Everyone has a comfort zone. Our favorite pajama pants, our favorite foods, our go-to tv shows. We walk or run the same trails, talk to the same people, and even travel to the same spots. There are a lot of reasons for this: fear, wanting to feel safe, or not wanting to be inconvenienced. Decades of our lives can pass by while we do whatever we can to remain comfortable, not rocking the boat, completing all life’s “shoulds”.
But then comes the day when we start to feel a bit trapped. That itch for freedom, for something unusual…something to make us a bit uncomfortable. When we start to step out on that feeling and do things that intentionally make us uncomfortable, life takes on a fresh zest. It can start with small things, like taking that painting class you have always had lingering in the back of your mind. Every time you take a small step, it makes the next one a bit easier.
Here are a few ways you can slowly leave your comfort zone, both in your personal life and in your professional one:
Kill The Routine. Routines are often instituted for efficiency, but over time they become as much about comfort as anything else. Switching up your routine in small ways can allow you to see things differently, shaking up your life by adding new vistas and people. These fresh additions to your life can kickstart ideas and bring dormant creativity to the forefront.
Lean Into Fear. The things we are afraid to do are often those things that can expand our lives, so when you feel afraid to do something, examine why. Lean into the fear, whether it makes you uncomfortable or not. You will make great memories and achieve a new level of personal and professional satisfaction.
Agree Against The Grain. Surprise yourself by saying “yes” when you might normally say “no”. Even if it doesn’t work out great, you will have learned something, and that is always a benefit.
Ask The Hard Questions. Have frequent, and open, conversations with your loved ones, your employees, and your clients. Ask those tough questions that nobody likes to ask. You will hear some things you don’t want to hear, but they will help you grow, both personally and professionally.
Grow Into Yourself. As you experiment, you will learn that you actually love things you never would have dreamed. Remember when you were young, and you would tell your mom that you didn’t like food you had never even tried before? She would say to you, what didn’t you like about it last time you tasted it? It would stump you, of course. She didn’t understand – you “knew” you didn’t like it. And then, one day, you actually did try it. Guess what? You loved it!
Life is like that, too. When you consign yourself to a comfort zone, surrounded by all the things you know you like, you feel in control, always knowing what’s going to happen.
But if you allow yourself to start taking small steps outside of this area, experience a little temporary discomfort, you will find that you love things you “knew” you hated before. Life, both professionally and personally, will expand. Who knows what might happen next!
I’m Anna-Vija. I love helping people find their happiness, improve their lives, grow their businesses, and thrive. Let’s sit down and talk about you and your business!