fear of heights, instead of going skydiving right off the bat, maybe try to go across a balance beam first, then cross a log over a river, then cross a bridge over a canyon, then maybe go bungee jumping, and then attempt skydiving.
Always remember to do something that is more than you are comfortable with, but less than what would make you run the other way.
And to know which is which? If it creates EXTREME anxiety inside of you, then maybe start smaller. If it creates anxiety but also excites you, and gives you a feeling that: “this is something that I have to do,” then go for it!
The key is complete and 100% self-honesty. Don't let your fears deceive you into thinking that you are not ready! If you have a slight feeling that you "need to do this," then that means YOU ARE READY!!!
2. Have a support system
When you are ready to overcome this fear or face this big challenge, be with someone who can give you support, encouragement, guidance, and a sense of safety and comfort.
For example, if you have a fear of heights, try not to face this fear alone, especially in the beginning. Make it easier on yourself by having someone around you who is more brave or experienced in this area, and who can push you past your limits while also giving you the strength and support that you need.
If you are doing something that DOES require for you to do it solo, then at least talk to someone you trust and respect so they can give you the boost of confidence that you need before stepping into discomfort, and then confide in this support system whenever you feel like giving up.
3. Ask yourself these 3 questions:
Question 1: What am I aiming to change, achieve, or overcome by going out of my comfort zone? In other words, why am I doing this?
Try to have a "big picture" answer and come up with a strong "why."
For example, if you have to go to a job interview and you are really nervous and don't want to do it, focus on your why beyond just getting this job. Focus on what getting this job will mean for you, how it will benefit you, and how it will change your life for the better.
Your "why" has to be really strong and positive in order for you to want to go out of your comfort zone. Even if there is no other "why" then to grow as a person, you have to attach some sort of meaning.
Always redirect focus from how uncomfortable you feel to WHY you are doing this, and the reason will always override your discomfort because your reason is always bigger than your fear.
Question 2: What is the worst that can happen?
If feeling really anti going out of your comfort zone, identify the worst things that can happen if you do.
You will be really really anxious and nervous, you will feel lonely, scared, and vulnerable, you’ll have to face your deepest and darkest self (the shadow), feel immense pain and hurt, feel completely lost, feel like you’re losing a part of yourself, feel out of control, be really emotional, you might look stupid, sound dumb, get made fun of, get laughed at, or get criticized, you might make a mistake or fail, have an anxiety attack, shut down, be miserable for a while, or not get the result or feeling that you desired from this change.
Ok. So those are the worst things that can happen. You can’t run away from these possibilities. But you also can’t fixate on them.
So what happens if they actually happen?
You will feel a whole bunch of uncomfortable emotions, have hurt feelings, feel immense fear, pain, and discomfort, question your choices, wonder if you’d made a mistake, and hate yourself for a little while.
But THEN what?
You will realize that you are……. still enough. Just the way you are. And that you will ALWAYS have yourself to rely on. Always.
The truth of who you are did not get diminished from this experience, fear and pain. You are not less than you were before. In fact, the truth of who you are became more alive. More realized. More aligned.
With time, you will process the pain, you will learn from the experience, you will let go, and you will heal. And you will also grow tremendously as a person.
There is nothing that can happen to you that will break you. There is only growth.
And then, a new you will emerge. The strong, courageous, brave, confident, and authentic YOU will be born.
Make peace with the worst case scenario and accept that it can happen, and that if it does, you will be fine; you will survive, and you will come out stronger than you ever imagined yourself to be.
Question 3: Would I regret it if I didn't do this?
Imagine yourself tomorrow, next week, in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 years from now thinking back to this moment...would you regret not stepping out of your comfort zone?
Would you regret not taking this step, making this move, facing this challenge, or overcoming this fear?
Would you regret it if you avoided doing something just because it would make you feel uncomfortable? Could you live with that truth?
It's so much easier to step out of our comfort zone if we know we would regret not doing so later, so always ask yourself this question.
I hope these tips will give you more confidence when doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable and hopefully it will get easier each time!
I wish you lots of courage and strength on your journey!