15 January 2013

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Simplifying

While preparing for this post, the more I evaluated my life in the past 7 years, the more I saw myself out of my comfort zone and into simplifying. Of course, through the years I didn't stop to define the areas in and out of my comfort zone. Neither did I deliberately start simplifying my life. But looking back I coudl see a chain of situations closely connected to one another that led to the formation of my simple living philosophy.
So I thought, if I could simplify by not interfering into the natural flow of life, how much more effectively could you simplify by deliberately putting my advice to action?
And so we begin.

You may wonder what simple living has to do with getting out of your comfort zone. After all it takes a lot of complex actions to step beyond the safe circle of comfort. But once you let yourself out of your comfort zone you will come to realize the extent to which your view on life has changed. And you will get closer to what truly matters.

What is the comfort zone?
Your comfort zone is that state of mind in which you act and feel at your best, without a sense of risk.

But the boundaries you have defined as comfortable can (and are) limiting your performance despite the sense of security they create for you.

That sense of security is false. It is there to lure you to stay within your boundaries and live your life in the comfortable prison of inertia.

Why you should try to step out of your comfort zone
If your fear of the unknown is stronger you may spend a whole lifetime perfectly well in your prison of comfort but there will be something missing - the excitement of exploration, the increased heartbeat of excitement, the discovery of unsuspected (positive or negative) feelings and abilities, but most importantly, the growing out of your old shoes, getting better, outjumping yourself, developing!

How to step out of your comfort zone
According to a research led by WhatisMyComfortZone the challenges that fall outside of your comfort zone can be divided into three categories:
  • professional, 
  • adrenaline, 
  • lifestyle.
Knowing this can help you a lot in identifying the fields of life you need to work on.

Here are a few ideas on how to get out of your comfort zone and awaken parts of your consciousness that you have long forgotten existed:

Learn a new skill
With so much information given away for free on the Internet  you simply have to do a mindful search in your conscience and find out the thing that you always wanted to learn but didn't have the courage/time/persistence to actually do.

Nowadays most major universities offer online courses for free. There are  a number of websites like Coursera with specialized free courses. Or there are the ones like CreativeLIVE on which you can watch free live online workshops. And let's not forget YouTube where you can find practically anything. Of course, critical thinking is vital for distinguishing the truly valuable information.
Face your fears
You might have a fear of heights, or a fear of talking in front of a crowd, or anything else that stops you from functioning to the best of your abilities.

Identifying it is the first step you should take and once you do,  make a plan on how to overcome your fear. Break it down to small steps and concentrate on the first one you need to take. Then, after you go through it, think of the second one, and so on, until you reach the end.

It's easier said than done, but once you overcome your fear you will feel liberated and ready to conquer the world.

Change your daily routine
Subconsciously we tend to strive towards a routine in our life which creates a feeling of security. But while being comfortable in our everyday, this unfounded sense of security plays a vital role in our chaining inside our comfort zone.

It is very beneficial if you try, once in a while to diversify your days. Walk, instead of drive to work. Eat breakfast for dinner. Do things that you don't normally do, switch the places of your furniture, all these will help awaken your brain and will let you see life in a different perspective.

But whatever method you choose to help you step out of your comfort zone remember to take it one step at a time, so you don't get overwhelmed.

Now it's your turn. How do you step out of your comfort zone and what are the effects?
Let me know in the comments.