Have you thought of pushing yourself beyond your normal work routine? What comes to mind when you think of being uncomfortable to fulfil your purpose? Imagine being in a scenario where you have to put in extra effort to get comfortable. You might have been in the same job for ages, but just the thought of doing something else is enough to make you break out into a cold sweat. Whatever it is, your contentment can be simultaneously comfortable and limiting.
This is a situation I have found myself in for many years. I am a shy person who finds it hard to meet new people and interact with them. To overcome this I downloaded a social app like lunch club to see what kind of offerings exist in my area. My main aim was to read about different groups, pick one to start from, send an email to get familiar with people and network at the same time. Slowly by slowly I’ve made this my new routine hence less scary to adopt.
Treading out of your comfort zone can be uncomfortable — here’s how to make it easier:
1. Getting Comfortable with Discomfort
Create a norm of stretching yourself beyond what you are comfortable with. Go the extra mile by stretching your mind, spirit and goals. One way to develop within your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Build a habit to avoid running away from discomfort. Whatever your objective is, keep in mind it is okay to suck at new things. Embrace failures, criticism, flaws and the challenges that come with stepping outside your comfort zone. You’ll get better with time. When you challenge yourself to strive towards a higher level of your abilities, you also increase your overall well-being.
Nurture within yourself a growth mindset that says “I am willing to” — explore new things, acknowledge & embrace imperfection, and stop seeking approval from others.
Develop a sense of purpose by taking a moment to ask yourself, “is my life purpose-driven?”. If yes, define what your purpose is and how you want to achieve it. It’ll help you pinpoint the skills and knowledge you need to fulfill your end-results.
Gather the courage to be disliked, misunderstood, rejected, and even mocked. Hiding around people and around life will never bring any growth or confidence. The more you cling yourself into your comfort zone, the more your self-esteem deteriorate.
As Dr Clark said -“Getting comfortable with discomfort requires practice, and starting small can be an excellent way to cultivate the tolerance we all need to keep at it.”
2. Learn and Apply
When developing yourselves you read books, learn from others, research extensively, consider the value of information but, never apply some of the lessons. You should strive to read at least one book a month that will sharpen your skills, and apply one principal from the book to your life over the next month. Keep learning by practicing continuously, asking questions and reaching out for help when necessary. This helps cultivate healthy habits and enables as stretch ourselves as a routine.
3. Turn Failures into Lessons
Most people are so afraid of failure that they would rather not go the extra mile than take a chance at their dreams. Each person experiences suffering, failures, rejection and all sorts of setbacks, but not everybody comprehends or accepts these as part of life or part of the growth process. Every project, business, relationship you start will not always succeed but if you view turn failure into lessons then nothing will stop you from starting the next thing even if the previous one was a failure.
You should ask yourself what you learned from the experience. Was it a failed project? Did you get fired from your work? Were you betrayed by the ones you treasure? Use the experiences as lessons and consider them as an opportunity to grow. View it as a chance to increase your chances of success and not as a prison. When you adopt this technique of thinking, you won’t grind to a halt regardless of what life throws at you. Getting out of your luxury and embracing failure along the way is vital to thriving in a world that’s fast changing.
4. Find Your Stretch Mentor
We should begin with an awareness of who we are by identifying our strengths and weaknesses. These would help as reach out to mentors to act like a sounding board to test our ideas, plans and goals. They’d push you into uncomfortable situations by providing advice and feedback.
Stretch mentors are vital in our lives because they’re people who will tell you your flaws as it’s. They are people whom you trust and not competing with. Important as they are, you need “stretch mentors,” people that helps determine where you’re, draft a vision board and complete your wheel of life to enable you meet your desired goals effectively and efficiently. Trying to live up to our own standard is a hard thing. Give consent to your stretch mentor to hold you achieve your goals and standards.
5. Visualize The Future
One of the principals I believe in is having a big picture of the results I would want to achieve to assist me in making my results real. Visualizing the future isn’t a vague wish or dream or hope. It’s an image of the important results of your real efforts. It creates the energy and may form the change to happen. For you to get out of your comfort zone, create a vision board to inspire you into action, act as practical guides for creating plans, setting goals and objectives. In doing so, it allows you to be open-minded, get out of your normal daily box and begin to stretch out of your well-being. Thinking those thoughts allows for committed action.
6. Take One Small Step at a Time
New changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. You may find yourself rejecting them and trying to return to your old ways. Imagine coming up with a daily schedule of waking up at 5 am daily to start your day by exercising and ending your day at 9 pm daily. What will you do to keep the momentum successful? The best way to handle this is to start by identifying the, very small step.
Don’t worry about all the other steps. Just take the first one. Then choose the next one. And the next. And the next. Be patient with yourself as well as curious and understanding. We are all works in progress. The point is to progress.
It’s quite obvious that some of the best things in life are comfortable. As individuals have evolved, we’ve sought out environments and tools that provide us with maximum comfort in order to reduce stress and create safe spaces. However, luxury isn’t always what’s best for us, and may cause personal or professional stagnation.