Your comfort zone is the place where you feel secure. You feel safe in your knowledge and your abilities. There’s nothing to challenge you or to make you uncomfortable because you’ve got a handle on everything.
But what you don’t realize is that while you’re safe in the comfort zone, you’re missing out on all that you were intended to do and to be as a person. You’re just out of reach for the pinnacle of personal satisfaction.
Step 1: Get Honest About What You’re Missing Out On
Your comfort zone is a cushy place to be. There’s definitely no danger of failing here – no chance that you won’t ever be good enough. But you could be using your comfort zone as a sort of hidden excuse as to why things aren’t changing in your life.
Maybe you don’t think what’s out there can compare to what you have in your comfort zone. Or perhaps you don’t really know because you haven’t been honest with yourself.
There’s a price to pay for being in that zone, and it’s time to get real about the high cost of being there. When you stay in your comfort zone, you miss out on what you could gain if you were out of it.
Staying in your comfort zone means you only have the success that you currently have.
You don’t level up. You never achieve what you could, and you never get to step onto another rung in the ladder of success.
It’s like being on a treadmill or a hamster wheel. Life is moving, but you’re still in the same place. In your comfort zone, you might have told yourself that you’re perfectly content with everything as is – but deep down, you know that you long for something more.
That’s your subconscious telling you that you were built for more success than what you’ve settled for. It’s time that you face yourself with some honesty and take a look at the opportunities that you missed because you didn’t want to step outside of your comfort zone.
It’s only when you look at what could have been (or what still could be) that you’ll realize the price you’ve paid for existing in the safety of your comfort zone. You need to look at all the things those opportunities could have done for you or the doors they could have opened in your life had you been willing just to take a step forward.
When you look at these opportunities that you didn’t take, it’s going to make you uncomfortable. It’s going to shake you up – and that’s good news.
You need to be shaken up.
Beware of all that was lost in the past so that you don’t make the mistake of staying put again. You need to make your comfort zone so uncomfortable that you can’t stand to be there another second longer.
Surely, you benefit in all areas of your life when you step outside your comfort zone. You can achieve far more than you thought you ever could. You’ll find career success, relationship success, and personal satisfaction–gain knowledge and skills. Learn exactly what you’re capable of. You’ll know that stepping out of your comfort zone didn’t fail. Gain expertise, and you’ll grow and be better prepared for when the next opportunity comes your way.
Step 2: Map Out a Series of Bite-Sized Action Steps to Implement
Everyone is nervous at the thought of leaving behind what’s familiar to them. That’s why a comfort zone is so aptly named. You feel comfortable there. Safe. Capable. In your element.
Leaving it behind means you’re making a change, and the majority of people in the world don’t like change. It shakes up their feelings that all is well with them. People get agitated when anything tests them beyond their current capabilities.
Change is resisted because it’s a growing process, and growth can hurt.
One of the worst things you can do when you’re about to leave your comfort zone is to think you should just jump in and race to the goal.
If you do that, you’re going to end up overwhelming yourself, and it will be too tempting to want to create another, more secure comfort zone. Taking on too much at once when you’re out of your comfort zone is the reason that many people fear it.
It’s too much to do, too much to learn, too much everything – and you’re right. When you leap, trying to make massive, sweeping changes, fear, and uncertainty sets in.
Self-doubt then rises, and you can reach the point where you feel so paralyzed that you won’t do anything. There is a key to leaving your comfort zone in a way that’s good for you – one that can help you reach your goals and chase whatever dream it is that you have.
You need to forget about leaping.
Leaping into the unknown is not only scary, but it’s also not very wise. For example, leaving a good-paying job when you have absolutely no savings just because you want to start your own business working from home isn’t a savvy move.
Take small steps to make whatever it is you want outside of your comfort zone to happen for you. That might mean that you stay at your job for an additional few months until you can put that savings safety net in place while you also start working on what it is that you want.
That’s not stalling – that’s being financially wise. You need to make sure that you come up with small goals for you to accomplish that feed into your bigger goals. Each goal that you do successfully reach will encourage you to continue to come out of your comfort zone. Create action steps that make your goals happen.
Step 3: Get Prepared for the Implementation
Action steps are what move your life from one point to the next. Without having an action plan, you really can take the long route to reach your goals – if you even reach them at all.
These steps make implementing the path outside of your comfort zone easier. For example, if you wanted to learn how to play an instrument professionally, but you know you’re rusty, you’d make an action step of finding a tutor.
You’d take lessons.
Then you’d practice. You’d play for some small venues while keeping your bigger goal as a larger venue. Each small goal should feed into your end game goal.
Studying, practicing, and adding to your knowledge are all keys to implementing action steps to level you up in life. Action steps give you a more unobstructed view. When you study which steps you need to take, it helps you make decisions that can prevent mistakes.
This gives you kind of a skeletal outline of where you’re eventually going to end up. It pulls all your ideas together and tells you which way to go. A blueprint willed with action steps allows you to realize the best avenue to take to go after what it is that you want.
Each step keeps you accountable for the next level.
You can’t reach step D if you haven’t first completed step A. If you’re a newbie in a business venture or niche, learning as you go can be a good thing.
But there will be times when you’re going to have to study to decide what to do next. It could be that you don’t have the right knowledge, which means you need to find someone who does.
You need to invest some time in learning the next step you need to take before you move forward again. While following your gut can be a good thing, just winging it isn’t always practical – or advisable.
It’s a given that you won’t get everything right the first time you set out on your adventure. This is where practice comes in. You’ll have to practice what it is that you want to do until you’re familiar with everything you need to know.
It might be that you need some more education about a particular subject. You can take lessons from others who have walked that journey before you. You can take classes, read instructional books, return to school, or whatever it is that you need to do so that you have the foundation of knowledge to assist you in your endeavor.
When you study and practice and have the knowledge that you need, these things work together for you to not only be able to implement action steps but to know when the timing is right for you to make your move. You’ll be able to take whatever steps are needed to make your dreams a reality.
Step 4: Study Your Competition
You’ll always want to study your competition – whether you’re a startup business, you’ve been in business for a while or you’re just contemplating starting your own business in that niche.
Study your competition by looking at their social media sites.
Pay attention to what their customers are liking or disliking. See what the conversation is about and how the competitor is reacting to the customers – especially when the customer is complaining.
By looking at your competitors, you can define their strengths – but you can also spot their weaknesses. Doing this is like gaining free lessons in the art of business success.
You can implement into your own business what the competition is doing right and avoid what they’re doing wrong.
When you study the competition, you can find out what it is that customers are looking for but not finding.
You’ll know what it is that makes them happy about a company and what makes them upset enough to leave. You can then adjust how you’re building your business to be a better model than what they have.
When you take a look at the competition and compare it to your business model, it allows you to see areas where you might be lacking. It could be that they have a similar skill to offer customers and the competition is doing better than you.
By studying them, you might find that it’s because the competitor has a better return policy – or maybe they excel in customer service. Use this knowledge to improve what you’re doing.
You want to stand out in your business.
Do that when you know what your competitors are doing and where they’re lacking. For example, if your competitor is boasting that their items (which are in the same field as yours) are less expensive, yet their shipping costs are outrageously high, you can use that to point out that your company offers better shipping deals.
You use your research to highlight what’s better about your business versus theirs. By knowing your competition, you can figure out where you need to create an advantage.
You need to see how others are running a business. This is probably the best method of understanding how to run your own operation. By seeing how your competition is doing things, you can find easier ways to do the same in your own business.
Find less expensive ways to do it or ways to improve customer relations. You might be able to study the competition and come up with methods that are easier or see that it makes sense to do them your way instead.
Create a customized action plan of several strategies pulled from your competitors’ methods that will propel your business ahead of theirs. Abide by ethical protocol and don’t rip off someone else’s ideas, but learn to enrich your efforts based on what you see competitors excelling and falling short in.
Step 5: Surround Yourself with Positive Vibes
Very few things have more influential power over us than the people we interact with most. Make sure this fact is working in your favor instead of against you. Get inspiration from people who are doing what you want to do. You get to see all the little things that go into their accomplishments. Study their habits and question your own in turn.
This doesn’t work as well if you are not able to look critically at yourself. In fact, if you are used to being around people who are stagnant and petty, your first reaction to a real achiever might be pressure, jealousy, or insecurity. If you can push past these things and admit everything you have to learn, a world of possibilities opens up before you.
Start by choosing a guide.
This is can be any person with whom you enter into a relationship under the stated pretenses of learning about what they do. A good mentor will be patient and understanding of your learning process in a way that other random acquaintances are not. They will also question you, call you out, and point you in the right direction. It is up to you to respond accordingly to such criticism. This can turn out to be the first step towards many changes in what you look for in all future relationships.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is an important decision not to be taken lightly. If you want to live your life to the fullest, you must let go of fear and be willing to change your beliefs. The sooner you start to change your habits the farther you will go.
Should You Fake It ‘Til You Make It?
One of the elements behind the saying is that if people believe in themselves and their dreams, then they will make it. Many people lack self-confidence so they stay in their comfort zone and don’t venture out to chase after what they really want.
The idea of faking it until they make it can help people who are nervous and unsure take the steps needed to succeed.
The concept works for them because by faking it, they can keep attacking a goal until they have the skills or knowledge that they need actually to achieve results.
It can help some people develop habits that lead to success if they enlist a habit of pretending to be already achieving the results they’d like to see. By acting or faking it, they then eventually becoming what they’re aiming for.
This helps people gain the ability to believe in themselves. While some people are okay with the idea of faking it ‘til you make it, other people don’t like entertaining that idea.
To them, the concept feels like they’re acting – and they don’t enjoy the feeling of being a phony. These are people who usually take a harder look at themselves, and they prefer honesty over faking anything.
While you can fake it or not, you don’t have to actually fake anything.
You can simply be truthful with yourself. Acknowledge the fact that you’re going after your dreams despite what you feel inside.
You can admit that even though you’re nervous and unsure that it’s okay to feel that way – because you can still move forward, and you can still make it even when you’re not that confident.
Do what you’d like to do in life despite not being what you need to be or having what you need to have at the moment. You will eventually find the knowledge, the skills and the self-confidence you need to overcome any obstacles in your way.
So chase your dreams – even if you’re scared – and just be honest about the journey from the first step and onward. The way you look at your comfort zone will make all the difference in whether or not you succeed.
If you’re someone who idealizes the comfort zone and craves being in the safety and monotony of what that has to offer, then you’ll find it difficult to ever move past it.
But if you begin to label the comfort zone as your enemy – an obstacle holding you hostage – rather than a safe space for you to turn to, then it helps motivate you to set higher goals and then implement action steps to achieve them.
The most successful people on earth never have the ultimate goal they wish to achieve. They’re constantly and consistently reaching for new heights – never feeling comfortable with where they’re at now, but always looking forward to where they might go with just a little more effort.