8 Ways to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Finding That Balance Between Comfort and Personal Growth
by J.M. Troppello
I like things comfortable. My husband and I try to keep the air conditioning off for as long as possible in early summer until it just gets too hot and humid, and we can’t take it anymore. Once Fall comes around, we put the storm windows down and try to keep the heat off for as long as possible.
I tend to like being comfortable in all areas of my life—body, soul, and spirt. I don’t handle change very well. I get comfortable in the way things are and like my routines.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable. However, true growth happens when you are able to step outside your comfort zone. This is a life lesson that I’ve been learning the last few years.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
Consider the following 8 ways that you can step outside your comfort zone and experience true personal growth.
Make a promise to yourself that you will learn something new each day. Learning new things can help you to expand your horizons. However, it also helps you to cement your own convictions and beliefs. That enables you to have more confidence—yet walk with an open mindset—when you interact with others who are different than you.
Talk to people who are different than you so that you can gain a new perspective. Don’t live inside a bubble. This is true both in real life and online. When you ‘live in a vacuum,’ you are not influenced by outside information. That’s good and bad.
If you want to step outside your comfort zone and experience personal growth, you need to engage with others—even if you disagree with them. Of course, you need to find a balance in all things. I support only civil discourse and not having yourself belittled or scorned by someone else. Focus on engaging with people who are open to civil discourse and learning something new.
Learn how to enjoy being uncomfortable since that is what leads to growth. Again, you need to find a balance here. You can’t live emotionally and spiritually ‘uncomfortable’ all the time. However, when you find that sweet spot where you are challenged to grow daily, you’ll reap invaluable benefits in your life.
Offer grace to yourself and others throughout your ‘think outside the box’ journey. Your journey of self-growth is not going to be perfect. No one’s journey is perfect. That’s life. You need to be able to forgive yourself—and others—when mistakes are made. Offering grace is such a powerful thing to do and it is sorely lacking in our world today.
Move as fast or slow as you need to go in your journey of self-discovery. Don’t force yourself to step outside your comfort zone if you are not ready yet. Sure, you may need to force yourself to get moving at times. However, pushing yourself too fast and too hard can cause you to never want to step outside your comfort zone again. Remember, that even small steps forward are still progress in your journey to being a better human.
Congratulate yourself when you’ve achieved a goal, done something new, or stepped outside your comfort zone and did something you were afraid of doing. Embrace the progress. Relish in it. Then get ready to progress even further in your journey to step outside your comfort zone.
Spend time with people who want to step outside their comfort zone as well. Surrounding yourself with people who are on a similar journey in life, can help you stay motivated to keep going on your growth quest when you feel like giving up.
Truthfully evaluate your progress. Praise your successes. Admit your failures and then continue through your journey. Nothing positive and productive will come from your journey if you are not honest with your personal assessments. True and lasting growth comes from being brutally honest with yourself.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
“The biggest rewards in life are found outside your comfort zone. Live with it. Fear and risk are prerequisites if you want to enjoy a life of success and adventure.” Jack Canfield
If you truly want to step outside your comfort zone, these 8 steps can help you get started on your journey.
Each day you have choices to make. You can continue down the same pathway or find new ways to get things done. You have the ability to reset your mindset or continue in your old ways of thinking. The choice is yours. I hope you join me in choosing to step outside the comfort zone and become better people in our journeys together.
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
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