Updated: Aug 19, 2021
What is a Comfort Zone?
A comfort zone is referring to a psychological state in which an individual can feel safe. We all have one. This comfort zone fulfils our need or certainty, One of the most powerful Six Human Needs. When we’re in the comfort zone, we know what to expect and instantly know how to react and feel we have some control over current and upcoming situations and feel peace knowing what is expected.
When we leave the comfort zone, we will feel out of control and in an unfamiliar situation. In these situations, the brain hasn’t created the pathways to act accordingly to unfamiliar situations as a result, we may feel fear and anxiety. However, learning to leave your comfort zone is essential.
When should we leave our own comfort zone?
First lets ask, why we like to live in our comfort zone? Put simply, we prefer it as we have a low amount of stress, reduced anxiety and a good feeling of our general well-being thanks to a measurable amount of stability. However, this repeating cycle will leave you with a feeling like you’re in a holding pattern. That’s because growth and uncertainty are also part of the Six Human Needs. It’s a paradox as too much certainty won’t fulfil our need for growth and new experiences. But too much uncertainty can lead to anxiety and lack of productivity.
The ability to move away from our comfort zone in a regular and positive manner allows us to strike a good balance between certainty and uncertainty. Pushing boundaries can compel you to be more productive, adaptable and creative. As you aim towards your personal boundaries, you begin to train your brain to adapt to new situations and create new neural pathways that make you a more efficient decision-maker which in turn makes you a better problem-solver and leader.
Some tips to leave your Comfort Zone today…
If you aim is to find a way to break down the barriers and take the first step in leaving your comfort zone, you must first learn to control your natural instinct of fear and anxiety. These feelings are perfectly normal when you find yourself facing a difficult situation or when trying out new things. So lets begin.
1. Find Your Balance
To start moving out of your comfort zone, you first need to reflect on yourself and realistically find out what your tolerance for risk is. If you are familiar with the world of finance and investing, you will know that this is a very important part of decision making. For those who aren’t, you may be surprised to learn that most believe they’re more risk tolerant than they actually are. This is because many people also don’t know their risk tolerance because they haven’t faced a difficult situation. To find your baseline you can try to determine your driving force or maybe taking small steps towards something you consider risky till you find your balance.
2. Master Your Emotions
Please understand that mastering your emotions is not repressing them, they actually do the opposite. A lot of studies have shown that people who are able to easily leave their comfort zones may have more control over their emotions than those who stick to repetitive routines and remain creatures of habit.
They have managed to decode and understand their feelings and ask themselves “What is this emotion telling me?” When you leave your comfort zone, anxiety is normal. This can be a great thing as it enables you the chance to acknowledge it and then move past it.
3. Develop a Growth Mindset
Growth is essential for all of us because this enables us to strive to reach our full potential. The most successful people in the world have a deep need for growth that pushes them to leave their comfort zone in search of new things. This is called having a growth mindset meaning that humans can improve their skills. However, there are those who have a fixed mindset, who don’t believe that they can improve themselves and may not bother to try. Believe me when I say, this is common for a lot of people. I was very much like this before and its normal to go back to it sometimes. But when you develop a growth mindset, can start to learn new skills and develop your own desire to master those new skills. What is even better is when you start to get satisfaction from learning and accomplishing new things.
4. Start Small
Starting small is the best way to start. You don’t need to aim too high, too soon. A great way to start small could be communicating with your co-workers’ if you haven’t spoken to them before or take a different route to work. You could start to think about new habits that turn your ability to leave your comfort zone into something that feels second nature and part of your daily routine.
5. Find Like-minded People
Surrounding yourself with the right people can be a great way to not only move away from your comfort zone and get motivated but it can also help you grow. People with a growth mindset challenge themselves to be better and do better so if you surround yourself around these types of people, this may result in a mentor or a group of supportive friends. Especially when you centre yourself around people who also celebrate your accomplishments as they can help you learn from your failures and can enable you to be the best you.
6. Accept Failure because it happens to all of us
The fear of failure is one of the most common fears that can hold us back from achieving greatness. When you look at the best actors, athletes or business people, you will find they have all failed at one point or another and clearly show that they don’t let failure hold them back. They know with every failure there is a lesson but you must start to leave your comfort zone in order to find it.