Most of us rarely venture from our comfort zone. We perform the same actions and create situations that are comfortable and familiar to us. Unfortunately, life doesn’t change until our actions change.
New actions often fall outside of your current comfort zone. Since humans naturally seek comfort, this is quite the conundrum. It seems that one has to choose between comfort and growth.
Personal growth is for the brave.
Try these tips to take new actions and see positive changes in your life:
1. Make a change from your common media. Read a different type of book than you normally read. Listen to a new type of music. Watch a movie or TV show that you would’ve never considered before. Shake things up a little bit by watching and listening to something new.
2.Try new foods. Have you ever had Vietnamese or Korean food? Pick up the yellow pages and find a new restaurant. It’s uncomfortable to try new foods. That’s precisely the point. Learn to deal with a little discomfort.
3. Shake up your other routines. Try being a vegan for a week or get up two hours earlier. Take the bus downtown instead of driving. Meditate each evening for a month. Avoid procrastination for a week. Take on some new activities.
4. Take a comfort zone challenge. This has become a popular idea. The only purpose of a comfort zone challenge is to increase your resistance to social judgement. You build your courage and confidence, but never put yourself in any real danger. A few examples include:
- Lie down on the sidewalk for 30 seconds in a busy city.
- Sing your favorite song aloud in the grocery store.
- Walk through the mall with your shirt on backwards.
- Start a conversation with a very attractive man or woman.
- Draw a smiley face on your forehead and walk around town.
5. Make small changes. Big changes are scary. Make a small change in your life and take things a little further each week. If you’re afraid of heights, look out a second story window. Next week, try the third floor. Several small changes are as effective as a single, larger one. This is easier than a comfort zone challenge, but much slower.
6. Understand the benefits of getting outside your comfort zone. Studies have shown that maximum productivity and performance happen during times of low to moderate stress. Stress helps us focus and perform. Being too comfortable actually creates challenges.
- You’ll learn to deal with stress and uncertainty. By stressing yourself a bit on purpose, you’ll be better able to manage stress when it naturally arises.
7. Visit somewhere new. Spend the night in a new town. Try camping in the mountains. Rent an RV for a week. Or just try the mom and pop grocery store on the other side of town instead of the big box store down the street.
8. Learn to deal with being uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable isn’t always a good reason not to do something. Learn yoga, meditation, or another stress reducing technique. Apply it whenever you’re feeling stressed. It won’t be long before you can confidently do and experience new things.
Bust out of your comfort zone and live your life from a new perspective. Your comfort zone will trap you if you let it. It’s possible to live beyond your current habits. A little bravery can completely change your life. Try some new activities and see what happens. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. You’ll expand your comfort zone in ways you never thought you could.