I was recently with a group of friends and we were talking about one of their recent adventures overseas when someone made the comment ‘that’s crazy stuff, but good on you for getting out of your comfort zone- this made me think about what peoples comfort zones are and what they can do when they step outside them.
So the first thing I thought was ‘what is a comfort zone?’ A comfort zone is your day-to-day routine which enables you to feel secure, fulfilled, less stressed, and live with little anxiety. Most people wouldn’t think they have a comfort zone (myself included) until they start thinking about it- I drive the same way to work every day, have lunch at the same time every day and when we go out for tea usually go to the same restaurant!
Leaving your comfort zone results in increased risk, and increased anxiety, but can also lead to being more productive and handling difficult situations better – obviously too much anxiety is not a good thing, so just the right amount is what you want. However let me say that your comfort zone is also a good thing- everyone needs that place where they feel at ease and comfortable to balance themselves.
When people talk about ‘getting out of your comfort zone’ this doesn’t mean you have to go sky diving or swim naked at the beach!! Getting out of your comfort zone can be as simple as making minor changes to your daily routine- drive a different way to work, try a different café for lunch or enter work through a different door. It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone so doing it slowly and with baby steps will reduce anxiety and stress.
So I starting thinking about ways I could push out of my comfort zone- I took a different road to work, went to a different café for lunch and had a conversation with a complete stranger while waiting for my lunch. Yes you are right these aren’t massive changes but they did add something different to my day, and yes that was great! Now to think of some bigger changes to really push the boundaries- maybe an overseas holiday with a friend?
Now I challenge you to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and see the changes in your life- talk to a stranger who may become a lifelong friend, approach your work differently and you may end up with that pay rise you want, push harder and get out there to grow your business to its potential or book that holiday you’ve been putting off as it could be the trip of your life!