“The best piece of advice someone has ever given me was ‘do it scared.’ And no matter if you’re scared, just go ahead and do it anyway because you might as well do it scared, so it will get done and you will feel so much better if you step out of your comfort zone” – Sheri Shepard
It is a dangerous thing living in your comfort zone because you never really explore the opportunity to chase your dreams. You are protected from the roller coaster ride of life and as a result you have no life lessons from which you can base how you live your life and the kind of person you want to be.
Living in your comfort zone supports the feelings, thoughts and beliefs that do not serve you well and prevent you from living your life to the fullest. Your fears about life become your reality and you have no idea about your potential, your talents and your skills. You really have no idea about who you are. If you want to live your life to the fullest and you want to achieve your dreams then you are going to have to step out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is your self made prison and the longer you stay there the less chance you will have to live your life to your fullest potential.
Living in the comfort zone brings you certainty in life, (or so you think). When you have this so called feeling of certainty then you feel safe and you will do what ever it takes to convince yourself that certainty and feeling safe is the best thing for you. At times it is important to feel safe and confident about what is happening in your life. However if you refuse to step out of your comfort zone your safety net of certainty eventually becomes your prison cell. If you stay there long enough finding the key to release you from your prison becomes too hard. You end up accepting safety and fear as the benchmarks to how you live life.
I have lived parts of my life in the comfort zone and for awhile I felt safe and reasonably happy (so I thought). I was good at convincing myself I was happy and also very skilled at dismissing my feelings of dissatisfaction, disappointment and regret.
One question that would constantly pop up in my mind was “Is there something better for me in life or is this it?”. Of course being an expert at living in the comfort zone I could quickly rationalise with myself that actually life is okay and it’s not worth rocking the boat. As a result I lost out on many opportunities because I was too scared of the unknown and too scared to step out of my comfort zone. It is very hard to be proactive and take on opportunities when one is living in their comfort zone.
Living in your comfort zone is all about personal choice, in that you are the one and only person who can choose to stay or to go. I was forced to leave my comfort zone as a result of 2 major life events – the sudden loss of both parents and the loss of 3 jobs in 18 months. To deal with these major life events I had to leave my comfort zone, I needed to heal and work through the pain and grief of losing my parents and the feelings of failure and rejection as a result of being made redundant three times in eighteen months.Advertising
I knew that by staying in my comfort zone I would be shut away from the reality of what was happening to me. For me to survive and thrive in my life I had to step out of the comfort zone and learn how to face my fears and how to deal with all the uncertainty and the unpredictability of life. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t happen overnight and it is hard work however the rewards you gain are priceless. You start living and experiencing life as it should be lived, with you in control. Your resilience and courage becomes the foundation that enable you to survive and thrive in life.
So how did I step out of my comfort zone? Well, here are 7 courageous actions that I did that helped me to make the decision to step out and stay out of my comfort zone, so that I could live my life with me in control!
1. Complete a 30 Day Challenge of Change
The purpose of this activity is to get you comfortable with change. The challenge also enables you to experience change in small steps and to start to modify the habits and behaviours that keep you locked in your comfort zone.
Every day for 30 days you will do either an everyday task differently or an activity that you have never done before. You will need to record the new activities each day and you can do this on a wall chart. It is important that this wall chart is visible to you and everyone else.
The 30 day challenge is not something you do quietly, you need to announce to everyone what you are doing.
I announced to my friends on FaceBook that I was doing the 30 day challenge of change and everyday I would post the new activity or event. This kept me accountable and meant that I had to complete my challenge as a lot of my friends were supporting and encouraging me.
The 30 day challenge gets you to push your boundaries and doing things you have always been too scared to do. Only you can challenge yourself to do the things that scare you. You don’t need to be scared all the time while you are doing this challenge however if you haven’t been scared at least 6 times during the 30 day challenge then you are wasting your time. You are not being courageous, you are been cautious and safe.Advertising
2. List All Your Fears and Habits That Keep You in Your Comfort Zone
Write this list down on a piece of paper and place it where you can see it everyday. As you go through the 30 day challenge tick the fears and bad habits that you overcome every day of the challenge. You will be surprised how many fears and bad habits you can conquer in 30 days.
This activity helps you get your fears out of your head and on to a piece of paper where you now have control. You soon start to realise as you work through your 30 day challenge that it is only you that has the power to decide if you want to live your life ruled by your fears or not.
Get educated about you and what it is that you do and think that keeps you in your comfort zone. Figure out what you need to do to better manage these behaviours and habits that have control over you and how you live your life.
3.Start Using Your Power Of Choice
Remember living your life in your comfort zone is your choice. Only you have the power to change this and you do this by choosing to live your life differently. Your power of choice is a gift and it enables you to live your life with you in control. Your power of choice enables you to survive and thrive in life and that means you are living your life to it fullest.
Try to be more reflective in your decision making and learn how to trust yourself. The big fear that limits your power of choice is your fear of failure. You need to deal to this fear and understand that it is only through failure that one can learn and grow in life.
These 3 questions that helped me have more confidence about making choices and decisions in my life are
- What is the worst thing that will happen if I fail?
- Have I thought this through carefully or am I acting on impulse or emotion?
- In what ways would my life be better if I went ahead with this opportunity or goal?
4. Keep a Journal of Celebration
Celebrate your successes. Once you have completed the 30 day challenge don’t stop, keep pushing your boundaries. Living out of your comfort zone is a life long journey. Your journal is a great way for you to record and celebrate your successes.Advertising
Keeping a journal is an important strategy to help you maintain your motivation and desire to live your life to the fullest. Recording your journey in life and all your successes will help grow your confidence and self belief. It is these two qualities in life that provide the fuel for to keep you going and to keep pushing your boundaries.
5. Read Books About Change, Personal Growth and Managing Risk
Knowledge is powerful tool in life as it enables you to change your life. I started reading books about personal growth and personal change. I also watched lots of Ted Talks about motivation, success, risk taking and failure.
The more I read and the more action I took to push my boundaries the more opportunities came my way. I also started meeting people who had been on their own personal journeys of change and I found their stories inspirational.
There are 3 events in ones life that create personal change. They are;
- An opportunity comes your way that is unexpected – job promotion, inheritance or winning the lottery
- Personal Crises – an unexpected event that changes your life dramatically
- Choice – you proactive and choose to make a decision to make changes in your life
I had a personal crises that forced me to change my life and step out of my comfort zone. It was tough but I survived and I know now how to live my life to its fullest. I am not afraid of life and I am definitely more courageous and resilient.
However if I had to choose an event that would enable me to live life out of my comfort zone I would go for Life Event 3 – Choice.. Being proactive and using my power of choice to make the changes I need to make in my life is a far less painful way for me to step out of my comfort zone than to deal with a personal crises.
Don’t wait for a personal crises to force you to change your life,use your power of choice and act on it now. Take control of your life and choose to step out of your comfort zone so that you can truly live a life where you are surviving and thriving.Advertising
6. Find Someone Who Has Done What You Want To Do With Life
Find someone who you admire, dead or alive that lives their life outside of their comfort zone. Get to know them either through reading books, watching movies or talking to them one on one. Find out everything about them, in fact stalk them (in a nice way) and copy exactly how they act, what they think and what they do that enables them to live their life outside of their comfort zone. Let them become your teacher and your mentor. They will show you how to be courageous and how you can live outside of your comfort zone forever!
7. Get Your Mind Body and Soul Aligned
Stepping out of your comfort zone requires desire, motivation and courage. Having your mind body and soul aligned builds your mental and physical stamina and resilience so that you can survive and thrive in life – No 7 is key to successfully keeping you out of your comfort zone forever.
Exercising regularly, eating well, getting lots of sleep and having time out for your mind to rest (being mindful) are activities that are key to you surviving and thriving in life. These activities strengthen your resilience and your courage and as a result living out of your comfort zone gets easier and easier to do.
So go use these 7 things to help you step out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret it because you truly will live your life the way it should be lived.
Good luck. I would love to hear how you are going stepping of your comfort zone and living a life that is real – the good, the great, the bad and the ugly!
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated
How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.
Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.
That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.
Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:
1. Write Your Goals
The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.
Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.
As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.
Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.
2. Beat Procrastination
Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.
Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.
Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:
When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.
3. Celebrate Small Wins
In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.
Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.
It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.
So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.
4. Practice Gratitude
It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?
Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.
So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:
By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.
5. Be Optimistic
Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.
At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.
Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.
6. Don’t Dwell on the Past
A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.
Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.
What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.
So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:
7. Face your Fears
You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.
If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.
Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?
Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:
Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.
8. Visualize your Success
You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.
One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.
Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.
9. Find Inspiration
Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.
Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.
Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.
10. Enjoy Downtime
You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.
Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.
You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.
11. Meditate Regularly
Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.
Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.
Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.
The Bottom Line
Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.
However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.
So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.
More Tips About Staying Motivated
- How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up
- What Motivates You And How to Always Stay Motivated
- 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams
- How to Find Motivation When You’re Totally Burnt Out
Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com