Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Milton Campbell
Why should you step out of your comfort zone?
Staying in our comfort zone is easy. Staying within our comfort zone minimizes risk and stress in our life. Why would we want to do something so scary? If you don’t step out of your comfort zone you get stuck exactly where you are and miss out on a lot of opportunities and personal growth.
Recognizing and embracing the risk and stress involved when you step out of your comfort zone can lead to significant personal growth. Stress is one of those words that gets a bad rep but not all stress is bad stress. Stress can motivate us and push us to grow on a personal and professional level. All it takes is using stress as a motivator and not letting it paralyze you.
Humans are creatures of habit. We like to get into routines and not stray too far. Doing this can hold you back from reaching your full potential. Challenging yourself to try new things not only helps you grow but you might just find out you enjoy these new things.
Common reasons you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
Fear of being criticized – No one likes to be criticized but criticism is not always a bad thing. Many times, the person criticizing you is just trying to give you feedback to help you improve.
Not all criticism is worth listening to. Determine which people you are worth listening to when they criticize you. Those are the people that are just trying to provide you feedback and help you get better. All others should just be dismissed.
Once you determine who is worth listening remember you’re not seeking their approval. You are simply looking for advice on how you can do better.
When you think of criticism as feedback and ignore the criticism that doesn’t help you it becomes a good thing and not a bad thing. Just stay focused on your goals and ask yourself “Is this person’s advice helping me get closer to my goals.” If it’s not then it may not be worth listening to.
Fear of being a failure.
Failure can be a scary thing. We never set out to fail but anytime we try something new there is always the possibility of failure but is failing that bad. Not if we go into something with the right mindset.
Failure can be used to our advantage. Some of the best lessons in life come from our failures. We learn what we can do better next time. We also learn what not to do next time. Which can be just as important as learning what to do.
The best way to not fail is to never try but if we never try, we will never get better. We never want to seek out failure, but we can’t be afraid of it. We can always use failure as a positive to grow us and our abilities.
Many great entrepreneurs failed many times before becoming a success. Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people on earth, but he didn’t start as a success. Early in his entrepreneurial career, he started a company called Traf-O-Data. This company created a product that was supposed to process and analyze data. The product was not very good, and the company never made it off the ground. Bill Gates did not let this failure end him. He used his lessons learned from that failure to go on and create Microsoft and become a multi-billionaire. Don’t let the fear of failure be the reason you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
Fear of not finishing.
Sometimes the reason we don’t start something is that we don’t think we will be able to see it through to the end. When this happens, we just need to break the task into small chunks. Focus on finishing each chunk and before you know it you will have the task complete.
Fear of repercussions.
Potential repercussions can convince us to stay in our comfort zones. For example, you might be telling yourself “If I open up my own business, I could go broke.” Having this attitude could hold you back. There’s also a chance that if you open a business it could be a success.
There’s a risk involved with everything we do. You could walk out of your door and have a branch fall on your head. Does that mean you should stay inside? Of course not. There may be a risk but do the benefits outweigh the risk.
Don’t let the idea of the negatives that could happen stop you from receiving the positives. If you never step out of your comfort zone you will never know.
Fear of not being good enough.
Almost everybody has experienced the thought of not being good enough. You’re not the only one to say to yourself “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m not experienced enough” or “I don’t have what it takes”. These thoughts run through everybody’s mind.
The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is what they do with this thought. An unsuccessful person will allow this thought to stop them. They won’t even try. A successful person will turn this thought into motivation. They will allow themselves a chance to be wrong about it.
To quote Boss Baby “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Many times, you will surprise yourself with what you are capable of if you don’t let your beliefs limit you.
Tips to get out of your comfort zone and embrace personal growth.
You don’t have to jump in the pool right away. You can dip your toes in at first. For example, let’s say you’re uncomfortable talking to strangers. You can start by complimenting the cashier’s jewelry at your local grocery store. Once you feel comfortable with that you can work your way up to longer and more in-depth conversations.
Always praise yourself for even the smallest accomplishments but don’t be too hard on yourself if you couldn’t do it this time. Use this misstep as motivation for the next time.
Remember everybody has insecurities
If you are uncomfortable doing something, then chances are you are not the only one. Even if people look and act confident on the outside, they may be nervous on the inside just like you.
Think about tomorrow
Ask yourself “If I step out of my comfort zone is it going to negatively affect me tomorrow?” What about a week from now? What about a year from now? Most of the time the answer to these questions is no.
Typically, the worst that will happen is you might be embarrassed, or your pride could be hurt but that is only temporary. The best thing that could happen is you could be good and succeed. I like those odds.
Visualize yourself taking that step out of your comfort zone
Picture yourself doing whatever activity you’re thinking about doing. Always picture yourself doing the activity successfully. Smell the smells, hear the sounds, and see the sights of success.
With the internet, there is a wealth of information at our fingertips. You can look for information on how to perform the action you are having trouble doing. Additionally, you can find others that have had the same difficulties. You can find a wealth of knowledge on the subject.
Think of it as a learning experience
Don’t focus on how uncomfortable you are when you get out of your comfort zone. Instead, think of it as a chance to learn and get better. Focus on what you are learning about yourself and others. Use this information to make yourself better the next time you step out of your comfort zone.
Always stay positive
Just because you may be uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean you have to be negative. A positive attitude can turn anything around and will give an exponentially higher chance of success.
Find others for support
You don’t have to go at it alone. Friends and family are typically ready and willing to help you. This is no different.
Another great option is to find others with the same fear and help each other overcome it. For example, let’s say you and your friend are hesitant to speak in public. If you two find an opportunity to do it together you can encourage and give each other feedback. We are always stronger together.
You can also talk to people that have been in the spot you’re in. Ask them how they were able to do it. You can use them as a mentor to help you get out of your comfort zone.
We can’t expect to get any further in life if we continue to just do the same thing we have been doing. We need to push ourselves to see the biggest changes. Reaching your full potential involves taking some risks and taking that step out of your comfort zone.
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