Personal Growth

How to leave your comfort zone? 7 keys to achieve it

If you are stuck in a gray life, you may live in a bubble called a "comfort zone".

Broadly speaking, the comfort zone is a mental state that does not allow personal growth and all those phenomena linked to learning behaviors that make us achieve a high degree of satisfaction with the way in which life is lived.

Although this comfort zone may seem nice (since it allows us to always keep the “autopilot” on), it is not a sufficiently stimulating place and in the long run, not leaving it can make us feel empty and fall into apathy or in certain behavioral dynamics related to depression.

Between you and me … what keeps you anchored there? Surely you’ve wanted to step forward, be brave and eat the world, but you have not. You may be suffering but you do not move a finger because you are in your comfort zone. If you are afraid and anxious about leaving the past to fight for what you have always dreamed, do not be so hard on yourself and leave the comfort zone. You will see that a new and exciting world awaits you!

Reasons why you should leave your comfort zone

Do you want more reasons to abandon the gray routine and go out there to pursue your dreams? Here I leave you six reasons why you should consider leaving the comfort zone.

1. It will make you stronger as a person

It is possible that leaving the comfort zone frightens you or causes you anxiety, but face fear and you will see that it was not so bad. Feeling insecure is something natural and even warns us that the road will not be easy. But when fear immobilizes you, then it becomes a problem that will not let you develop your true potential. Start by recognizing that you fear the uncertain future, but adopt a positive mindset about it.

Allow yourself to fall from time to time and see it as a part of growth as a person. If you leave the comfort zone and enjoy learning, over time you can look back and feel proud of yourself. Your personal development starts here, so think about what motivates you, is not it really worthwhile to take a step forward and fight for your dreams?

2. It will make you more creative

Leaving the comfort zone stimulates creativity by knowing new possibilities and breaking with what is routine. A study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology (2012) showed that students who spent a semester outside their country had higher scores on two tests of creativity than those subjects who had not studied outside.

On the other hand, another study revealed that the personality trait of “openness to experience”, one of the big 5is the best predictor of creative achievement. This personality trait is characteristic of individuals who tend to take risks, who challenge themselves or constantly try new things.

3. It will allow you to gain self-confidence

Leaving the comfort zone and taking the necessary steps to achieve your goals will have positive effects on your beliefs of self –  efficacy (or self-confidence), that is, on the perception you have of whether you will be able to reach your goals. This concept was introduced by the Canadian  Albert Bandura, one of the most recognized psychologists and who developed the  Theory of Social Learning: which explains the regulation of motivation and human action.

Therefore, leaving the comfort zone and putting yourself to the test will make you see with your own eyes that you master certain skills that will allow you to come out of situations that may seem complicated a priori. A perception of positive self-efficacy is associated with positive thoughts and aspirations about successful behavior, less stress, anxiety and threat perception, together with an adequate planning of the course of action and anticipation of good results.

4. It will help you to continue with your personal development

As young people, we are more prone to take risks, but as we get older we learn to fear failure, reaching learned helplessness and paralysis. This can be a serious emotional cost if we do not change the way of thinking because it can be an impediment to continue with our transformation towards greater well-being.

In his book “Self-renewal,” writer John Gardner says: “We pay a high price for our failures and it is a huge obstacle to our growth. This causes that our personality does not develop and does not allow exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty. If you want to keep growing, you must overcome the fear of failure.

5. You will meet new people and live new rewarding experiences

Leaving the comfort zone allows you to have new experiences, do activities that were not on your agenda and meet new people. This will allow you to have a more pleasant life and it will allow you to make new friends. You may even know the love of your life to get out of the comfort zone.

6. New challenges can make you age better

Study director Denise Park, a researcher at the University of Texas in the United States, concluded: “It seems that going out to do activities is not enough. It is important to go out and do activities that are not familiar and that are mentally challenging because they provide great stimulation both mentally and socially. When you are inside the comfort zone you may be out of the area of improvement.”

Some recommendations to achieve it

Of course, it is very easy to say but much more complicated to do so. However, although leaving the comfort zone is complicated by the very definition of this concept, it is not impossible. If you need some help or keys to get out of the comfort zone, you can follow these behavior guidelines.

1. Challenge yourself and make the most of

Leaving the comfort zone is an important aspect in personal growth because it is not possible to think that we will reach the place we want to reach by doing what is just and necessary and being immersed in the same routine as always.

Reaching new peaks involves the risk of doing things that are not so good or that cause us some fear or insecurity (at least at the beginning). According to a study carried out by a group of psychologists, a little anxiety can be positive to improve our performance and allows us to continue growing professionally. Therefore, convert those situations that cause anxiety in stimulating situations and no one stops your feet. Do not call him nerves or insecurity, call him “emotion”.

2. Think of your style of doing things … and act in the opposite direction

Look for situations that may force you to leave your comfort zone. Experiment with dance styles that you would never associate with your way of being, get involved in creative projects that force you to think differently, to experience challenging contexts to adapt to. If you intend to manage these changes, and these are not excessively extreme, this will make you more flexible and assume variability and changes better.

3. Look for material changes in the things around you

To do new things that you’re not used to, anything like exposing yourself to new environments. Physically novel, literally. The key is to propose you the objective of exposing yourself to novel situations, making the spaces in which you find yourself are others. Go ahead and change your way of dressing or decorating your house, move around different environments and, of course, travel as much as you can or even go live somewhere else, even for a while. This will get you an effect similar to that of the previous advice, only that in this case, instead of varying the situations whose meaning you would not associate with your person, you will do the same with physical spaces.

4. Anticipate all the excuses that you are going to put

Be aware that when you set goals that are uncomfortable within your comfort zone,  unconsciously you will be looking for a lot of excuses not to do so. Judge these excuses as what they are: inventions whose sole purpose is to rationalize the acceptance of comfort.

5. Extend more to meet new people

Do not you like talking to people? Force yourself to do it, even if the body does not ask for it. There is no need for dialogue to be perfect, nor for people to take the best image of you. Acting naturally everything will flow as it should, and it will be fun to check how easily interactions with others can work if you do not think very hard what it is saying.

6. Make your friends and family cooperate

If the people in your immediate environment know that you want to leave your comfort zone, they will help you achieve it and perhaps prepare you some “surprise”. Similarly,  Then take the initiative and undertake new and exciting projects, will support you and probably will show signs of support or admiration, which will serve as reinforcement.

7. Give your spiritual side a chance

Do you know the benefits of meditation or  Mindfulness philosophy? There are habits that improve our mood and free us from many beliefs that anchor us in our comfort zone. Develop a spiritual self and one of the most practical ways to achieve emotional well – being able to end the routine life. You can start by reading this collection of Buddhist phrase, maybe they inspire you.

Andy Johnson

Degree in Psychology from the University of Buenos Aires. Master in Human Resources and expert in business communication and coaching. Postgraduate in Nutrition and Sanitary and Social Feeding by the UOC. Especially interested in wellness and sports.

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