Have you always wanted to learn to golf, but you’re afraid of looking like you’re uncoordinated? Try going to a driving range by yourself, or with friends, at a less-busy time. Get that under your belt until you start to feel more comfortable.
Or maybe you’re afraid to eat alone at a restaurant. I used to be, and I know lots of people that are. Push yourself to do it. See how it feels.
There is a quote, “do one thing every day that scares you”, often misattributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but actually coined by Mary Schmich, a contributor to the Chicago Tribune, in 1997.
Doing things that make you a little uncomfortable will help you get used to discomfort. Doing those things will help you stretch yourself, peek over the edge of your comfort zone.
The great news is that the more you do that, the easier it will become. And your comfort zone will expand, not shrink!
3. Switch Up Your Routine to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
When you have the same routine day in and day out, it is easy to feel stuck in a rut. Our brains love the familiar and once you’re on that well-worn path we talked about earlier, it’s hard for your brain to make venturing off easy.
You’ll be happy to know that you can rewire your brain to form new connections – new paths.
Try switching things up a little bit at a time, even if it feels a little uncomfortable. Who knows what that might open up for you!
4. Practice Self-Awareness
A lot of times, we don’t realize that we’re hanging out in our comfort zone all the time.
Start to notice where you feel resistance to doing certain things. Are there times you have the opportunity to do something but choose not to because it feels uncomfortable, or stressful?
Really tune in to how that fear or discomfort feels in your body and your mind. What emotions are you experiencing? How is fear showing up in your body? Does your chest get tight? Do you get butterflies, or maybe a wave of heat rushes over you?
I suggest journaling a lot in my writing, but I highly recommend recording your findings. It can be a great help!
5. Keep a List of Growth Goals
I’m a big fan of brain dumps. Take some time and brainstorm all of the things you’d like to accomplish in your life. Big things, small things, seemingly trivial things… get them all down on paper (or on a computer).
Pick a few to focus on in the short term. How can you take steps to grow so you can reach those goals?
Side note: I have a really awesome intro offer called the Clarity Kickstart where I help you zero in on a few goals and create an action plan to get there. It’s a great program you should totally check out at kortneyrivard.com/claritykickstart.
6. Create a Compelling Reason to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Without a good reason, dealing with discomfort is going to be really tough. You need a WHY.
Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds. But you are an emotional eater, and ceasing your emotional eating is going to cause you to take on some unwanted stress.
Dealing with the discomfort of added stress and emotions you don’t want to feel is going to be a tough sell unless you have a really good compelling reason.
Be sure to dig deep and really get to the heart of what your “scary goal” means to you. Losing 20 pounds might mean that you don’t get winded when you’re playing with your kids, which will lead to more joy in your life and better relationships with your family.
Whatever resonates deeply with you is a good compelling reason.
7. Reframe What “Comfortable” Means To You
Take note of what you feel in your comfort zone. Safety? Security?
But also think about the fact that you may feel bored, stagnant, blah, lacking purpose and joy. Your comfort zone might feel familiar and comfy, but it also is where your dreams go to die.
Try reframing “comfort” to mean growth, challenge, learning and purpose.