I can’t remember the number of times I’ve heard someone say…
“You need to ‘get out of your comfort zone’ if you’re really going to open yourself up to new experiences and truly live your life!”
But what exactly does this mean?
Most simply put, your “comfort zone” is the realm of things that you’re most comfortable with… the things that cause you little to NO anxiety whatsoever.
It’s the place that your core personality is doing what it does best and where you’re able to make your best contributions.
It is, contrary to some people’s ideas, not a bad place to be. This is where the “real you” gets to shine. You’re not stressed and you’re not anxious about outcomes.
Your comfort zone is also the best place to find peace and quiet. Your comfort zone provides the vessel for you to use meditation and reflection, the true power of “you.”
Not sure where your personal comfort zone is? Here’s how to find it…
1) Write down 5 things you excel at, that cause you no stress at all and that you truly enjoy doing.
2) Think about your “best” day, what it would look like, what it would sound like, what it would taste like. How would living this day make you feel?
3) Write down 5 traits that you most closely identify with.
4) Are you an introvert or extrovert?
5) Do you consider yourself serious or lighthearted?
6) What would your closest friends say is your #1 most positive trait?
This quick list will give you a really good idea about the kinds of things that are within your comfort zone.
Being in your comfort zone allows you to be truly focused and connected with who you are.
But what about all those people clamoring for you to get OUT of your comfort zone?
Well, as a matter of fact, they have a point too!
So, what’s lurking outside your comfort zone?
Lots of things.
People often suggest things like skydiving and bungee jumping to push people really outside of their comfort zone, but science tells a slightly different story.
You see, the closer you get to the true edge of your comfort zone, the more anxiety you feel. For some people, skydiving is only a little over the line, it gives them a good rush and some mind-expanding excitement.
For others, something like skydiving is just too FAR over the line, all the way over to panic.
The key is finding the sweet spot.
When you push the edge of your comfort zone, you start to feel anxiety, a little nervous, and anticipation of what’s to come.
That’s where the actual magic happens.
You see, when you cross that line (just a little!) you prime your mind and body for a new experience and you’re in what’s called “the learning zone.” And, if you repeatedly cross that line over and over again with that same experience, something remarkable happens.
The line moves.
So here’s how to find out what kinds of experiences and events fall just outside your comfort zone that will be incredibly impactful and educational.
First, write down everything that you’ve always wanted to do, but were afraid to try. Include everything you can think of… from writing a great novel, to the aforementioned skydiving, to starting your own business, or following your passion.
Then beside each of them, write down a number from 1 to 5. This is your fear factor. 5 being, “Absolutely NOT, never ever in a million years” all the way down to 1, which is more like “I’d like to try this, but it gives me a little quiver.”
No kidding, write down as many as you can.
The goal here is to find as many experiences as you can that are right on the edge of your comfort zone, so you can actually pick some that are in the sweet spot ~ the “learning zone.”
Once you find these, you can plan to methodically start crossing the line on the ones that you most want to do. If the mere mention of skydiving makes you want to throw up and hide in a corner, it’s NOT going to be the first thing you go and do to get out of your comfort zone.
And the science supports this, if you simply try to push the limit with something that almost causes you panic, the benefit of crossing the line out of your comfort zone becomes moot, and you can cause more harm than good.
So what’s the real truth about your comfort zone?
Just like almost everything else in the universe… it’s all about balance…
It’s about testing your own limits and trying new things to increase the size of your own world as you see it.
Do you think you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and follow your true passion in life?
Then I have a fun and free gift for you before I go…
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And if you have any other tips on how to step out of your comfort zone, please share them with our community in the box below. :)
*The Mind Movies team has updated this post on November 9th, 2020 to include the latest information for our readers.*
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.