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7 Exciting Things Will Happen When You Step Out From Your Comfort Zone

7 Exciting Things Will Happen When You Step Out From Your Comfort Zone

Are you at ease in your comfort zone, too scared to step outside even though you’d really like to? Or do you love excitement but need to know what actually can happen if you start something you wouldn’t normally do? Well, this post is for you.

Don’t feel bad because you think this way. Changing your familiar routine is a difficult thing to do. When you can accomplish it, though, the benefits will be huge. Get ready, because after you read these 7 exciting things, you’ll be brave enough to venture outside your ordinary, every-day routine. Why? Because amazing things happen just outside your comfort zone.

First, though, just what or where is that comfort zone?

Each person’s comfort zone is the area of their life where they can function with a minimum of stress and a maximum of security. Anxiety levels are low and contentment levels are high. Here, we know what to expect.

Comfort Zone Diagram

    You feel comfortable in this environment. However, to increase your performance levels and try new experiences, you’ll need to introduce a dose of controlled anxiety and stress into your life. Situations where stress levels rise somewhat, are found just outside the comfort zone. This is where you’ll reach your highest potential and live a life of purpose.

    Your aim should be to stay in the green zone above. If you place yourself under excessive pressure, performance will suffer. Creativity will be stifled.

    There’ll be times, of course, when you’ll want a break from challenging yourself. Simply retreat to where you’re most comfortable.

    Why is it good for you to try new stuff?

    The benefits are huge. Following are just 7 of those exciting benefits.

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    1. You’ll grow and blossom.

    “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

    Maybe you are in a job you enjoy very much. It’s handy to home, hours are flexible and workmates congenial. You’re offered a new position that will extend you and stretch your creativity. But . . . traveling time will increase; remuneration might not be much greater. It’s a dilemma you probably wish you didn’t have to face.

    It’s your choice. Stay in familiar surroundings where you feel comfortable. Or move towards the unknown.

    You find it hard to dash aside the emotional attachment you feel to your current situation. Then you remember Brian Tracy’s words about the necessity to feel awkward and uncomfortable. You take the plunge. It’s scary, but you really want to accomplish some awesome things in your lifetime. So you brace yourself to expect the unexpected.

    Will you regret the decision? Unlikely. You know where you’ll grow and blossom, don’t you? Just outside the comfort zone.

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      2. You’ll release the creativity within you.

      “The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity.” – Dan Stevens

      Now that you’ve accepted the challenge of the new job, the trip to far-off lands, the University course you’ve just started – or whatever – you’re acquiring a different set of learning skills. New ideas and experiences abound. You’ll find yourself approaching these new experiences with renewed energy  –  an energy that releases the creativity within you in a way you never imagined possible.

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      Being creative will fill you with an enormous sense of satisfaction. You’ll be exposing gifts and abilities that until now were hidden from view. Are you ready to discover what you’re really capable of? So where do you find this energy and release of creativity? Just outside the comfort zone.

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        3. You’ll find the going easier every time you extend yourself.

        “As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.”  – Robin Sharma

        Sharma’s words remind me of what I’m doing in my intervals exercise program just now. I’ve found a challenging set of 100 steps that wind up a steep cliff face. I keep climbing until I run out of breath. On my first attempt, I found myself gasping for air at the 50th step. Each week I add another 5 steps. I can feel my comfort zone making adjustments.

        You, too will find that your anxiety levels lessen every time you repeat the stepping out process. Go on. Give it a go. Ease yourself outside your comfort zone. The more you try small things, the more you’ll want to continue to challenge yourself. Success is motivational.

        A very exciting consequence of extending yourself is that your comfort zone adjusts with every success. As Sharma states, the unknown becomes your new normal. How far should you extend yourself? Just outside the comfort zone.

        4. You’ll be in control – not fear and uncertainty.

        “When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” – Eckhart Tolle

        Being outside the comfort zone enables you to actually acknowledge, then manage, your negative feelings. If starting the business of your dreams, writing a novel or meeting new people is a recurring dream – well, yes, that can be quite scary and uncertain. But if you break your dream into manageable steps, you’ll be in control. You’ll be working towards your dream at your own manageable pace – little by little.

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        Because you’re in control, you’ll be doing things you never thought possible. Now you’re free to work and live on your own terms. Where do you truly believe in yourself and start to take responsibility for your life? Just outside the comfort zone.

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          5. You’ll boost your self-confidence, resilience and emotional strength.

          “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.” – Lou Holtz

          Living inside your comfort zone strips you of your confidence, because you’re not growing and evolving. You’re simply coping with life as it happens.

          Choose your first small goal to start things in motion and grow. As soon as you experience how competent and powerful you are, your self-confidence will grow. You’ll be inspired to work toward other goals. As you strive, fail, and strive some more, a resilient and emotionally strong you will emerge. You’ll feel amazing.

          Where does all this happen? Yes, of course – just outside your comfort zone.

          6. You’ll replace regrets with satisfaction and accomplishment.

           “We can’t become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree

          Regrets only appear when you ask yourself, “What if I fail?” This question is always followed by inaction, then later, regrets. Have you heard stories of people who, on their death bed, talk about the regrets they have because they didn’t do particular things? They were too scared to have a go. All of a sudden it’s too late.

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          Go on. Take action now. Dare to have a go time and time again. Then you’ll look back on your life with satisfaction instead of with regrets, and with excitement about what you’ve accomplished. So never ask that “What if  . . .? ” question. Instead just do it and see what happens. Where do you toss regrets into the rubbish heap? Just outside your comfort zone.

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            7. You’ll experience a fuller life.

            “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  – Neale Walsch

            Similar to athletes stretching and preparing for competitive events, just outside your comfort zone is where you can perform at your best. It’s a place where being motivated spurs you to success – a place where you’ll experience a fuller life. So, step outside and unlock your full potential. You haven’t yet discovered just what you are capable of. Experiment, participate, pursue, problem solve, question yourself, improve your skills and develop new ones.

            When you feel confident, happy and optimistic, you will be more willing to live a fuller, more adventurous life. The result? Things you previously thought were unachievable, will become a reality. Now that you’ve blossomed, grown in confidence, released your creativity and managed your fears, you’ll experience a fuller life. You are in control of the kind of life you want to live.

            When you experience this fuller life, instead of just surviving, you’ll find yourself thriving.

            So where do you start?

            “My experience is that you cannot have everything you want but you can have anything you really want. You just need to decide what it is and then plan your exit from the comfort zone.” – Jonathan Farrington

            A great thing to do first of all is to focus on quotations that will give you the excitement and motivation you need to get started. Suitable quotes have been included in this post. You’ll reap the greatest benefits when you write several on sticky notes and place them in prominent places where you’ll read and digest them often.

            Then . . . take Jonathan Farrington’s advice, decide exactly what you want to do, then just do it. Now is your time to exit from the comfort zone.

            Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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            Last Updated on August 12, 2020

            When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

            When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

            Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

            In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

            How to Listen to Your Gut

            The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

            Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

            1. Tune Into Your Body

            Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

            However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

            Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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            Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

            In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

            2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

            Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

            There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

            3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

            Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

            As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

            This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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            4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

            As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

            Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

            5. Challenge Your Assumptions

            When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

            In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

            A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

            6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

            Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

            There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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            Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

            Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

            Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

            We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

            The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

            We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

            7. Trust Yourself

            It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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            Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

            If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

            The Bottom Line

            The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

            Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

            More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

            Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
            [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
            [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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