Move out of your comfort zone

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It’s a great phrase, ‘comfort zone’. It sounds so familiar, so safe, so secure.  A sure haven where we can rest a while – for centuries even – and never leave. So instead of taking risks, stepping out and seeing what we really are capable of in life, we tend to expand our comfort zones. Ever increasing circles. Ever decreasing opportunities. Clever, or so our mind thinks, but not a very practical nor far sighted life strategy. Believe me, there are times when I’ve stayed in mine for years. And serve me it has not.

So how can we mitigate the reptilian fears that come up every time a new opportunity in life arises, or new challenges, whether they be work, relationships, moving home, moving country? The list is endless. I’ve realised one of the major obstacles to escaping the zone of comfort is an often debilitating and incapacitating fear of the unknown. What we do not know we fear. Is it safe? Can I go there? Can I really be happy? Is it the right move? We all want to make sure it’s safe before we take that leap of faith. And a leap of faith is really what it’s all about. Learning to take that action, trust ourselves and then build up our self-confidence to take more leaps of faith. Giant leaps into more fulfilling, creative and happier lives, relationships and geographical surroundings.

We cannot know with utter certainty – even the most psychic among us – what really lies ahead. We can only imagine. Imagining the worst often attracts the worst case scenario; imagining the best will create that for us. What you think you become as Buddha said. Moving out of our comfort zones involves giving a polite nod to that part of our brain that is on continual red alert. Tell it that we are grateful that it’s doing it’s job so well, but its high time it took the A40 to Brighton and had a day off.

I can remember the time very clearly that I did my first – and only – parachute jump. Leaping, or in my case edging nervously out of a plane at 2000ft meant – to my rational mind – certain death. But I had total confidence, and the recklessness of youth, in my parachute opening. And it did.

My methods of moving out of my comfort zone include the following:

1. Just do it. Take action, no matter how small to move you one step ahead.

2. Equip yourself with as much information you can about your intended move.

3. Talk to people you know who have successfully moved out of their comfort zones. How did they do it? And what benefit did they get out of it?

4. Trust your own intuition. Only you know what’s best for you. So if you want to jack in your day job as a trader and practise beekeeping in Sussex. Do it!

5. Learn to listen to your emotions. Our minds tend to rationalise and find reasons for not doing things. Our emotions and feelings are great motivators, however. If the same thoughts around change keep coming up in your mind, then find ways of following these messages and move out of your comfort zone.

Trust me, taking action to move out of your comfort zone, whether it be a big push or baby steps, will be well worth it! Take the risk and dare to feel the fear and do it anyway!

I’d love to hear how you’ve successfully busted through your own comfort zones – and the benefits you gained by doing so. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the box under this post.