“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
Beyond your comfort zone lies what you really want: to grow, change, and live your life with passion. The problem? Getting there requires you to break out of your comfort zone, and going outside your comfort zone is intimidating. As scary as it is, however, pushing through your fear and getting out of your comfort zone is essential for growth. “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy
The below guide is a one-week action plan that you can use to break out of your comfort zone. Starting with these small steps will give you the confidence booster you need to eventually take bigger steps out of your comfort zone. By experiencing success with these small action steps, you will rapidly develop the momentum needed to make a breakthrough.
Follow this action plan for the next 7 days and you will be excited to continue stepping out of your comfort zone!Advertising
1. Do a random act of kindness
Is there a better way to start your week by pushing out of your comfort zone to do something kind for a stranger? I think not! Random acts of kindness are awesome. They make another person’s day start off great (and honestly, who doesn’t need a mood booster on Monday morning?). There’s also a benefit to your life. By doing kind hearted things for others and expecting nothing in return (no thanks, no praise, just you quietly doing amazing stuff), you feel great. It’s Monday, grab your caffeine and get out of your bubble… it’s time to break out of your comfort zone and do something thoughtful for a stranger.
Monday’s Breakthrough Tip: Pay for a coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.
2. Startle your taste buds
Coming out of your comfort zone can start in your very own kitchen! You can begin by experimenting with a new spice. Gradually you can progress to trying entirely new foods and perhaps some totally exotic foods. Some you might love, and others not so much, and that’s okay. How will you ever know if you don’t try them? The key is to start playing with different flavors and expand your palate. Instead of mindlessly creating the same boring meals from recipes you’ve used repetitively for years, start experimenting. Try arugula instead of spinach in your salad, mix a new refreshing drink, or buy some cheese you’ve never heard of (black bomber, anyone?).
Tuesday’s Breakthrough Tip: Use a new spice while cooking dinner.Advertising
3. Strike up a conversation
Strike up a conversation with someone you never talk to – either a stranger or an acquaintance. As always, be safe (avoid late-night conversations with strangers in dark alleys). Feeling awkward and not sure what to talk about? Pay them a compliment. Better yet, tell them their kids are super cute. Everyone likes that. You never know who you’ll meet; there are likely a lot of amazing people around you every day. Who knows, maybe the person who sits next to you on the subway every day will become your new friend.
Wednesday’s Breakthrough Tip: Compliment a stranger.
4. Say I love you
How often do we tell our friends and family members how much we love and appreciate them? I’ll give you the answer – not enough. Life is short, and too often it ends abruptly. Even if your family isn’t overly emotional and doesn’t talk about feelings, get out of your comfort zone and tell your loved ones how much you care about them. It doesn’t matter if your words are written in a letter, spoken over the phone, or shared in person. Just get your thoughts out of your head and share them with those who are dearest to you.Tell them how their influence in your life has made you who you are today.
Thursday’s Breakthrough Tip: Send a card to a relative stating why you’re thankful for them.Advertising
5. Take one baby step
According to author Joseph Epstein, “81 percent of Americans feel that they have a book in them.” There are hundreds of millions of people who apparently aspire to write. If you’re one of them, start today by setting tiny goals. If you dream to write a book, write 2 sentences today. If you have different aspirations, take a baby step in a different direction. If you want to go back to school, sign up for one class this semester. If you want to eventually run a marathon, set an initial goal of walking 5 minutes. You just need to start putting one foot in front of the other. Looking ahead at your overall big dream may be overwhelming and far out of your comfort zone; breaking it down into small chunks will significantly decrease the intimidation factor.
Friday’s Breakthrough Tip: Consider a big dream you have that is out of your comfort zone. Break it down. Set a tiny starting goal you know you can accomplish and do it today. Repeat this daily.
6. Scan the ads
Look through the newspaper and your local community education flyer. Are there any upcoming events or classes that picque your interest? Taking a class, even if it’s just a couple hours, can be out of your comfort zone if it’s something completely new to you. By learning a new skill, you just might stumble upon your passion. A friend of mine stepped out of her comfort zone and signed up for a random glass-blowing class a couple years ago, thinking it would be a fun way to kill a few hours. She absolutely loved it. So much, in fact, that she’s considering decreasing her hours in the healthcare field (she has a doctorate degree and an excellent career) to spend more time glass-blowing. She started by returning to the studio to take more classes, then began selling items she created to family and friends, and now her work is being featured in a store front.
Saturday’s Breakthrough Tip: Sign up for a local workshop to learn something new.Advertising
In today’s always “on” society, where we have instant access to all kinds of information, and we’re constantly connected to social media, it can be uncomfortable to turn it off. Yet disconnecting from your phone and internet can spark true connection with others, and give you time to reflect. Many people have a continual “fear of missing out,” and are attached nonstop to electronic devices…but does it really matter if you turn off your social media for a day? Is it seriously important for you to know what your friend from 20 years ago had for breakfast? No, it’s not, but nevertheless, unplugging in today’s world can feel uncomfortable and out of your comfort zone. Developing a habit of unplugging one day per week, as difficult as it can be, can promote mindfulness and true connection with the people who matter most in your life – those that you actually spend time with in real life, not just online.
Sunday’s Breakthrough Tip: Have everyone in your family place his or her phone in a basket on the kitchen counter, where it will stay all day, turned off. Then go out and spend the day doing something fun as a family. Actually talk to each other in the car, and spend time having fun for the sake of having fun. Don’t take pictures with the intent of posting them on social media. Just be.
You’ve done it! You’ve officially survived a full week of spending time out of your comfort zone every day. Way to go!
You will do great things if you continue to have the courage to take bigger and bigger steps out of your comfort zone!
Featured photo credit: Peeking Out/Simon Turkas via flickr.com
Last Updated on September 12, 2019
12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life
Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.
While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:
What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?
Here are 12 things to remember:
1. Recognize That It’s Okay!
The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.
However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.
We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.
Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It
2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide
You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”
Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.
3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth
Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.
Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!
4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think
Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.
No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.
5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer
Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.
Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.
6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now
Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.
Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.
Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable
7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best
Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.
Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.
And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.
8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious
When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.
Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.
9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason
Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.
Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.
Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.
10. Journal During This Time
Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.
This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.
11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way
It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.
The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!
Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.
12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists
The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.
Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.
When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.
Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!
Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.
Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.
More About Finding Yourself
- How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person
- 14 Books That You Should Read When You Feel Lost In Life
- Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again
- How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Now
Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com