If you’re working on expanding your comfort zone, there are ways to help yourself make it easier.
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What Is Your Comfort Zone?
When you’re safe and warm and cozy in your self there’s a good chance you’re living in your comfort zone. Situations feel familiar and are easily navigated with minimum stress. There are limited challenges to your thought processes and this can become a problem when you aren’t stretching yourself anymore.
You can reach a comfort zone in your exercise routine or working life. You can find yourself stagnating and not really reaching to learn more, do more, or be more. If you are a cook, you can see the analogy in this way. When you first cook things you normally start with simple recipes. But as your skills improve, you want to try something else that will be a little fancier, a little more challenging.
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
Many people reach the boundary of their comfort zone and begin to feel discomfort because what’s on the other side is new, strange, possibly painful. But stepping beyond your comfortable place is so important for you to grow. What does it mean to step beyond?
You’ll be challenging yourself and what you can do in the world. You’ll see the barrier and be able and willing to stretch past it. If you run a half marathon and want to train for a marathon, you’re stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone. And through your training and any additional support you get yourself, you are expanding your mind and what it knows it is capable of.
You may have a 401(k) plan at work. But if you want to control your own money in a retirement account, you may decide to open a Self-Directed IRA for yourself. This means you can take charge of investments, purchase real estate, support Bitcoin, and more, all on your own terms. This can push you to learn more about your opportunities, stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone and expand your mind.
Why Should You Bother?
So why should you bother to step outside your safe space? It’s important to always keep learning, always keep doing. If you’ve read every book by one author, you don’t only reread those books. You find another author whom you might like, and you try it. You read fiction, learn about Napoleon and Waterloo and decided to read some history books about the era. Why? Because you’re brain has been interested in something, awakened its curiosity, and it’s worth pursuing.
Your personal growth is more than reading self-help books. It should be about implementing the ideas that work for you the best to expand your comfort zone. Journaling every morning can be an easy way to start looking for things you can stretch. When you pour out your brain first thing in the morning onto paper, it opens space for your brain to think up new ideas – something new to learn about, or a new skill to try, a new language to learn. Or maybe a way to expand what you already do. You write poetry but want to write memoir. You run 5ks and want to run 10ks.
Being willing to learn something new and stretch your learning muscles also makes it easier when you have to learn a new skill in another area. Say your company needs you to learn another language? You can start immediately on an on your phone. If you’ve been fitness training and want to expand to ballroom dancing, you can apply those skills you already know to what you do next.
Finding The Edge Of Your Comfort Zone
When do you know that you’ve reached the end of your comfort zone? How will you know if something is crazed and dangerous, as opposed to the next logical step? If you’ve meditated regularly, you will likely have a solid idea of what your edge looks like. It will be where discomfort starts to rub against you and you have to expand yourself to see what you want to do next, what you want to learn, do or be.
Think of your comfort zone as a circle and everything you know or do is inside it. Are there other things that interest you? Would you love to learn to create oil paintings? Make a Baked Alaska? Embroider a coat? Enter a Pro-Am? Those things that you want but haven’t gotten to yet should feel a little scary. And it should make you excited to try it. The comfort zone is where you start. As you move through this to growth and success, your whole life will expand as well.