Having a routine can be great, but if you are stuck in a rut and afraid to step outside your comfort zone you could be limiting your life choices – both professionally and personally.
Our comfort zone is where we feel safe and at ease, and for many people it means the same daily routine of waking up, going to work and returning home. Sound familiar? If you rely on a routine like this and feel settled in your comfort zone ask yourself where is it taking you? Is this routine going to challenge you to reach new boundaries, achieve new goals and feel great about yourself? The answer is most likely no!
Step outside your comfort zone and you can develop the confidence to do whatever you want – from launching a new career, learning a new skill, meeting new people or taking up a new sport. The possibilities are endless.
The first step is to learn to break away from your comfort zone, even just for a few hours a week. Start by being aware of what is outside your comfort zone and slowly add in something different. Whether it’s plucking up the courage to chat to more people in the pub, enrolling at night school or joining a gym, just take it one step at a time and slowly your confidence will grow.
It sounds easy, right? Stepping out your comfort zone is easier said than done and there are lots of reasons why people are scared of changing their familiar routines:
- “I’m scared of failure” – if you have tried something new and it didn’t quite go to plan it can put you off ever wanting to try again. The trick is not to try and reach too far too soon. Take small, realistic steps to achieve your end goal and eventually you will get the result you want. No one ever prepared for a marathon by running 26 miles on the first training session. Build up slowly, step out of your comfort zone little by little and remember that no one has ever become a master at something without having to overcome a few failures along the way. It’s having the confidence to carry on and overcome your setbacks that will set you on the right path for future success.
- “I don’t have enough time” – it’s so easy to talk yourself out of trying something new and stepping out of your comfort zone by blaming a lack of time. If you genuinely want to make changes in your life and develop the self-confidence that will come when you step out of your comfort zone you must make time. Try incorporating your new challenge into your daily life, so if you want to get fit why not walk to work (or get off the bus a couple of steps early). If you don’t have time to study for a new skill in the evening try fitting it into your lunch break. The more confident you get, the more likely you are to find time to step out of your comfort zone.
- ‘I’m happy the way I am’ – if you are happy in your career and life, in general, that’s fantastic but it’s still worth stepping out of your comfort zone to give something a go. It will develop your self-confidence and help you to feel even better about yourself and who knows where it could take you? You could end up earning more money, meeting new people (even the partner of your dreams), losing weight and getting fit, learning a new language or travelling the world! The most successful people didn’t get to where they are now without taking on challenges and pushing themselves to try something new or go that bit further. From Olympic athletes to famous artists, success doesn’t come from sitting back in your comfort zone. A little healthy stress can help you grow and develop within your work and home life. It’s all about pushing your limits and discovering new things.
Try stepping out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you.