Stepping outside your comfort zone

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Get your goals | 0 comments

Are you playing small? Do you tolerate situations that don’t serve you? Have you been stuck in a rut?

As humans we inherited a predisposition to avoid risks and play it safe. This made sense when everyday life was harsher and more perilous.  Most of us are not in that situation, yet the bias to avoid risk remains.

The temptation to play it safe has a significant impact on career. It’s the reason we stay in jobs we hate. It’s the reason we aren’t earning enough income to thrive. It’s why we think about making that big change and don’t actually make it.

We’re more comfortable in our comfort zone. Or rather, we’re comfortably uncomfortable in our comfort zone. (Let’s be honest, it’s not really that cozy there, but at least it’s familiar.)

So you’re here, reading this post, and my guess is you’re at least thinking about stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s become less comfortable, or maybe you’re just ready to go big.

Some of the benefits of stretching your comfort zone include:

  • Boosting your confidence
  • Increased productivity
  • Building resiliency
  • More creativity
  • Innovation
  • Skill-building

In most situations, the benefits of stretching your comfort zone outweigh the risks.

Your comfort zone

This November I decided to get outside my comfort zone by participating in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing MonthThe goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s an average of 1,667 words per day!

Participating in NaNoWriMo is helping me prioritize writing, create a writing habit, and make significant progress on my book.

I’m stretching way out of my comfort zone with my writing. Not only am I writing more, I am working on a project clouded with self-doubt.

I’ve already seen benefits of participating, even though I haven’t hit the daily average and my overall word count is short of the goal. My confidence around writing my book is increasing. I’m making great progress on my book project. I’m building great relationships with other writers.

comfort yields complacency

Stretching outside your comfort zone is easier than you think! Here are some ways to get started:

Stretch in Community

You can stretch your comfort zone in supportive communities like Toastmasters, NaNoWriMo, and mastermind groups. There are lots of communities to support you in your personal and professional goals.

Join a Challenge

Find a virtual challenge related to the area you want to stretch. The prompts, tips, and tools in these types of challenges can make it easier to get started!

Practice Self Care

Stretching outside your comfort zone uses up more resources than your usual routine. Take extra care of yourself and give yourself a break as you stretch!

Start Small and Practice Daily

A simple daily practice can have a huge positive impact on your health and well-being. Start a short daily practice of meditation, gratitude, or other healthy habit. Five minutes a day, every day, makes a BIG difference!

If you want a better, bigger, bolder life, you’re going to have to stretch! Are you up for the challenge? Leave a comment and tell me how you’re stretching!

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