To start with what is ‘success’? Success is different for everyone, so I am not going to define it here, however, the only way to progress forward towards your picture of success is to step out of your comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone is not always easy. Yet, the way forward is through change. Change happens as you expand by becoming more than you thought possible.
What is the comfort zone?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary states ‘that comfort zone means the range within which one is comfortable’ and a further meaning is’ the level at which one functions with ease and familiarity’. The Cambridge dictionary defines comfort zone as ‘a situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested’.
Looking at the above comfort zone meanings there will be times that everyone at some time has stepped out of their comfort zone. As a child, there are many occasions in which our limits are tested and pushed. The first time you put your hand up in class. The first time you read aloud in class, the first time you do a presentation.
The number one fear.
I’ve always had a fear of public speaking and would seldom put up my hand up in class to answer a question or to ask a question. As a child I had a fear; a fear of being judged, judged for asking the wrong questions, judged for getting the answer wrong. This fear of public speaking I carried with me from a shy child into adulthood. As an adult, there have been numerous times I’ve sat in a meeting or a class waiting and hoping someone would ask the burning question I had.
Have you had this feeling too?
This fear of speaking up was holding me back. I knew I needed to overcome this obstacle. I needed to step into unfamiliarity and learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Ask yourself ‘Are you the person you need to be in order to achieve your goals?
This question I asked myself and knew that I needed to change I needed to become a person who is prepared to push through challenges, ask questions and not exchange what I want for what is easiest.
I started by creating lots of small challenges for myself. 30-day challenges, 90-day challenges and sometimes just a daily challenge. Every challenge assisting and helping me become who I need to become to be who I want to be.
The challenges helped me expand my comfort zone and helped with my belief in possibilities.
Stopping limiting beliefs and pushing through fear takes courage. Many people stay on the spot, stay in the safe zone. Like me, are you looking at the outer circle with a burning desire to push through the barrier and step outside the comfort zone? Not easy, yet to want success and create a better life takes courage, it takes mental strength and willpower. It takes determination and daily activity to change habits and reach goals.
Create your life, step out of your comfort zone with a few mental tricks.
Remember your successes
Some of the best things happen outside of your comfort zone. Draw on times of success, remember a time when you have stepped through the barrier to success. Remember how it felt, visualize that success. Use that success to propel you forward, to help you break through your comfort zone.
Be your own mentor
What would a mentor advise? Be your own mentor and ask yourself questions; ‘What is the worst that could happen? What is the best that could happen? Would others benefit from it? Would I benefit from it? Why am I limiting myself? What is holding me back?
By being your own mentor and asking yourself questions you elevate your thinking, gain clarity and self-empowerment to step out of your comfort zone into new horizons.
Take incremental steps
On a daily basis take incremental steps towards your success. Small daily steps can lead to big changes. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare, slowly one step at a time saw the tortoise get to the finish line.
Join a challenge or track your daily progress with a habit tracker.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone
This is the system I used to speak up more often in meetings or more precisely on webinars. I mentally remembered the steps in the book ‘Five Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins and said to myself ‘5,4,3,2,1 and that was it my hand was up and I was speaking on the webinar.
Daunting as this may sound, sharing knowledge, asking questions is part of the learning experience, part of personal growth and a great way to develop skills as you design your life.
Personal development is key to stepping outside your comfort zone. Read books, listen to audiobooks or podcasts, and listen to how others have overcome their challenges. There are so many places today to learn skills to raise one’s value, create success and step out of the comfort zone.
Lean into fear, face challenges and step into your comfort zone. Life begins at the end of the comfort zone.
With daily action, you too can expand your comfort zone and can create the life you envisioned for yourself and your family. Start slowly building your dream life one step at a time. Start by changing one habit and then stack habits to achieve more of your life goals.