You’ve been told countless times that you must go beyond your comfort zone if you want to accomplish anything worthwhile. You may have noticed that’s a scary place to be. But there are ways to expand your comfort zone gently. It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you complete the journey.
Expand your comfort zone and your life:
- Start slowly. It’s the bigger changes that tend to stimulate feelings of discomfort. The thought of doing 50 pushups for the first time in five years is daunting. The thought of doing one isn’t a problem.
- Create small changes and then increase those changes over time. This is a great way to keep discomfort at bay.
- Eat something new. Most of us are a little hesitant to try a new food, but it’s a non-threatening way to stretch your comfort zone. Try a new restaurant or a new fruit from the grocery store.
- Read something completely different than your usual fare. If you’re a man, a book on feminism might be just the ticket. If you’re Christian, a book on the Muslim faith might shake things up a bit. Read something you would ordinarily never read.
- Take a new route to work. Better yet, don’t look at a map beforehand. Follow your instincts and see where you end up. Hopefully, you’ll make it to work on time.
- Unplug for an entire day. Turn off your phone, the internet, and the television. This will be more uncomfortable than you think.
- Sit in a different place. Sit on the couch instead of your favorite chair. Choose a different seat at the dining table.
- Strike up a conversation with a stranger. It doesn’t have to be a twenty-minute affair. If you can maintain a conversation for 30 seconds, consider yourself successful. There are plenty of people in the world available for practice.
- Ask your boss for a review. Tell your boss you’d like to sit down with him and review your performance. It might do wonders for your career and will stretch your comfort zone.
- Apply for a new job that’s a step up from your current position. You might feel like a bit of an imposter, but that’s okay. Worst case? You might get the position and a new career. Your bank account might even benefit.
- Call someone you haven’t spoken to for at least six months. Just pick up the phone and do it. You’ll feel great about it afterwards.
- Travel out of the country. If you’ve never travelled outside your home country, you might be in for quite a shock. The food, people, and culture can all be different. Apply for a passport and consider where you’d like to visit.
- Give yourself a thrill. Tackle something that makes you a little fearful. Go skydiving or ride a roller coaster. Give a speech. Take a dance class.
- Sit by yourself in silence. This can be tougher than you think. Turn off all your devices and just sit alone with yourself. Avoid allowing yourself to daydream. Just stay with yourself for at least 30 minutes.
Expanding your comfort zone opens up numerous possibilities. Think about how your life would change if your comfort zone were larger. It’s possible to accomplish this without the pain you might imagine. Stretch your comfort zone a little each day.