January 12, 2016 – Issue 24
Photo: hikers-climbing-on-mountain-help-support-assistance-in-a-dangerous-situation © Envato
Are you ready to leave your comfort zone? At times, we can be guilty of wanting to stay put in our own cocoon, a familiarity of where we know everybody and are not willing to take a chance or try something new.
With the start of a New Year, why not take advantage of this opportunity to plan to do something new in your life or business/career. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you often achieve learning and growth including the possibility of meeting new people and experiences you would not otherwise have encountered.
Of course, stretching yourself out of your comfort zone is likely to cause fear and anxiety. Examine those fears. Are they real or is it something you’ve created, to keep you within your own bubble for safety sake. Doing something new will always create some apprehension. The bigger the push out of your comfort zone and the harder the task, the higher the trepidation one experiences.
An important thing to remember with any new activity and environment for the first time, it will bring you some uneasiness. Once you have done the activity several times, this fear will disperse over time as you become more comfortable, knowledgeable and experienced. There are three stages you will encounter with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone: 1) Anxiety/Fear 2) Learning/Adapting and then 3) A New Comfort Zone.
“Uncertain social, political, or economic conditions can effectively make
our comfort zones smaller. The more afraid we are, the smaller
our comfort zone becomes and the more difficult it is to break out of it.”
My challenge for you in 2016 is to try something new. Examine your life and identify at least one thing that if you try doing, it would bring you some new experiences and wonderful people into your life. Make a list of things you have been afraid to do and then choose at least one item from your list and go out and do it. In fact, if you love a challenge, try one new thing a month and see where it takes you.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started on stretching yourself:
- Public speaking – this is the greatest fear for many people and once you have overcome this fear of getting up to face others to speak, the benefits and opportunities are enormous and can change your life more than you can ever imagine. Check out Toastmasters International for clubs near you (http://www.toastmasters.org/Find-a-Club).
- Learn a new activity – for example cooking, knitting or woodwork which could be useful talents to have in your life and you’ll also have a chance to meet new people.
- Participate in a new sport or fitness club – many people have losing weight as a goal for the New Year. If you have not been active, this is definitely an area that could stretch you in a good way to help you lose the weight you are aiming for.
- Learn a new language or skill – there are always benefits to having an extra language or skill under your belt, it may also be very beneficially in your career/business and you will have a chance to meet new people.
- Meet new people – join a club or meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/). If you want to expand your circle of friends and have fun, here is a great opportunity to find many different meetup groups or you can even start one in your area.
- Volunteer – There are many volunteer organizations looking for volunteers. Here is a chance to meet new people, help and support a cause and possibly gain some new skills.
What’s important to remember is what seems like a real push out of your comfort zone may not be a big thing to someone else. Depending on what you pick as your first step out of your comfort zone, if it is something that seems terrifying why not ask a friend or family member to join you. It will not only make the process easier to stretch yourself plus you will also have someone to support and share in your experience.
you must take a risk and venture out of your comfort zone in order to fly.”
Once you have tried something new, mastered it and experienced the benefits, you may be more willing to stretch yourself from your comfort zone in other areas of your life the next time.
Are you ready to break out of your comfort zone? I would love to hear from you, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. If I hear from enough people, I will do a special blog in June providing stories of individuals who took up this challenge, their experiences and the outcome of pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. Who knows, you may be an inspiration to others, to get out of their shell and do something they were afraid to do.