Thursday, July 21, 2011

Step Out of your Comfort Zone. Three Steps to Opening your Possibilities.

I was talking with a longtime friend yesterday. She is taking courses that will prepare her for a whole new career. She said to me, “It’s not really my typical type of thing, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.” I am really proud of her and excited for her new chapter.

Talking with my friend, I started thinking about how many people are stuck in their same routine and their same thought processes because they are unwilling to step out of their own comfort zone. Do you want to get out there, grow, experience new things and open your possibilities? If so, here are three steps you can take to become more comfortable with change.

Stop Worrying What Other People Think.
If you don't step out of your comfort zone and face your fears, the number of situations that make you uncomfortable will keep growing. (Theo Pistorius)

Fear of what others will think is one of the biggest barriers for many people. Think about the most lovable, magnetic people you have ever met in your life. Chances are those people are not meek and agreeable. They are usually the people who act silly, are willing to speak their mind, or are adventurous and willing to make mistakes.

Stop trying to please others. Stop being concerned with what others think. Don’t worry about being laughed at, laugh along with them. Do something you normally would not do without fear of being judged. You may just be surprised at how people will react.

Face your Fears
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. (Seneca)

I am not referring to those big fears like fear of flying or fear of heights. However, how many subtle fears are holding you back every day? Fear of being laughed at, fear of failure, or fear of not being the best. Ask yourself, are you taking unnecessary precautions every day to avoid what you perceive to be a negative outcome? Are these precautions really necessary or are they holding you back?

It is a good thing to be prepared and proactive. But don’t spend your life – and the majority of your time – trying to avoid things that will probably never happen. Deal with your discomfort and allow yourself to fail once in a while. Find the positive in every situation and failures turn into learning experiences.

Learn to Deal with Failure
It is a mistake to suppose that people succeed through success; they often succeed through failures. (Author Unknown)

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

You probably know by now, things will not always go your way. It is the way you deal with these negatives that define how willing you are to step out of your comfort zone. The world is constantly changing, things will go right and they will often go wrong. Some amazing things have happened to me in the face of a failure or a negative situation, primarily due to my attitude toward the situation. When you become obsessed with trying to ensure a certain outcome, you forget to focus on the every day joy of living.

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