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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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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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