When you live a life in your comfort zone, you are never alone. You have constant companions: fear of failure, rejection, anger, lack of confidence and frustration.
We become complacent by craving sameness and predictability. Maybe that is the reason so many of us resist the change. We settle for less in every area of life.
This quote by Nelson Mandela says it all: “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Public speaking, networking with strangers and cold calling to sell your products can be a scary experience but also stretch you for necessary personal growth.
So how do you move out of your comfort zone? One way is to recognize the strengths you have and how to use them to move forward.
For many years, I struggled with a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. I felt trapped in a vicious cycle of victim mode. Then one day, I stumbled onto a lively group of people called Toastmasters. I signed up shaking like a leaf, determined to beat the fear of failure, rejection and feeling of not being good enough.
After a couple of years with this amazing group of people, I was ready to jump out of the confinement I created. I got my first speaking engagement.
Again, the old feelings of not being good enough surfaced, tempting me to jump down from the podium and run away. But I ignored the negative voices and stayed.
After two hours of sharing my passion for change, the audience got emotional because I shared something that touched them deeply. I was hooked, finally realizing my purpose in life.
Three ways to leave your comfort zone
How do you define your comfort zone? The dictionary says it’s the place where “you feel comfortable and your abilities are not being questioned.” Another definition that applies to many of us: the comfort zone is the place where “you don’t have to do anything new or different.”
“Just jump out,” somebody might say. It sounds like an easy phrase to throw around, but sometimes advice is easier to give than to take.
Make changes to your daily routine
This is an easy one because it allows you to make small but noticeable changes. Get up early. Instead of driving to work, take a walk and chat with people you don’t know. Try different food, restaurants, listen to different music, get a new hairdo.
Learn something new
Try a new recipe, one that appeals to you. The worst thing that can happen is your creation will end up in the compost. Try something physical; hiking, skating or horseback riding will give you a new skill and freedom to choose the life you desire.
Volunteer your time
Here is the place where you will be appreciated and praised for your dedication to your community and the world. There is no better way to leave your comfort zone than to help others and build your self-confidence.
I will leave you with one of my quotes: “The life you crave, you can create!”
Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in the qathet region and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to solutionsorganizing.com.