Ways to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

The comfort zone is called that for a reason: it feels safe and secure. But, living in your comfort zone doesn’t offer much room to grow. Good news—getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be scary or unachievable. By starting small and prioritizing your goals, you can set yourself up for success and experience new ways to grow in many areas of life.   

Start Small 

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your comfort zone won’t expand exponentially after one attempt at breaking out of it. The beauty of working on your growth is that you can try several things or practice the same techniques multiple times to ultimately find what works best for you. It doesn’t take monumental actions to see progress, so give yourself permission to start small and gradually work toward where you want to wind up. 

Set Specific Goals 

What do you want to achieve by getting out of your comfort zone? Common motivations are to experience less fear and anxiety in social situations, to be better perceived by strangers, and to improve soft skills to advance our careers and improve relationships. Define your motivations and expectations, then use the S.M.A.R.T. method to set achievable goals.  

Find Support and Accountability 

It can be easy to let your goals slide when you’re the only one who knows about them. When you’re ready to get out of your comfort zone, you might need some accountability to follow through. Consider sharing your goals with a friend, asking a co-worker to join you, or adding your new objectives to your performance goals at work. People with an accountability partner have a 65% chance of reaching their goals, and a 95% chance of success when they regularly share their progress.  

Practical Practices 

If you struggle with networking, attend an event with an attainable goal of how many people you’d like to meet. Rather than focusing on a large number, break the goal down into smaller numbers. If meeting two people feels doable, start there. When that feels easier, stretch yourself to meet four people, then six, and so on until you reach your ultimate goal. 

If initiating communication makes you nervous, take small actions to mitigate the negative feelings. It’s not necessary to bombard someone with information, but perhaps you can send a message ahead of time to plan a discussion. Chances are your co-workers want you to succeed and will likely be open to answering your questions, but you have to make the ask. The more you practice, the easier it will become.  

Avoiding new responsibilities may be your kryptonite. Failure may be your fear, but failure is a learning opportunity. Look for areas where you want to gain more knowledge, be honest about your current understanding and capabilities, and ask for support to attempt new tasks.  

What’s been your experience with breaking out of your comfort zone? Share your success story in the comment section below!  

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