How to Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone?
Aspire Learning Space
Jul 25, 2022

Stepping outside of our comfort zones is an important aspect of our maturation. Due to a
reluctance to take risks, many people spend years feeling stuck and stagnant when it comes to
personal growth. Fear can hold some captive, and it can lead to a road of regret and what-ifs.
As author Anais Nin states, “the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more
painful than the risk it took to blossom”. We may reach a point where not knowing what could
have been stings more than putting ourselves out there. What if you reached a point where you
just know that if you mustered up the energy, there would be more in store for you? What if
you’re tired of fear dictating your behavior? It’s never too late to change your narrative.
Signs of fear:

  • You never try anything new out of a fear of failure
  • You procrastinate rather than work hard, because it’s easier to say that you “didn’t do
    your best anyway” than it is to truly work for it and still fail
  • You find it difficult to make decisions on your own due to the responsibility that comes
    with it
  • You please people and live for their approval because you fear their judgment of you
  • You avoid intimacy with others although you yearn for it
    To step outside of your comfort zone, you must:
  1. Know what your comfort zone consists of
    You need to understand what it is that you’re uncomfortable doing and why that is the
    case. Draw a circle, and inside the circle write the things that you feel confident or
    comfortable doing. Outside of the circle, write the things that you desire to do but that
    scare you out of possible failure, rejection, or disappointment. Is it the dream of starting
    your new business? Pitching in a new project at work? Speaking publicly? Approaching
    a person? Be honest with yourself over your fears and what you’re willing to conquer.
  2. Find out what your goals are/ how you want to benefit from this step
    To be motivated to step outside of your comfort zone, you need to consider how it will
    help you grow as a person. If you want to start practicing public speaking, then think
    about how that will help you professionally. If you want to approach someone, think
    about the possibility of forming new meaningful connections and memories that fear can
    make you miss out on.
  3. Switch your nos to yeses
    Finding out how you’ll benefit from these goals is an excellent way to know what you
    need to say yes to. Sometimes we say no to opportunities out of laziness, and
    sometimes it’s pure fear. Look at small opportunities coming your way and say yes to
    things you would typically say no to. If social settings make you nervous and a friend
    calls you up and invites you to tag along to a gathering, train yourself to say yes rather
    than passing on every opportunity that sounds new. It’s important to note that not
    everything deserves your yes, and discernment on your part will be necessary.
  4. Allow yourself to feel the discomfort
    Don’t shy away from the discomfort and retreat back to your comfort zone the second
    you have the chance. If you’re meeting people in a social setting, resist the urge to
    isolate, stay on your phone, or leave. Sitting with discomfort is how you eventually
    become more comfortable over time.
  5. View failure as a lesson
    Change your perspective over the situation by identifying how it helped you grow and by
    separating it from who you are. We avoid taking new risks because we believe that if we
    fail, it will somehow define us. We live like failure is the sum total of who we are, so it’s
    easier to never try. It’s important to know that we make mistakes and there’s room for us
    to learn from them without attaching them to our identities.
    There’s a reason we love comfort zones…they’re comfortable! As much as it feels safe, it
    doesn’t serve us in the long run. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said. “The only
    constant in life is change”. Change is inevitable, and stepping out of our comfort zones helps us
    cope with changes and life’s challenges. Not only coping with change, but also learning about
    ourselves and growing from our mistakes.
    Reflection Questions:
  • What do I fear the most?
  • What is fear stopping me from?
  • If I believed in myself more, how differently would I live my life?
  • What do I need to say yes to this year?

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