The fears we don’t face becomes our limits. – Robin Sharma
Change can be difficult. We’re creatures of habit and strive to feel comfortable and safe.
Hence, when it comes to achieving goals, many of us fall short when it gets difficult or uncomfortable.
If we want to grow personally and professionally we need to get ‘more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.’
In other words, we need to learn how to stretch ourselves and expand our comfort zone.
Getting out of our comfort zone is a necessary step toward building confidence and achieving our goals.
However, to do so we need to learn to embrace failure, make mistakes, and manage distress.
This article will provide five suggestions to more intentionally confront fear and expand your comfort zone.
1. Educate yourself about the unknown
We tend to stick to our comfort zone because we fear the unknown. On the other side of our comfort zone is uncertainty which can lead to anxiety and avoidance behavior.
So, a good first step to expand your comfort zone is to learn more about the change or new direction you want to take.
What do you need to learn to help you feel more in control?
What do you need to learn so you can be more prepared and know what to expect?
Who can you talk with that has been through what you’re experiencing?
Who can you talk with that’s accomplished what you want to do?
Select a few books to read, podcasts to listen to, and talk to as many experienced people as possible to get well-informed and clear about your fears.
2. Create a plan to face your fears
If you’re going to stretch your comfort zone, you have to eventually confront the things that hold you back.
You have to step to the edge and face your fears.
So first off, list your fears and worries and get very clear on the obstacles and limiting beliefs holding your back.
What obstacles could prevent you from achieving your goals?
Once you know what’s getting in your way, whether it’s internal or external resistance, identity how you can deal with these obstacles.
What specific action steps can you take to remove each obstacle?
The plan should be a step by step process on how you will confront each of the challenges and obstacles.
3. Attach values to your goals
When we’re faced with obstacles, we need to maintain motivation and persevere. For many people this relates to the ‘why’ behind their goal.
We need a meaningful and significant reason why we want to achieve something.
This can come from creating values-based goals. Make sure that your goals are important to you and relate to what you care about.
Consider how your life will improve after you accomplish your goals. What will the payoff be?
How will achieving this goal make you feel?
What specific benefits will be attained from achieving this goal?
Answer these questions so you can have a reminder for why it’s worth stretching yourself and getting out of your comfort zone.
4. Learn to fail forward
Think about a time when you failed after doing something new or taking a risk.
How did this failure affect you? Did you you learn and grow from it?
Or, did it leave you confined in your comfort zone, afraid to ever brave the unknown again?
If you’re ever going to grow as a person and achieve big goals, you have to step out of your comfort zone. You need to start treating past failures as a learning opportunity.
Failure is going to occur, so use it to move forward.
If you need help, you can hire the services of an experienced life coach who can provide guidance for reaching your goals, make sure the life coach is experienced or has completed a life coaching course.
5. Track and adjust your habits
We are creatures of habit, and having a consistent routine can help us be more efficient and effective.
However, sometime our routine is the exact reason we stay the stuck and don’t stretch ourselves. Make sure your routine is helping you achieve what you want, and isn’t keeping you circling around the same track.
The best way to tear down routines is to switch up your timetable in a calculated, meaningful way.
You can start by adjusting your morning alarm time, changing your route to work, changing a few key relationships, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or adjusting your meal time.
These changes are seemingly inconsequential but they can help you be aware of your habits. Start to track your habits so you know if they’re working or not.
From here, you can be more intentional about what habits to alter to help you make progress toward your goals.
Photo by Jason Hogan on Unsplash