Wanting to be comfortable is an inherent human desire. It's normal not to want to leave your comfort zone. But the painful truth is that staying in your comfort zone will almost always hold you back from achieving your highest goals and dreams. Whether your goals involve mastering certain yoga poses, getting a promotion or a new job, reaching an educational level or making it big as a musician, you will likely need to stretch beyond your comfort zone to bring your dreams to reality. The great news is this: You can do it! And so much more.
Of course, stepping outside of what's familiar is going to be stressful, but as long as you're not going into a full meltdown and you're able to healthily manage the stress, it's a good thing. You may need to take baby steps. If you're afraid of heights you may prefer to start with standing on a third floor balcony before visiting the Empire State Building or going skydiving. There is nothing wrong with taking baby steps. Overwhelming yourself is not the goal here. Getting used to being uncomfortable and learning to push past the discomfort to reach your dreams is what you want.
In case you were wondering what it looks like when staying within your comfort zone is holding you back, here are a few signs to look out for.
- Extreme Boredom. There is a whole world of interesting things out there for you. If you're bored all the time, chances are that you're not being fulfilled and could stand to look outside of your norm.
- Envy and Jealousy. If you find that you look at everyone else and wish you could be so bold or doing some of the same things they are, you might want to try stretching past what feels comfortable for you. You too could be living your dreams and accomplishing great feats.
- Plenty of Excuses. Have an excuse for everything? A reason why you can't or shouldn't or would never? Excuses are just reasons to stay comfortable. Drop the excuses and start doing.
Once you have decided that you don't want to be beholden to your comfort zone, that you want to take a more active role in achieving your goals, it's time to get moving. Here are three simple and active steps you can take to begin moving past your comfort zone and start manifesting your desired reality.
1. Visualize and Affirm
Stating your intentions aloud will do wonders for your mental and emotional strength. When you offer affirmations out loud, you're preparing both your subconscious and unconscious mind for your future successes. Take the time to visualize yourself having already reached your goals. Coupling visualization with affirmations increases their magnitude and puts you in the right frame of mind while opening you up to the many unseen opportunities that await you.
Practice may not always result in perfection, but it will always result in progress. Practice makes progress. Step out of your comfort zone whenever the opportunity presents itself. It doesn't matter if the step has nothing to do with your overall goal. Stretching out helps you to build your confidence. You will need this improved confidence to more fully stand in your future and your purpose. The more you step outside of your comfort zone, the more comfortable you will become in that space.
3. Know Yourself
You want to be realistic without being overly critical. Don't criticize yourself unfairly, and always look for solutions. Here's an exercise to try. Write down the things that make you fearful or hesitant about reaching your goals. Write down the things that you need to do that are outside of your comfort zone in order to get where you want to be. Once you have your list, start providing solutions. Make a plan for conquering your fears and ways you can push your self-imposed limitations.
Remember, our comfort zones are self-imposed and even more often, they are learned. But you are free to break the patterns and behaviors that you have learned or placed on yourself. You have the power to do whatever you set your mind to. Just give yourself some time and the space to step into your destiny. We are all waiting for you, because no one can do what you do, the way you do it.