8 Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
As the saying goes, "Life happens outside of your comfort zone."
Photo credit to Mohamed Hassen
For all we know, this goldfish is making its way to a larger more colourful aquarium with so many opportunities to explore, swim through and discover.
Sure, it could be eaten by a bigger fish, but that's a chance it's willing to take, because it knows if the water quality is better, it will flourish and continue to grow. Otherwise, it's stuck in a small, colourless glass, swimming in circles for the rest of its very short life.
When we stay within our comfort zone, we live like the glass confined goldfish. We never explore the unknown. We never grow more as a person. We simply stay put in our lukewarm, at best, water waiting for the inevitable, because it feel safe.
Our mind might wonder what it would be like if, but we never venture outside our little circle to find out.
Recently, I decided I'd had enough with my tepid water experience. I dared to venture outside of my comfort zone, even though it felt like a huge creature was waiting to gobble me up on the other side. I simply couldn't take it any more.
As someone who fears being too visible (yeah, kinda a conundrum for this extrovert, I know), fears judgement of others, fears of being rejected, is a recovering perfectionist and has social anxieties (yup, another head scratcher as a naturally sociable being), this was TERRIFYING!
But I tossed caution to the wind and jumped the hell out of my tiny, innie, minnie circle of safety. Why? Because I wanted to live more in-line with my goals and how I wanted to feel about myself.
I don't want to look back on my life thinking should've, would've or could've. I want to look back and say "Yes, I did it!" or "Sure it failed BIG time, but at least I tried and learned something new."
"How did I do this?" you might ask. Well, I challenged myself to posting videos on Instagram TV (IGTV) for 9 whole days, followed by a Live on day 10 ! Check them out here.
These heart-pounding, nerve inducing videos. I felt, were key to me increasing my confidence and getting the heck out of my zone de confort. While at the same time, showing me that there was no Kylie eating beast on the other side.
Sure, some might judge and I know for certain friends of mine are going "What the hell is wrong with Kylie?" and that's ok. To each their own. I simply had to frigging do it. The urge to know was too unbearable.
To tell you the truth, I'm still here. Nothing ate me up or cut me down. The haters and judgers will always be there, but over the course of my videos so far, they've remained silent. Woot! Woot!
Here are the tricks I used to start exploring the open water and step out of my comfort zone.
Think about what is outside your comfort zone (the things you imagine or wish you could have or do).
What is the actual goal you want to achieve? For me it was to become more visible, drop the fear of judgement and need to be recognized.
Note any fears you have and ask yourself why you have these.
Start making small uncomfortable changes in your environment. For example, you could get up 5 minutes earlier every day. Do this until you're used to it. Another example is to drive a different route when doing your daily/weekly routine activities.
Increase your exposure to the uncomfortable. For me, this meant blogging and sharing my ideas. It's still on a small scale, because my audience is small, but it allows me to put myself out there a bit more. Relate your increased exposure to your ultimate goal from step 2.
Note how you feel each time you "expose" yourself. Yes, you can giggle at the word expose. After a few times, you'll notice it gets easier (the exposure, not the giggling).
Once you are relatively comfortable with step 5, take the big leap and face your fear! Keep track of how you're feeling each time you do.
Stay positive and praise yourself for not surrendering or following the heard of comfort zone junkies.
While this might still seem scary to you, I promise if you take it slow and learn as you go, you will be living a life that feels more true to who you are and what your goals are for yourself.
Now go on and dive in! :)