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4 Excuses That Keep You From Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone

4 Excuses That Keep You From Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Ever feel as if you are hopelessly stuck in a rut? As if you can’t get what you want in life so you just settle for what you can get easily.

Or maybe you’ve just allowed yourself to become a creature of habit and you’ve settled into what’s familiar.

It may feel comfy for a while, but the sad fact is that most of our regrets in life come from making fear-based decisions instead of courageous ones. And if you’re stuck in your comfort zone, you’re probably doing just that.

Do you think that fear may be getting in the way of the life you really want? You’re certainly not alone.

Here are 4 of the most common excuses people make that keep them stuck in their comfort (actually merely “familiar”) zones that may be trapping you now.

Top Excuse #1: “I have fears that other people don’t.”

Okay, this is always going to be partially true.

For example, if you’re Justin Timberlake, you probably aren’t afraid of singing karaoke on Tuesday night at the Drunken Monkey. If you’re someone who isn’t used to singing? Well, sure you probably are scared.

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The thing is that JT has been performing professionally since he was a kid. But what if you asked him to play quarterback for the Patriots? He’d probably be nervous, and rightfully so. Why? It’s new to him! It’s out of his comfort zone. But imagine the thrill of dropping back into the pocket those first few times and completing some passes.

When you stretch yourself, you’re going to have some fears pop up – but you’ll also have that magic of novelty. Of testing your edges. Of breaking into something new.

Most people think confidence is some magical thing that some people just “have.” That may seem true, but it’s usually simply that those who seem confident merely have more experience and have gathered more internal and external positive feedback in what they’ve been doing. You can only achieve that if you stick a foot out of your familiar zone and start that cycle.

Everyone has fear when they do that, but every time you notch a small win, that fear starts to dissipate.

Top Excuse #2: “If I didn’t have fear, I could do what I wanted.”

Well sure, that sentiment seems to makes sense on the surface. On the other hand, it’s absurd.

You imagine that the only way to move forward into the life you want is to already have the confidence of having achieved your goals in the first place!

Have you ever seen a guy do a couple of shots before he walks up and talk to a girl? What they call “liquid courage?”

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Does alcohol help? Yeah, it might for a bit, but it’s cheating him out of real growth, of facing his fear on his own and stepping into the fire. Using a drug to mask your fear doesn’t help your develop the resilience to move through it.

The next time that guy wants to talk to a lovely young women, he’ll have grown not a jot. He’ll be exactly where he was before — and back to the shots. He won’t have developed his confidence or have handled his fear on his own.

Fear should never stop you from taking bold action in your life. There is only way through — and it’s direct.

Step into the fire of your fear. Or, as one book title says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” You don’t need to be free of fear to make a bold move out of your comfort zone. You just need to step right though it.

And if you want to be authentic about it, feel free to say it out loud: “Hi, I saw you from across the room and you look so sweet and beautiful. I wanted to come and introduce myself — and I’m actually kind of nervous about it.”

She may be impressed with your honesty. The next time you do it, you’ll notice that your old nervousness isn’t coming up like it used to.

Top Excuse #3: “I need more self-esteem before I do what I want.”

Again, the only way to develop self-esteem is to prove to yourself that you can act in the face of your fear!

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Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re at karaoke, terrified to sing, and you decide to go up there anyway. What’s the worst that can happen? Say you are terrible, then Lady Gaga rolls in and kills it! Does that suddenly make you a worse person? No! It means you’ve just sung on the same stage as Lady Gaga.

It’s all how you decide to frame it. You can always frame things to highlight your faults or your attributes.

You didn’t get dumped by your ex, you got out of a dead-end relationship and are free to find the right person for you.

Self-esteem develops when you do your best and you see that you come out alive on the other side. Even if you didn’t bring down the house, you get to have the accomplishment of having done your best, which is all you can ever do.

Self-esteem means that you say to yourself “I am worthy” because of you who you are, not because of the quality of your accomplishments.

Top Excuse #4: “I’ll just do it next time.”

So often, you are close to making the leap out of your comfort zone. There you stand, so close, on the edge, one foot out, and then you pull back saying, “I’m just not quite ready.” Maybe you think you need to study a little more. Or practice a little more. Or follow the no-contact rule for a couple more weeks. Or double-check your notes. Or say your affirmations first.

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And you start justifying, “It’s no big difference if I wait a few days or weeks or years longer.”

But it is a big difference. Again, the big benefit of acting now rather than making excuses is that (1) you get the experience of taking a risk, (2) you get to learn from your risk-taking and get wiser, and (3) you get to feel higher self-esteem because you’ve leapt where others may have faltered.

You want send signals to your brain that though the world is a dangerous place, you have the courage and decisiveness to act in the face of your fear.

The alternative is to send an emotionally abusive signal to your brain that you are weak and scared and that the world is a more powerful force than your own will.

This mindset will keep you cowering in your comfort zone forever. Nothing great ever happens without courage.

When you do take that jump out of the tight constrictions of your comfort zone, you will not only build your resilience, self-esteem, courage, and confidence, but you are also likely to feel the thrill of adventure, of being alive.

And you get to love your courage, and yourself, regardless of the results.

Featured photo credit: Dan Cooper via stokpic.com

More by this author

Nick Bastion

Love Expert, Relationship Coach, Author

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

If You’re Staying In

  1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
  2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
  3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
  4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
    • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
    • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
    • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
    • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
      • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
      • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
      • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
        • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

        If You Want to Get Away

        1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
        2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
        3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
          • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
          • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
          • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
          • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
          • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
          • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
            • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
            • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

            New & Exciting Experiences

            1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
            2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
              experience.
              • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
              • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
              • Experience white water rafting.
              • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
              • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                  • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                  • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                  • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                  Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                  Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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