You’ve definitely been told at various points in your life that you need to break out of your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe you’ve been at a restaurant and have been nervous to try a new dish. Maybe you’ve been in the same position at the same job for too many years, and now it’s time for a bigger change. In any one of these cases, it’s probably time to break out in order to really succeed.
You simply can’t find new successes without trying new things. That’s not to mention that studies have linked breaking out of your comfort zone with increased productivity, creativity, and lowered stress.
Even though it might not appear to be “comfortable”, there are some painless ways to step out of your comfort zone:
Take baby steps
Even US Olympians and Navy SEALs rely on baby-steps to achieve their huge goals and step out of their comfort zones. That’s because Harvard research suggests that breaking down your goals into tiny, daily steps is the easiest way to reach those huge successes.
Rather than jumping into the deep end (literally or figuratively), take a few steps out of the shallow end today. If you’re thinking of opening a business, for instance, Forbes suggests you “interview one business owner.” Before you know it, you’ll have taken huge leaps and your comfort zone will be a faraway distant memory.
Ginny Rometty, CEO of IBM, once said “The most important thing for any of us to be in our jobs is curious.”
If you’re not sure where to take baby-steps, take a page from Rometty and be curious. Everything from a new cooking class to attending a conference at work is a great step towards demolishing your comfort zone. That’s not to mention how being curious and learning new things has attributed to the success of numerous moguls, including Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey. Once you start stepping out and gaining new success (and fun experiences), you’ll realize your comfort zone isn’t so comfortable after all.
Scare yourself once a day
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Roosevelt was right on the money. A great way to make a habit of breaking your comfort zone routines is to do something that scares you every day.
So how scared should you get? The New York Times suggests finding your Goldilocks Zone – the area where you’re not so scared that your completely unproductive, but still achieving more and breaking boundaries.
As they put it “The objective is to reach that optimal level so that our skills increase and we become comfortable with that new level of anxiety — then we’re in an expanded comfort zone. And ideally, we will get more used to those feelings of “productive discomfort” and won’t be so scared to try new things in the future.”
We want to hear your tips!
Start breaking out of your comfort zone, right now, by sharing your tips with The Tribe, and picking up some new ones along the way.