Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Do you ever find yourself wishing your life had something more exciting in it?  A person, an experience – anything to break the monotony that we often find ourselves in?  Well, they say that wishing consumes as much energy as planning – and it’s true – wishing really gets us nowhere beyond fantasies that seem so much better than what we’re actually living.  We’ve all had the experience of being in a “rut”, when it feels difficult or even impossible to break out of our old habits, but a rut is really just a psychological phenomenon.  So if life is what you make it, how do you make it better?

Most of us are afraid of change in some way.  We have a lot of changes thrown at us these days; changing technology, changing economic, political and earth climates, not to mention our daily lives which are filled with personal changes like jobs, births, deaths, relationships beginning and ending etc.  With all these changes we can’t control, it’s no wonder we do our best to have a tight handle on what we DO control, and before we know it, we’re living in a safe little box that’s nice for awhile, but gets old pretty fast.

**Tips for Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone**

1.  Write down what your fears are.  Fear is what holds us back and paralyzes us from living the life we actually want.  Acknowledging your fears and being honest with yourself is a great way to start getting out of denial.  It’s hard to admit we’re scared, and it takes courage to admit this.  You’re already on your way to breaking out of your comfort zone by admitting your fears, whether you have a fear of public speaking, flying, committing to a relationship, being alone etc.  Face the reality of who you are and recognize only you have the power to change it.

2.  Try something new – in small steps.  Try a little something that takes you out of your everyday routine.  It could be as simple as walking a different route to the subway after work.  As you’re walking, really open your eyes and look around at the constant change before you – you are an integral part of these changes, big or small.  If you’re afraid to be alone, go and see a movie by yourself – it may make you feel slightly uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get over it as you get used to being with just yourself.  Don’t be afraid to feel something new – it means you’re growing inside as a person and reaching towards your full potential, which is a positive thing.

3.  Try striking up a conversation with a stranger.  This can seem like such an uncomfortable and daunting task to a lot of us, but underneath our hardened exteriors, we really are the same inside!  Remember when you were younger and your grandparents or parents would say “hi”  to a someone – even if they didn’t know each other?  Strike up a conversation when you’re in line with someone at the post office – even if it’s just to say, “Can you believe how long this is taking?”  Go to a singles event, such as a speed dating event, where you get the chance to talk to a lot of strangers all in the same predicament as you.  Or go to a wine tasting, or a walking tour.  That way you will have similar interests that you can immediately converse about.  You’ll find that most of the time people are happy to have an interaction with someone else – humans need interaction – and if you don’t get the response you were hoping for, it just means you are more comfortable than they, and this shows you’re making progress.

4.  Don’t try to fit in – be yourself.  Not only do you cheat yourself when you’re not being who you are, but you cheat those around you and degrade your experiences with them.  Be sincere, and be proud of yourself, warts and all!  Self-confidence will help you trust yourself in new experiences.

5.  Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to try, or things you’ve always wanted to know about.  Now do them!  Find a way, take a friend to make it less scary, but once you get yourself in the habit of trying new experiences, you will actually be able to embrace and love the feeling of trying something new.  The feeling of accomplishment you experience will do wonders for your self-esteem, you will meet new people along the way, you’ll have things to look forward to, and wonderful memories as well.

Life is ABOUT change, and it’s up to you to either embrace it and reap its benefits, or be scared of it and not grow as a human being

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