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Break Out of Your Comfort Zone in 6 Easy Steps

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone in 6 Easy Steps

Everyone has a zone where they feel the most comfortable. For some people this comfort zone is smaller than others.  Here is some advice on how to break out of you comfort zone, face your fears, and start living a fuller life, such as reading some feel good quotes at quotes.viralcreek.com, or learning to take small steps at a time when facing a fear.

Start Small

There is no need to dive in head first, start by just sticking your foot in. By taking things one (small) step at a time, it will help you grow and learn from what you are experiencing better. If you try and face your fear of heights by jumping out of a plane from the get go, it could make your fear heights even more. The same goes for breaking out of your comfort zone.  If your fear is of heights, start out by climbing a ladder. Then when you are comfortable with that you can move up from there. By the time you are ready to jump out of the plane, it will be more enjoyable for you.

By taking small steps you start to de-sensitize yourself from you fear, or what makes you uncomfortable. Small steps are situations you will find yourself in more often as well. How often will you jump out of a plane opposed to climbing a ladder? The more you de-sensitize yourself from these small steps, the better you can start living your life.

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Set Goals

The best way to track your progress is to set goals for yourself. These can be as often as daily or monthly. Having goals is a good way to track your progress. The biggest comfort zone issue people have is social anxiety. If you are one of these people set a goal to talk to a certain amount of people you don’t know a day, week or month. Remember to start small and go from there.

Over time you may lose track of your goals and everything will come naturally to you. It’s just like training for a marathon. You start with what is comfortable to you and slowly start pushing yourself more and more to reach your goals. Before you know it, you’re able to run a 10k without even thinking about it.

Know that it’s OK to Fail

Most people don’t get it right the first time. Remind yourself, if you can’t do it the first time, there will be more opportunities to try. The most important thing to remember is;it’s ok to not succeed the first time. You just have to stick with it and never stop trying. Quitting is your enemy when it comes to opening your comfort zone. If you stop trying, you will never beat your enemy.

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It is important to remember if you fail the first time, try it differently the second time. Taking new approaches to breaking out of your comfort zone will allow you to recognize how to go about it. Once you have accomplished one feat, you can re-visit ones you have failed in the past. Do these until you reach a point where you have completely come out of your comfort zone.

Have Faith

Your biggest support is yourself. Have faith in yourself and you can do anything. There is not much more to it than that. Breaking out of your comfort zone can often be a scary experience. Understanding that you can do it,and having faith that everything will be ok when you do, should be your biggest driver to face your fears.

Find What Motivates You

If you find yourself full of doubt, find something that motivates you. For some people this could be proving naysayers wrong. For others, anger fuels their motivation. Many people turn to motivational quotes to keep them going. Whatever it is that motivates you, stick with it and turn to it whenever you find you doubt yourself.

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Sometimes taking risks is what you need to motivate yourself. Taking risks is a great way to break from what you are comfortable with, that is what taking risks are after all.

Have a Support Group

If you still feel like you need something more, rely on people who will support you as well. There are plenty of people you can find to cheer you on. Whatever comfort zone it may be that you are trying to step out from, there are people who are trying to do the same. They can be there to support you and you can be there to support them. Your support for them can help you grow as well.

Support groups can be friends or family, but can also be found throughout the world on the internet. There are tons of support groups for every comfort zone imaginable. Listen to other people stories and you can learn from them as well.

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If breaking out of your comfort zone is something you would like to accomplish for yourself remember these 6 tips. Don’t give up on yourself, you may actually be surprised with what you are capable of.

Featured photo credit: gagilas via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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