How to step outside your comfort zone…

Signpost with comfort zone one way and freedom the other

This time of year is all about stepping out of your comfort zone. But have you ever wondered what it really is? And if you’re not sure, how can you know if you’re in or out?!

Signpost with comfort zone one way and freedom the otherLet me explain. Living life in your comfort zone looks a bit like this. You feel okay, life isn’t brilliant but it’s not too bad. In fact, you could describe it as ‘fine’.

Most women know that if someone – normally a man – asks if everything is okay, when you reply with “fine” it’s anything but fine. What exactly can be wrong then?

Your comfort zone could be better described as everything we know, the ‘norm’, the life we lead every day on automatic pilot.

Moving into the ‘scary’ zone

However, we do know that in order to be, do or have something different in your life you have to step outside your comfort zone. This means venturing into the unknown, into the ‘scares-me-to-death’ zone.

Now, however uncomfortable life is in the comfort zone it’s not as scary as the unknown. Our mind created the comfort zone to keep us safe, because anything outside our norm creates fear of being in danger. And who wants to live a life in danger?

For some, the mind has created a scene that is far too unpleasant, fraught with complications and filled with danger, so they opt to stay just where they are.

But if you step into that unknown space and break through your imaginary fears and barriers, what lies ahead is something bigger and better than you could ever imagine.

See also  September: a month of change?

If you have that tingle of restlessness here are some tips to help you move out of your comfort zone and into a new normal:

  • Acceptance. This is the first golden rule. Fear, doubt and worry are part of the package that comes with the territory of wanting something more, so accept that what you are experiencing is actually normal and work through it anyway.
  • Vision. Create a compelling idea of what you would like life to look like on the ‘other side’ of your comfort zone. Exercise this vision muscle every day by recalling this image. The more you think about it the stronger it gets – this will see you through the tough times.
  • Trust. Everything will be okay, you simply need to take new daily action that is going to take you to your new destination. Be warned though, all sorts of things will crop up to send you straight back to where you started, simply because you like what you know and new stuff can be daunting.
  • Stay focused. Learn to ignore the symptoms of fear. You could have a niggly illness, a fall, headaches – I can guarantee the moment you decide to change your life the curve balls will arrive to test you really want to pursue your new destination.
  • Be prepared. Expect the unexpected. If you acknowledge these are positive signs that great changes are ahead it will help you stay on course. Have a posse of friends, mentors and your most loyal supporters to cheer you on and give you the support you need to see you through these trying times. It’s incredibly difficult to do it alone (although it most certainly can be done).
See also  Asking for support through menopause

Woman holding her hands in the air in success against a backdrop of a city at sunriseIn the world of successful entrepreneurs there is always a breakdown before a breakthrough and oh boy what great rewards await if you have the courage to see it through.

Lots of people shrink back just on the edge of greater success. If only they could hang on for just a little longer they would see what amazing things lie ahead.

The other thing to remember is that energetically the universe loves a vacuum, so when you let go of something that no longer serves you, it is filled in an instant. The problem is most people fill their minds full of ‘what ifs’. What if I can’t do it, what if I’m not good enough, what if people laugh at me, what if I can’t pay my bills,  what if, what if, what if… you could put almost anything after those two words.

But here’s a thought. What if it’s the best thing you ever do, what if you find amazing success you never knew existed for you, what if you discover a skill that has been overlooked for years?

The what ifs the other side of your comfort zone are full of amazing gifts you will never discover if you listen to those imaginary voices keeping you safe and small.

Go on, try it. After all you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Find out more…

About Michele Walsh

I’m a qualified coach and NLP practitioner, using my 17 years of business experience to work with women in business, combining a strategic approach with creating the right mindset to help businesses grow and develop.