Do you ever do something that does not seem all that scary yet makes you feel very uneasy or uncomfortable? That feeling of unease is because you are doing something that is outside your normal comfort zone. That comfort zone is the bubble that surrounds your subconscious, the one that you love to remain inside because everything is knowable, familiar, and safe. When you try to push beyond the edges of this boundary, your mind pushes back because it craves routine.
But, while that zone may feel safe, it also limits you, keeping you confined to what you already know, which inhibits your growth and development. Outside of that zone is where learning, change, and evolution happens. Your comfort zone can keep you from realizing your full potential if you allow it. Ready to start expanding that comfort zone a little? Here are five ways to get started.
#1. Try Something Creative
If you used to engage in a creative pursuit, like art, dance, writing, or crafts, pick up your hobby again. If you have always wanted to try something creative, now is the time to start. Creative endeavors are fun, provide you with opportunities for expressing yourself and your emotions, and give you the chance to try something new in a low-stakes way. So, what if your painting does not really turn out well, or it takes you a while to learn to throw a pot. It is just for fun, and it can help expand your tolerance for mistakes and learning.
#2. Change Your Look
Many of us dress in ways that are just familiar, not necessarily to express who we are. Consider buying a few new pieces of clothing that are different from your typical look. Or get a new haircut that is fresh look for you. Experiment with your look to find ways of showing your true self through your clothing, makeup, hairstyle, or other aspects of your appearance. If you decide you do not really like it, you can always go back to your old look.
#3. Become an Observer
The more you watch, listen to, and become aware of the world around you, the more your awareness helps you to open your zone up a little more. Paying attention to how others behave, their beliefs, and the perspectives of others can give you new understandings that expand your thinking. Pay attention to how others develop and grow, take risks, and learn from mistakes. Acknowledge the ways others are expanding their comfort zone or trying new things. Be aware of how others share their vulnerability and see what you can learn from them.
#4. Keep a Journal
Writing about your personal boundaries, how you are trying to expand those, and the barriers you impose upon yourself can be helpful when trying to develop your thinking. Journaling improves your self-awareness, and until you are aware of the ways you are limiting your thinking, it is impossible to know how to expand your perspectives. Write about what you find risky o what chances scare you and explore the reasoning behind these thoughts.
Mixing up how you do things every day can help you get more comfortable with change and give you low-risk ways to expand your thoughts. Take different routes to familiar places, try a new cuisine or food, talk to people you normally do not, or try a new hobby. Anything to shake up your routine will be helpful to stepping out of your comfort zone.