Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, even the phrase sounds intimidating, right? As a task, it seems pretty overwhelming and just downright scary. But, I’m pleased to say that it’s a definite snowball effect once you start. With momentum and ever-building confidence, every challenge will help you get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learning how to push yourself out of your comfort zone will bring with it so many opportunities to experience, learn and evolve, a chance to build invaluable trust with yourself and the ability to push yourself so much further than you ever dreamed possible. Sounds pretty good, huh? Let’s get into it.
“I have realized; it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most. That I see and feel who I really am, the most! I think that’s what a comet is like, you see, a comet is born in the outer realms of the universe! But it’s only when it ventures too close to our sun or to other stars that it releases the blazing “tail” behind it and shoots brazen through the heavens!” – C. JoyBell C.
Let go of expectations
My first tip when it comes to how to push yourself out of your comfort zone is to let go of any expectations. It’s human nature to predict things, so I’m not telling you to completely switch your brain off, but to stop attaching so heavily to those predictions. Having an expectation going into something will be the first thing to trip you up if you’re trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you think too highly of something, you’ll be disappointed. If you think to low of something, you’ll likely dread/worry yourself into not enjoying it no matter how it goes. It’s a mindset shift that you need to do here that encourages you to be open and accepting of a situation. To do for the sake of trying, experiencing and curiosity.
One thing you can do here is to try and look at everything as a win-win situation. Let’s say you’re going for a job interview, maybe the role’s a little ambitious for you or something you’ve never tried before.
You can either fix your sight on one good outcome and think “It’ll be terrible if I don’t get this job”, “I’m a failure” or anything of the like, or you can choose to be open to the benefits of any outcome, “Okay, if I get the job then that’s excellent, that’s exactly what I wanted. But, if I don’t, I’ll take the experience and lessons the situation has given me, I know new interview questions that I might be asked in another interview, I’ve made some connections and maybe a different opportunity will come from all this anyway.”
Whatever result you end up getting will be a positive to you somehow, even if it’s just that you needed to pass that point to get to somewhere else. As you push yourself out of your comfort zone more and more, you’ll build trust in yourself to make the most of whatever opportunities and outcomes come to you. Every time you leave your comfort zone, it’s pretty likely something in your life will change because you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before. So it’s important to be open to change and practised at making the most of whatever’s in front of you. Whether it’s perspective, a physical change, people, places, chances – whatever, be open to it.
Step number two for how to push yourself out of your comfort zone is to get curious. My advice here is to approach everything from a place of curiosity, from wondering ‘what if?’. It’s a way of making the approach a little softer, so no matter the outcome (seeing a pattern yet?), you’ll have enjoyed the process and learnt something. It’s so important to do things just for the hell of doing them. I think for a long time I was always so results-based that I would do something because I thought it would give me this result, I thought it would make me feel this way, I thought it would allow me to do this in the future. And there’s nothing wrong with the ambition behind those, but sometimes it’s just fun to do things for no reason. Life is short, why not?
Build your confidence
Step three for how to push yourself out of your comfort zone is to build your confidence. If you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone regularly, then this is something that will come naturally over time. Start small. Sometimes we get overly ambitious and knock our confidence before we’ve even begun. So start doing little things. Pushing yourself in small ways every day. Maybe that’s saying hi to strangers on the street, maybe that’s speaking up more in meetings or at school, finding a new hobby, sharing an interest with a friend. Whatever you try, make sure to try often, to take whatever outcome you receive with as much positivity as you can fathom and to continue trying.
Ask other people
This can be really really fun. Especially if you have a friend who’s also trying to push their comfort zone. Trying new things together can help you build your confidence, stick with whatever you’re trying and feel supported in your efforts. This is also a great chance to start making connections with people to increase your exposure to new things. Ask friends about their hobbies and see if you can get involved, tag along to events and do the same in return – having a new perspective on your own interests might help broaden your view.
This also helps to build really nice relationships. When you do more active things with people, especially if they’re things that frighten the bejeezus out of you, can help build trust, communication and strength in a relationship – be it friendship or otherwise.
But, you can seek this out beyond the people you know. Seek it out in every interaction, experience, opportunity. Try new things, learn, connect, experience. From what you consume online, to the kind of places that you go. Open yourself up to the world. Find new places to walk your dog, seek out new music, try new genres of shows and books, talk to new people and encourage a friendship with them rather than letting them walk on by. The more ‘new’ you expose yourself to, the richer and more varied your experience of life becomes.
Have fun, experience everything and let nothing hold you back. That’s the best advice I can give. Not only is it the nicest way to experience life, but you, when you’re enjoying yourself, are you at your most open, most active, and most likely to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I hope these tips have been helpful in encouraging you to push your comfort zone. I think it is such an amazing thing when people start to do this more, you’ll find yourself growing and changing, learning more and more about yourself and the world. Meaning that 1) the more confident and able you get, the bigger awards you end up reaping and 2) it’s what we’re built to do (I think, anyway). We’re built to challenge, to innovate, to create, to push evolution and society to the next level – it’s what makes us human. The more you push, the more fulfilled you’ll be.
Get out there 🙂 Love, Ella-Rose xx