Here is a short piece on stepping out of your Comfort Zone, enjoy & comment.
“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” – William Shedd –
Comfort zones are mental barricades that provide a sense of safety. They are developed and sustained by gradually limiting ourselves based on our perceptions about our abilities, potential, power, and our sometimes false or misguided ideologies of the “possible” or “rational”.
The comfort zone can be thought of, metaphorically, as a bubble that shrinks or expands based on three factors:
As time progresses, we go through a countless number of experiences that give us the opportunity to either shape our fears, face our fears, or break our fears. Our fears hold authority over us because everything that we choose to do or not do is based upon a fear that we will either fail miserably, or succeed significantly.
Nobody wants to fail miserably, but who would be afraid of succeeding? Oftentimes, it is not the success that people are afraid of, but rather, the anxiety that comes during the process of completing something that may lead to success. Take a perfectionist like myself for example: I often procrastinate with the excuse that whatever I’m working on is not “good enough”. The reality may be that I’m finished, but I’m anxious about how others will perceive the finished product. Will they realize and applaud the effort and creativity that went into my product or will they overlook it as if it never existed?
It’s natural to be uncomfortable about situations where the outcome is unpredictable. Whether you fear success or fear failure you must not let that fear paralyze you into immobility/inactivity. Progress must be made.
One good way to make progress is by doing something that is completely new to you or stepping outside of your bubble or comfort zone. Experiencing new things can help you increase your creativity, enhance your awareness of yourself and your surroundings, and these are all key skills in succeeding in your professional career as well as your personal life. Try to do something you would usually be uncomfortable with doing, or something out of the ordinary for yourself. Try to do these things often, maybe once a day for an entire month and document your experiences.
Here are some thoughts to be cognizant of when stepping outside of your comfort zone:
1. Be courageous: You might be afraid, but do it anyway.
2. Become fascinated by what you don’t understand rather than fearful of it.
3. Chart your progress.
4. Concentrate on your strengths to achieve your goals.
5. Do not let your fear and doubts become your limits and walls.
6. Forget fear.
7. Learn more about yourself as an individual.
8. Life is a culmination of experiences, collect as many as you can.
9. Never waste time.
10. Take advantage of life’s opportunities as they are presented.
11. Take calculated risks.
12. Test your boundaries in order to grow.
13. Understand who you are in order to realize your purpose.
“The more fears you face the more you will grow.”
— © 2012 Kevin R. Claiborne II
@kclaibo2, but how do we KNOW our comfort zones aren’t real? For an illusion, they seem very real to me, almost tangible. I have wrestled with the boundaries of my comfort zone for some time now, to very little if any avail…
@theskafish, of course our confort zones are real. you simply take them, shape them and put them back where they were …
lets take a very simple example: a guy is really afraid of approaching girls … at some point he overcomes his fear, talks to a girl and now there are three possibilities: she will laugh about him, she will kindly talk with him and nothing happens or they go really well along with each other and get good friends, atleast for the evening.
depending on what has happened the comfort zone of the guy either shrinked, stayed the same or expanded.
now the thing is, if you know this process, you can use it to your own profit and achieve things you never thought you were able to achieve :)
I’ve been working on increasing my comfort zone consiously for about 7 years now. The beginning is the worst, because you are truly afraid..After that, it get’s better. With every new thing you try, with every challenge you take, the more comfortable you’ll get with stepping out of your comfort zone.You’ll even start to enjoy it ^^
@stootachtig, Same here – I’ve been increasing my comfort zone.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
One day it just struck me: What am I doing? I’ve been doing the same routine, talking to the same people, doing the same activities. Nothing new, no new experiences! And then all of a sudden, it just fell in to place – I need to do more, because if not now, then when? I’ll look back, and will be (as Mark Twain predicted) more disappointed by what I didn’t do, than by what I did :)