Stretch your comfort zone – 5 healthy ways
They say the comfort zone is a nice place, but nothing ever grows there. It is by doing new things that we can learn and grow. Pushing a comfort boundary can assist with your personal and career growth and advancement. But the challenge is that pushing boundaries involves both uncertainty and risk, and that can produce anxiety. So how can we stretch or comfort zones in healthy ways, so we that benefit? Here are 5 tips we have assembled for you.
- Start reflecting on your own boundaries
It’s useful to start by thinking about where your boundaries are, and to make a note of them. What things are you comfortable and sure doing and saying? What things make you feel a little less certain? How can you take small steps into the less certain?
An example would be attending a networking event on your own, if you usually only go to events when a colleague or someone else you know will be there. Or, making a commitment to meet a person you do not know at that networking event, in place of ‘being busy’ at the refreshments station or on your phone to avoid having to strike up a conversation!
- Make a confidence list
Make a list of things that you would say to someone if you were more confident. Practice what you would say and how you would say it, so that when your moment does arrive, you speak with confidence. Be compassionate and share what is on your mind.
- Change something
This is a simple one – take a routine you have and change it. Try a different route to work, order a different kind of coffee, choose something new on the menu, move some items of your office or home furniture. This helps to shake your mind of ruts you have fallen into, says Liz Ryan.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
Take responsibility for your actions, and learn from what you do. Apply what you learn. The more you develop and enhance your insights and skills, the more confident you will become at pushing your comfort levels, even if it’s in small ways.
- Don’t feel you have to do it all alone
Why not work with a friend or a colleague on this, diving into a ‘muscle-building’ project together?
Your comfort zone gets bigger every time you step outside it. Empower yourself and go after the life and career you want. Here is a great infographic to motivate you further on this topic.
“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal”. Robin S. Sharma
What will your new normal to be?