Have you heard about the “comfort zone”? It’s the zone in your life in which you feel comfortable.
Are you comfortable with going into the supermarket? If so, it’s inside your comfort zone.
Do you feel comfortable when you talk to a friend? If so, it’s inside your comfort zone.
Do you feel comfortable to speak in front of an audience? If so, it’s inside your comfort zone. Oh, you don’t feel comfortable doing that? It’s unusual for you and maybe you’re even a little scared? Then it’s outside of your comfort zone.
All habits and things you usually do are inside your comfort zone. Everything new, everything you don’t usually do is outside.
A lot of personal development experts will tell you that it’s important to get outside of your comfort zone. But why?
It’s important because if you want to have different results in your life, you have to do different things. You can’t just do the same things you’ve always done and hope that anything will change. It won’t.
If you keep eating junk food, you probably won’t loose weight soon. If you keep training with the same weights, you probably won’t get any stronger. If you keep hanging out with the same people all the time, you won’t make any new friends.
The same actions will get you the same results.
If you want to get new results in your life, you have to do things you don’t usually do – maybe even things you’ve never done before. That’s means that you have to step out of your comfort zone.
If you’ve realized this and want to change the results that you’re getting, the next question is: How do I step out of my comfort zone in a way that helps me getting new results?
- get clear about what you want
At first you have to decide what you actually want. Do you want to loose 5 pounds, do you want to earn 5000$, do you want to get 500 visitors/a month to your homepage? Pick something you want to work on.
The next thing you need is a pen and a piece of paper or some other writing device. I would recommend you to brainstorm two lists now: On the first list write down all actions that you want to do/think are interesting to do/feel inspired to do but that you haven’t done yet (or not often) because these are actions that make you go out of your comfort zone (and maybe you’re afraid to do them).
On the second list you write down all actions that come to your mind that you think/feel could get you the new result AND that would get you out of your comfort zone.
BTW, don’t forget the things that would you get outside of your comfort zone if you didn’t do them: if you’re a smoker, for example, not smoking would be outside of your comfort zone. In that case you could write down: stop smoking.
Now as you have a lot of new ideas on what to do, it’s your responsibility to do something. Every day pick one of the actions on your new lists and do it. Maybe you’ve found some new habits that you want to implement. Make a 30-day trial out of them.
The goal is not to fill your day with actions that are outside of your comfort zone. Often it’s enough to do ONE thing differently every day. Also: rather pick one thing that scares you than picking five things that need a lot of time and that you won’t even remember in a week.
While you’re taking action and try out new things, you will notice that you will get different results. Maybe it won’t be obvious for the first few days but in my experience the change after a few weeks can be tremendous.
Then you might even find yourself at a point where you want to stop going out of your comfort zone for a while because you’ll need some time to adapt to all the changes. I went through some periods like that.
…that’s good! That’s exactly what we’re looking for. The best actions you can do to get outside your comfort zone are the ones that you’re afraid of but at the same time you’re excited about.
At the moment I’m in the middle of a 30-day trial: For 30 days I’m leaving my comfort zone with at least one action daily. This is day 3. I’m accompanying this 30-day trial with some bigger habit changes. For example I’m not watching any TV series for the period of the trial. This will keep me outside of my comfort zone as well. I will sum up my experiences in 30 days.