7 Simple Tips To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

“So this is not good again,” says the lady behind the counter, shaking her head. I sadly pack the whole trade up again. For the third! I will be sent away that morning because my photo does not meet the passport requirements.

Grrrr photos and me, that just doesn’t go together. My entire schedule runs smoothly through it. I’m so fed up that I’m considering going through life without proof .

Fortunately the photographer comes up with a list: he puts photo 1 back into the case. With a steel face, I return it to the passport lady. And what does she say? “Look, if he had taken this photo right away, it would have been right in one go.”

Far Beyond Your Comfort Zone

It is just one example of my toil with photos and photographers. Taking photos is really miles outside of my comfort zone. But well, at a certain point there is no escaping it anymore: I need a new profile picture.

Exciting, but it immediately provided 7 tips to step out of your comfort zone . You can also use it, for example, if you:

  • are going to give a presentation,
  • want to ask to follow that training,
  • are going to do a major project for the first time,
  • are going to ask for care leave,
  • takes a picture

1 What Does It Cost To Stay In Your Comfort Zone

If you really like it in your comfort zone, you should stay there. But think about everything you miss : no education, no care leave, no challenges and no growth. If you consider all of that, the drive to take that step becomes a lot bigger.

For example, I threatened to miss out on sales. A customer came to me through but had serious doubts based on my profile picture.

2 Look At Your Comfort Zone And Stretch Zone Differently

You often see the picture above when it comes to stepping out of your comfort zone. Your stretch zone ‘Where the magic happens’ sounds nice, but also miles away. As something inaccessible that is very exciting. For example, getting out of your comfort zone seems very difficult.

I prefer to use the image below. Your stretch zone (or learning zone) is just around your comfort zone. As you can see, you only have to take a small step to get to your stretch zone. So that magic is much closer than it seems.

3 Build On Earlier Success

In your life you have already left your comfort zone many times. You once went to school for the first time, learned all kinds of things (not always comfortable), applied for your first job and much more. All those times you left your comfort zone. And all those times you just survived.

Build on all those earlier times that ended well. If you look back now, you might find those things normal. They are no longer outside your comfort zone.

Realize what is already within your comfort zone. That gives you certainty and a solid foundation. That way you have confidence to step out of your comfort zone to your ‘where the magic happens’ stretch zone.

You not only grow from that, but you also increase the comfort zone. Eventually, a presentation for a large group or independently doing a project becomes a breeze.

4 Take Small Steps

Getting out of your comfort zone with steam and boiling water is often asking for problems. It may seem super cool: “Look at me, I have guts, I just shoot in”. But the chance of a failure is then life-size.

By taking smaller steps you automatically gain confidence.  This way you gradually expand your original comfort zone.

5 Stay With Yourself

The temptation is to leave your comfort zone ‘like someone else’. You don’t actually dare, but if you play someone else you might dare. Or you ask something (supposedly) on behalf of someone else because then it is less creepy.

That’s a shame because it doesn’t have the effect you want. In fact, someone else took that step instead of ‘the real you’. And ‘the real you’ doesn’t get along well with that.

Stay with yourself. You don’t have to be anyone else. You just step out of your comfort zone like yourself. Take a manageable step instead of a big jump that you actually don’t dare. This way you can really stay with yourself and you will get the maximum benefit from it.

6 Getting Into Your Stress Zone Is Not A Disaster

You want to step out of your comfort zone and end up in your stretch zone. But sometimes that goes wrong. Then you shoot ahead and you end up in your stress zone. That can be very annoying and put you in a lot of stress.

Then remember that you can always go back to your comfort zone. You might have been there for years and it went fine. You can just go back to that.

Breathe in your comfort zone and feel if you are in good contact with yourself. When the time is right, just step out of your comfort zone again ; possibly in a different direction.

7 Enjoy!

Enjoy the kick it gives you when you step out of that comfort zone. You can enjoy this in two ways: the process (possibly afterwards) and the result.

The moment you are in that stretch zone you can really enjoy the process. Wow, you dare to do that nicely and what a huge kick it is.

Enjoy the result too. Stepping out of your comfort zone often gives you something. If you had just stayed where you were, you would not have had that result. So remember that you are celebrating that! After all, you owe it to yourself.