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6 Ways to step out of your comfort zone

Use these strategies to overcome your doubts and fears, develop a positive attitude and work your way towards success. By Priya Prakasan

We are creatures of habit, and like it best when we have to operate in our comfort zones. But by doing so we also risk creating self-limiting boundaries that curb our potential and growth. We miss out on professional opportunities to challenge ourselves and learn new skills. Here are some tips to help you step out of the zone and be one step closer to growth.

1. Challenge yourself
The first step to help you get out of your comfort zone is to challenge yourself. It’s important to push the boundaries to open up yourself to new experiences that will help you to grow. So start by doing small activities that would usually cause you stress and discomfort. When you pick activities that challenge, you commit to new things that will push you past mental blocks. Picture the worst-case scenario to put your fear in perspective and then go about doing the task at hand.

2. Master positive self-talk
We’re often quick to judge and criticise ourselves when something goes wrong; unleashing an inner dialogue called negative self-talk. Rather than encouraging these negative emotions, we suggest you flip things around the try your hand at positive self-talk. The idea is to boost your morale, increase your confidence and motivate you to try newer avenues. You’re pushing yourself to move past your self-limiting beliefs. Whenever you’re trying to step outside the zone, remind yourself of the benefits and changes that follow. Understand what is holding you back and coach yourself out of those limits.

3. Become comfortable with discomfort
Most people bolt away from a situation when they encounter even a tad bit of discomfort. That’s playing it really safe. However, it also means you’re pushing away self-development. So try to become familiar with discomfort; it is very important in this increasingly competitive world to take risks and do what needs to be done. If you get stuck in the loop of the discomfort and uncertainty, you will not be able to reap the biggest professional and career rewards. So, pick up a task that causes discomfort, and do it repeatedly until you become comfortable with discomfort.

4. Research well and commit to your plan
One of the reasons you might be shying away from taking the risk or trying a new activity or task might be because you do not have complete information regarding the same. In this case, do some research to get more information. Research until you get answers to all your lingering questions to feel more knowledgeable and prepared before you pick up a task. Though it might seem overwhelming initially, being prepared beforehand will make it easy for you.

5. Be open to new perspectives
Another way to ensure that you are constantly pushing the ball forward is to seek out new perspectives. Be open to communicating with people who think differently from you. It might seem immensely uncomfortable to reach out to someone with an idea different from your own, because it could lead to provocative discussions, but it’s a conversation worth having. It will challenge your beliefs and opinions, helping you grow and become more confident.

6. Measure progress in your personal goals
Always make a list of your growth goals and measure the changes. Get into the habit of reading this list regularly to be accountable for the changes that you plan to embrace.  Instead of focusing on the possibility of failure, visualise challenges as chances to grow and take risks or explore new ideas. Give yourself an ultimatum and coach yourself through scary situations by breaking down the activity down into small steps and making long-term changes.

Photograph: Freepik 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz

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