Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be a healthy risk that reaps hefty rewards. There are multiple ways to do this without tipping the scales too much. Keep in mind that sometimes, getting the most out of your optimal anxiety can mean increased productivity, but too much can wreck you. Controlled anxiety differs from the crippling stress and anxiousness that many people fight with every day. Everyone’s comfort zone is unique. What may thrill you may scare off another person and vise-versa.
Here are some ways to get out of your comfort zone (without going too far):
Do things differently on a daily basis.
Take a new route to work. Listen to a new song or podcast on the way. Experiment with a novel operating system. Try a new recipe. Whether the change you’re making is big or small, shake up your day-to-day routine. Look for the best outlook that follows change, even if it comes from a negative event or interaction. When things don’t work out the way that you planned, try to find the good within the situation and see how you can turn it around.
Think about your decisions.
Slowing down can make you feel uncomfortable— especially if you value a more fast-paced lifestyle for your career or personal obligations. Take a minute to pause and see what’s going on. Process and fully understand what you’re seeing before deciding to act. Pausing to make an intelligent decision can also drive you out of your comfort zone. Think, don’t just react. This can help you to gain invaluable perspective, especially in emotional or sensitive situations.
Take a chance and make snap decisions.
There’s a good reason for us to contradict ourselves here. Just as there are people who succeed on making decisions quickly, others are more comfortable pondering all the options repeatedly. This puts them in a seemingly endless cycle of continued questioning. Making a quick decision can sometimes be essential to gaining momentum. This can help you get your personal and business projects started and encourage you to trust your own judgement. It will also show you that there are results to quick decisions as well as those that take longer to make.
Step outside of your comfort zone slowly.
Getting out of your comfort zone requires a lot of courage. It is okay to do this slowly in order to acclimate. When you are anxious about life, don’t presume that you have to be bold and gregarious. Be patient with yourself. If you are in a public setting and feel like you need to initiate conversation with people who intimidate you, start small. Say hello to a couple of people and see where the conversation may lead you. Afterward, ask yourself how it went and note how you can improve next time.
Reflect on your experiences and apply those lessons to your daily activities. Then do something new and interesting. If you can, make it a habit (every week or every month) to try something new. It can be difficult to try unfamiliar activities at first. It is important to know how to break the mundane routine. By expanding your comfort zone and challenging yourself, you broaden your horizons.