“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
It’s sad when someone gives up on their dreams and more often than not, many of us throw in the towel for good way too early. Many times we end up in situations and we begin to bicker and get miserable forgetting one important point, we are the only ones that are holding ourselves back.
There are many people right now that are intimidated by you because they know your potential, they see what you can become. Instead of discovering and capitalizing on our talent, we keep it in reserve until we lose it.
After conducting my research I found that one in every five respondents stated that situations change and their dream of becoming the next big thing gets placed on the top of the bookshelf. “My child comes first.” “I’m getting old” “I am not sure that I want to do it anymore” and “I’ll do it later” are some of the top responses I received.
While there are many other reasons people give up on their dreams, today I want to focus on those of us who are simply afraid to step out of our comfort zone and define steps in which we can eliminate those self-created barriers.
Let’s start off by understanding the general concept of “comfort zone”; this is a border one creates around himself wherein crossing it attracts a feeling of anxiety or nervousness. This self-imposed barrier causes a life of misery because we do not want to take the step to taste the life we want out of fear of how others may react. How do you propose we can step out of our comfort zone? Consider the following steps:
1: Acquire Information
“Information is power” Yes, the saying is true! In order to have the breakthrough we always dreamt of, we first have to educate ourselves. Normally, we fear to step out because we do not know what might happen, we do not want to leave the luxury of safety and security for the unknown. So, what if we headed in the direction of learning about what we wanted to venture in? Learn the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages and the absolute worst case scenario for that venture. Speak to people who have experience or use the Internet to search for videos around the world of people who have gone through the same.
2: Build a Plan
“If plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet”
Now that you have spent all your time and resources in to acquiring knowledge, now is the time for you to build a plan. Planning is not with the intention to hurt your brain or defy all logic and reasoning, instead, it should be designed to be a step-by-step guide for you to climb out of your comfort zone. Start with the simplest tasks then gradually upgrade based on your needs and resources. This plan must also include benchmarks which are mini goals that help in your journey to climb out of your comfort zone. Also, this plan should state obstacles you think you might face and the solutions for each.
3: Baby Steps
Your breakthrough starts with one step in the right direction. By thinking about it as baby steps it takes a lot of pressure off you who might think you need to be an overnight success and benumb the feeling of relentlessness. You will also be able to steadily track your progress and see areas where you need to improve in instead of realizing the mistakes after you have invested a lot of resources.
4: Stay Positive
Easier said than done, right? Absolutely! Without a doubt, there will be times when negativity will creep up and show you why you shouldn’t have stepped out of your comfort zone. In these cases, you need to recognize that these situations will arise and allow nothing to block you from your ultimate goal. Try and build the mindset of deriving the positive from every negative situation. The negative outcomes that pop up can be showing you where you are going wrong and how to improve; they will only show you if you are looking for it.
5: Challenge Yourself
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy
In your journey to get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself so that you can push yourself more. This challenge is designed to help you build knowledge in your niche, set and maintain high standards and believe in yourself as you break down your barriers. The idea to challenge yourself is a way we can shock ourselves into getting out of the comfortable mindset and train our minds to journey into the unknown. You will be so busy focusing on this challenge; you won’t have time to fear what might happen.
6: Keep expanding your horizons
“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” ~ Christopher McCandless
There will be a time when you are now where you want to be, what do you do then? Well, that’s simple, keep expanding your horizons! Explore yourself and see what other things you are interested in and dive head into them. You might find something you actually love and these experiences might create opportunities you never knew existed. Never stop climbing out of your comfort zone!
Your big breakthrough will require you to first step out of your comfort zone but once you do so, you will realize the endless opportunities out there for you. Don’t let the little voice in the back of your mind dictate your life to you because when that overwhelming feeling creeps up on you, the only thing you will hide in is regret. Attack your fears head on and keep breaking down the barriers you confined yourself in.