It’s amazing how quickly we can let ourselves set up camp in our comfort zones; they’re so comfortable, after all. Safe. Predictable. We know exactly where we stand when we’re there — like being the big fish in the small pond. There’s no fear when we’re in our comfort zones… but unless you do something that scares you, nothing ever changes.
You see, the problem with comfort zones is that, by definition, they don’t challenge us. They don’t encourage us to grow or change or do anything different than what we’ve already done and what we already know. The problem with comfort zones is that they are not where greatness is forged.
If you want something different…
If you have an awesome dream that you’d honestly like to see become your awesome reality, it’s not going to happen while you’re in your comfort zone. The ONLY way that dream is going to happen is if you learn to start pushing yourself out of that same-old, same-old cocoon that you’re so familiar with and start doing something different.
If you want something different in life, then you have to take risks. You have to be willing to be scared. And you have to actually go out and do what you’ve never done before. There is NO other way to make something big happen for yourself. There is no other way to make a big dream come true.
Get out of your comfort zone!
In order to push yourself out of your comfort zone you can either take the cannonball approach and try something HUGE, or you can take the toe-dipping approach and ease your way into things with smaller excursions out of your zone of familiarity. But either way, you have got to make a decision, once and for all, that you’re going to make it happen.
And with each expedition out of your smothering comfort zone and into the unknown, you will gain confidence to try something else. More importantly, you will also gain the desire to continue trying new things and expanding your capabilities.
How I moved out of my comfort zones
For me, joining Toastmasters was a first step out of my comfort zone in my quest to become a better speaker. And with each speech that I did, I had to battle my panic attacks – the sledgehammer pounding of my heart against my rib-cage, the Sahara-dryness of my mouth that made it almost impossible to speak, the almost certain feeling that I was going to throw up.
But with each speech I made, and survived, I gained new skills and, more importantly, new confidence to try it again. In one of my recent speeches, I had someone tell me afterwards that I was a “gifted speaker”. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I could never have become a good speaker had I not been willing to move out of my comfort zone and do something that scared me.
Likewise, when I submitted my first guest post to a site other than my own, I was consumed with feelings of insecurity and doubt. Would the person like the article? What if they hated it? Worse, what if their audience hated it? What if no one left any comments at all? What if they laughed at me and thought I was just an insignificant newbie with no real credits to her name?
I’ve since been published on the web sites of two Hay House authors, on the blogs of two best-selling authors, and on two of the biggest and longest-lived LOA sites around. And I’m now starting to get people I submit new material to asking me “Didn’t I see one of your articles on so-and-so’s site?” So yeah, I’ve got “street creds” now, but none of that would have happened had I not pushed myself past my self-doubt and done what I was afraid to do.
Do something that scares you every day
So, now it’s your turn: what are you holding yourself back from doing because it’s too uncomfortable? What could you do today that would push you closer to your biggest dreams, if only you could get over your own fears and give it a try? Pick something and give it a try. In fact, do something that scares you every single day this week! And watch how much it starts to change your life…
photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo