Why is change so scary for so many of us? What is it about leaving our comfort zone and changing our lives that is so frightening? When you are in your comfort zone, everything is known, safe, and secure. But leaving that area and doing things that are new and different raises anxiety and tension because we do not know what is going to happen. We can’t always see the outcome or the consequences, which is why we start to fear it.
But what you may not realize is that staying put and keeping things the same is also risky. You do not think about it that way because it is how you have always done things, but can you think of a relationship, career, or situation in life that should always stay the same, no matter what? No! In fact, when you stay inside your comfort zone all the time, you run the risk of being left behind and missing out on chances to grow and learn. And that sounds pretty scary, too!
How do you learn to deal with the fear of leaving your comfort zone? While putting yourself out there and overcoming your concern is not always easy, the results are well worth it! Here are five tips for learning to deal with your fear of leaving your comfort zone.
Pay Attention to What Fear is Telling You
When your mind starts telling you that it is afraid, that is an indication that you are moving outside of your comfort zone. Paying attention to this fear and recognizing that what you fear is not the thing itself, but just that it is new and unknown is essential. Learning to acknowledge this emotion as irrational or not grounded in facts can help move past it.
Try New Things Frequently
If you are a creature of habit, then breaking out of your comfort zone may be seen as terrifying. Start small and expand your comfort zone on your own terms by trying new things often. Visit a new restaurant, cook a new type of cuisine, wear an outfit you have always been too “scared” to don, or spend the day talking to people you do not usually communicate with; anything to switch up your routine and help you get used to new things and the feelings that accompany them.
Say “Yes” for a Whole Day or Week
Most of the time, sticking to our comfort zone results in turning down a lot of invitations, suggestions, or opportunities because we are unsure of the outcomes. Decide to say “yes” to everything that comes your way for a specific period. Some people go all out and do this for a month while others ease in by trying it for a shorter period. The point is to embrace all opportunities that come your way and learn from the experiences you have.
Find a Fearless Mentor
Everyone is afraid, but it is how you handle the fear that defines you. Look for people in your life who can push forward despite their reservations, who embrace life and all its possibilities. What can you learn from them? What strategies can they teach you for learning to embrace life and to step outside your comfort zone?
Remember Why This is Important to You
When your resolve starts to wane, and you begin seeking comfort in your old ways, remember why you chose to expand your comfort zone and why it is essential to you. Keeping your focus on this can help boost your motivation and enable you to stick with it when things feel scary. Visualize your life without fear and how much it will improve and return to that image whenever you need to.