When you see those inspirational quotes that encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, how does it make you feel? Do you stop and think about your current job, career, relationship, business, living conditions, or health? Is there a moment when you silently wish you could step out of your "comfort zone," if only for a minute? If so, them maybe your comfort zone is really uncomfortable.
Your comfort zone is a psychological phenomenon or state of mind. It's a situation in which everything is known, it's easy, it's routine without struggle, risk or need to learn something new. You're safe and comfortable. While there's not wrong with that, and most aspire to a comfortable lifestyle, if there's a little voice telling you something's off or that you want more you're not really in the comfort zone.
To grow, learn, and reach new heights in your life or career you have to break out of the status quo. You have to take occasional risks because it's in those moments that you stretch the parameters of your zone. It's the fear of the unknown of what will happen to you if you dare to leave your zone that keeps you in the discomfort. Yep, it's that "better the devil you know then the devil you don't" phrase people love to repeat.
However, if you want something you've never had, you gotta to do something you have never done. But how do you do that? How do you sit in the discomfort and wait for the magic?
I know personally that it's not a piece of cake to leap out of the proverbial pan in what seems like a roaring fire. I knew for years that I didn't like academic administration but the title, prestige and salary were all quite comfortable. It was definitely a matter of the devil I knew. But as I sat prisoner in my little zone, I watched with awe and wonder at the magic that was happening around me by people who dared to jump, pivot and take risk.
So, I had to reframe how I thought about my zone and what it meant to leave it. It required a three step process to get there, and let me say it didn't happen overnight. Paradigm shifts take time, but are worth the process.
I had to get real and push back on my fear and ask myself where it was coming from. What stories have I told myself, my messages have I heard, what lies have I believed and accepted them as my truth? By examining and deconstructing my thought process I was able to get to the core belief I was holding. It was a simple as, "I can't do that".
Once I got to the core of what was holding me back, I had to reframe my thoughts. The key to reframing is to NOT judge yourself or be nasty to yourself because of your belief. Understand that your belief most likely comes from a place positive intention, to protect you. However, I had to explore the truth and veracity of my belief and start to brainstorm other options. I remembered those times in my life where I thought I "couldn't do it" and I not only did it but was successful at it. After this process I began to see the possibility of leaving and moving out of my zone.
As I examined each possible reason to pivot and leap out of my comfort zone I asked myself if it was an option I could live with. This allowed me to dream. I asked myself what I really wanted, why I wanted it, what would it mean once I had it, additional resources that I would need, and would that experience be preferred over my current situation.
I confidently stepped into the next chapter of my life equipped with additional knowledge, greater confidence, and improved lifestyle. Now I inspire and coach others to do the same.
Are you feeling the discomfort of being trapped in your comfort zone and want out? Schedule a call and I'll help you discover your blocks and way to move forward.
Here's a great article on why your success may depend on leaping out of your comfort zone!
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