The pandemic has brought to the mainstream many of life’s creature comforts. For example, athleisure style comfortable clothing are the new “gym to brunch” outfits for a good Sunday outing. Many people are now working in their pajamas or even no pants while they do Zoom calls from the new home office like never before. One of the things that has transformed me during the pandemic is becoming, and most importantly accepting - the real me. Warts and all.
There is a lot of value in becoming your authentic self. It means stepping out of your comfort zone. But don’t you want the benefit of being able to finally really relax around the people that mean the most to you. You can ‘let your hair down’ - even for those of us who are hair challenged - in new ways since the pandemic has struck. We are taking better care of ourselves and prioritizing self care like we had not in the past, which is a very good thing. We practice more mindful moments to truly cherish the present. We take nature walks during lunch, sit outside in the sunshine, or even sneak in a nap on some workday afternoons. And we are all doing it around the world. It is a global new movement.
Getting out of your comfort zone to become comfortable in your own skin is important for you to realize within yourself. Stop holding up the mirror of judgement. I have made many mistakes in my life and have a few regrets (don't we all). But I spent decades of my professional life forced to be perfect in a marketing communications role where a typo was a cardinal sin. Now, I cut myself a lot more slack. I like to make mistakes, to fail forward as fast as I can as I try new and different things in my life - which is richer post pandemic. I am reminded of the value of life by the countless, needless deaths that go on. I have learned the value of my own self and what I mean to the people I hold dear around me. Those people are very few, but they are cherished. But remember, you and you alone define your value.
Those individuals in my life who I no longer hold dear, and fall into a category of people I hold in F.E.A.R.- where I must Face Everything and Rise. These are often family relationships that we do not choose or have the ability to get away from per say. But with this type of person in our lives, we must rise up and face whatever they throw at us from pointing out your mistakes, criticizing you, controlling or belittling you or however they try to wield power over you. You must face it and rise and not allow this to go on. Try to eliminate those types of toxic people from your life. Life is different now and we find joy in simplicity now, and treasure easy moments more. Stand up and just say no! You are worth so much more and you deserve better.
You too can face everything and rise above. How can you do this now and embrace the real you? Step out of your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone is where you are and what you feel when you feel most comfortable and without stress or anxiety. You feel as if you’re not taking a risk at all, and you’re sure of the outcome of whatever activity or environment you’re experiencing. This often happens simply due to habit and experience.
It’s one reason habituating good things like eating right, staying hydrated, experience, and learning is so important – humans do not like to be uncomfortable. They will fight to stay comfortable and inside their comfort zone for the most part.
Childhood fairy tales like Goldilocks exist to teach you that sometimes staying in your comfort zone can be an infantile response to allowing life to beat you down. If you’re not familiar, Goldilocks likes everything neither too easy nor too hard, and while this sounds like a great way to be, it’s not really completely possible and is really difficult to come by as the story goes.
A comfort zone is not an inherently bad thing. It’s good for you to enjoy your life and like to live it. This is not about being miserable, but about being willing to be slightly uncomfortable for a short period of time in order to get something you want that fits in with your overall goals in life, which are, of course, based on your personal principles, morals, and values.
Change is The Only Constant in Life
Heraclitus is the one who stated that “Change is the only constant in life.” It means exactly what it says: you can always expect change to be a thing. Once you wrap your mind around the constancy of change, you’ll be able to get to a place of acceptance easier.
It’s Okay to Say: “I Don’t Know” – So many people think they have to have all the answers before they do anything. But the truth is, you don’t because it’s impossible. You simply will never know what you don’t know. It’s okay to say I don’t know and move forward anyway.
Change is an Educational Catalyst – Right before you learn something new, a change took place. The transformation or adjustment might not be something you realize initially, but it’s something you discover later.
Adaptability To Change is a Precursor to Survival – Being able to learn from success and failure is a wonderful way that humans survive in the world. Being able to adapt based on the changes is what makes us more likely to thrive.
Change Brings More Opportunities – More opportunities and possibilities are created for you at the point of difference. For example, when you learn how to cook the perfect chicken breast, you can now also cook many meals that include that perfect chicken breast.
Change Is Necessary for Improvement – If you want to build your leg muscles, doing chin-ups isn’t going to work. If you really want to experience a particular result, you have to know what to do and do that.
If you want to be great and have a definition for greatness, the only way to achieve it is to change. This is simply how the world works. As you accept and realize that change is inevitable, you can stop trying to stop it and instead embrace it and the feelings that go with it.
How To Choose When to Push Through Your Comfort Zone
Leaving your comfort zone to achieve more success in life is not about doing stupid things and taking chances that you shouldn’t. No one wants you to jump without a net into dangerous territory. Take your time making choices based on knowledge of your goals and the world at large.
Leaving your comfort zone is really just about growing in the direction you want to grow, based on your principles, morals, and values. The main thing you don’t want to do is allow fear to get in your way of success. If your main reason for staying in your comfort zone is simply fear – it’s time to let it go. Fear will not allow you to have what you want or need in this life. Face Everything And Rise!
Ways to Successfully Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
Let’s talk about the different ways to break through your comfort zone. You don’t have to do this blindly.
Make It a Game to Leave Your Comfort Zone
According to game designers, you need to enact good anxiety or optimal anxiety in a player to get them to want to keep playing the game. This is no different from your actual life. If your life feels boring to you, and you barely need to be aware you’re living it, it may get dull, and you will not advance or change, and you may even end up miserable.
So instead of thinking of the feeling you’re experiencing as bad, think of it as excitement. As long as you’re doing the work required to understand the problem, it would be best to make an educated decision that is as risk-free as possible given the circumstances.
In this game, you’ll put your toe in and see how it feels. You’ll test the waters, and if it’s not as fun or great as you thought, you’ll change your mind. It’s okay since it’s just a game.
Give It a Try
One thing that is important to do when you’re leaving your comfort zone is to start saying yes with planning and forethought. For example, if you know that you can say yes and give it a try now and then change your mind, you’re going to be more likely to say yes right now than no. So, allow yourself that when you are choosing what to do or not to do.
If you do something you are fearful of for just a couple of minutes, often the fear goes away, and you realize it’s not so bad, and you keep doing it. You might even look back on it later and know it was not even bad to start with, but it was actually good.
The experience of trying something, and the experience of it going well, don’t just pay off for this one time. The experience pays off in that it will enable you to look back on this choice today and see how it went as you make future choices. It’s how you get better at decision-making.
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
In our quest for comfort and building a life of ease, sometimes we get too good at it. That causes us to become stagnant and can even stunt our growth and potential for success. It’s one thing to set up routines that ensure success, but it’s another thing to set up a routine that keeps things the same.
Feeling out of sorts or slightly uncomfortable is not a bad thing. No one ever feels comfortable doing something for the first time, whether it’s doing brain surgery, public speaking, or even learning to swim – it all makes a person very uncomfortable at first, but the experience builds and makes you able to do even more next time.
To really make a difference in your life as you seek to rid yourself of most of your comfort zone is to understand you don’t have to go nuts. You can start very small. Suppose you want to run a marathon. Running 26 miles if you’ve never been off your couch sounds crazy. But what if you started with just running for sixty seconds and then built up from there?
The discomfort of running sixty seconds is nothing compared to the discomfort of running 26 miles. But you can start very small and build and make the change and improvement almost invisible, virtually ensuring your success.
Act As If
Your grandmother probably gave you this advice at one time, and often it’s dissed by younger people, but it has some merit. When you act as if you are already where you want to be in terms of your confidence level or experience, or even create an alter ego who already is what you want to be, it’s easier to get through it.
The thing is, you don’t want to rely on faking it until you make it every single time. Instead, you want to do that for the first few minutes and then allow the confidence and experience to take you over, so you don’t keep feeling that way.
Believe in What You’re Doing
When you are doing things that you feel good about because they align with your principles, morals, and values, it makes everything else simple. Because of this, do what it takes in your life to educate yourself about the facts that make you believe in and have faith in the ideals you perpetuate. In other words, if you believe in what you’re doing, you’ll have a much easier time doing it even when it’s uncomfortable or even hard.
Leaving your comfort zone is important because it’s the only way you will learn more about your world. Change is never going to change. Change is inevitable, and honestly, it’s preferable. You don’t really want things to stay the same because you won’t have a well-rounded and full life if they don't change.
Every person’s comfort zone is unique to them and based on your life experiences. You can choose to change it if you want to and need to. By pushing yourself through to a new comfort zone, you’ll end up learning more, building your confidence, and not only will your friends and family start seeing you in a new way, more importantly, but you’ll also see yourself in a new way. You’ll have the skills, the focus, and the clarity to achieve more than you ever thought possible as you seek new ways to break through your comfort zone and grow as a person.