How to step out of your comfort zone

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

My Personal story about striving with fear

If you have been reading about personal development for a while then most probably you already discovered that those who get the most out of life are the ones who dare to take the risks.

Some people never reach anything in life even though they have the needed skills and the reason this happens is that those people get trapped inside their comfort zones forever. (see also How to learn any skill)

When i was 16 years old i remember i was too shy to the extent that i had no friends. This shyness remained with me even after i joined college. I was 19 back then and i discovered that i can hardly run a conversation with a stranger. I was so stuck inside my comfort zone that i didn't dare to get out.

One day i decided that i have had enough of that and i took the decision to step out of my comfort zone. I started sitting beside people i don't know each day just to train myself to talk to strangers. I spent a tremendous effort in the first few days. It was among the hardest thing i have ever tried to do in my life back then.

But as the days passed i got more used to that new environment then within months i wasn't just a totally different person but i also mastered public speaking, a skill that freaks most confident people out.

That's me, speaking in front of hundreds of people

How to step out of your comfort zone

So how can someone really step out of his comfort zone?
Here is what you need to do:

  • 1) Understand your mind's tricks: Your subconscious mind will never want to make you feel bad and as a result it will always keep playing tricks just to show you that you are good. When i had very few friends my mind was trying to let me believe that i am happy that way. Many people who are trapped inside their comfort zones are holding on to lies such as "i am happy that way" or "i like the way i am". These lies doesn't just prevent people from getting out of their comfort zones but it lets them believe that they are OK that way (see also Self deception examples)
  • 2) Beware of life's traps: I have spoken earlier about the sufficient salary trap which is the case where a person gets paid a sufficient amount of money that allows him to meet his short term needs but that never allow him to sasifty his ambition. In such a setup a person may never realize that he is living inside his comfort zone before wasting years of his life. You need to be able to find out whether you have fallen in any of these traps so that you can get out as soon as you can
  • 3) Put psychological pressure on yourself: During my shyness phase i used to think about the matter every day before i went to sleep. I used to imagine how my future will be like if i lived with this problem forever. These thoughts used to stir my emotions and to put a tremendous amount of pressure on me. Contrary to common beliefs this pressure isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, it can be the motivating energy that pushes you out of your comfort zone
  • 4) Read more about success stories: Nothing can help you change your belief system more than the stories about successful people can. some people never get out of their comfort zones because they are afraid of failure or afraid to make a mistake. When those people get to understand how success happens they will embrace failure and won't get emotionally affected by the mistakes they make
  • 5) Jump in the water: Back in 2009 i was too afraid to quit my day job and to depend on my business for a living. During that time i wasn't putting much effort in the business because the day job consumed a lot of time. I woke up one morning, wrote my resignation letter and handed it to my manager before i even realized what i was doing. Later i found myself forced to make the business succeed or else my life will get doomed. In other words, sometimes you need to jump in the water in order to force yourself to take serious actions (see also When should i quit my job)

Bonus tip

Many people out there don't understand the fact that courage can be acquired. A coward is no more than a person with a messed up belief system and a courageous person is the one who grew up with healthy beliefs.

The good news i have for you is that you can always work on changing your beliefs at any age. By getting rid of the limiting beliefs that you learned throughout your life you can become more courageous and step out of your comfort zone.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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