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Are You Too Comfy? 5 Tips To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Written by: Casimiro da Silva Santos, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


As I write this article, I realise many coaches and motivational speakers, including myself, tell you that life only starts when you get out of your comfort zone. Most of us must remember to guide you on how to do it. If you feel scared, stressed, and anxious about getting out of your comfort zone and do not know how to do it, welcome to the club. It is common. Even the most perceived successful people passed or are passing to the same emotions and unknown.

Male with Leather Shoes Steps over a word, Comfort Zone with line on Concrete Floor

For many, self-actualisation is a powerful incentive to leave their comfort zone. The concept was popularised through Abraham Maslow's (1943) theory of human motivation.

“What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualisation.” -Abraham Maslow

How Does It Feel Being in Your Comfort Zone?

People feel at ease since they aren't being challenged when they are in their comfort zone. People seldom try new things or face problems while they are in their comfort zone. They exclusively partake in everyday activities, which gives them a sense of "control" over their surroundings.

People avoid painful or anxious sensations by staying in their comfort zones. Any activity pushing us beyond our comfort zones causes uncertainty, making us uneasy. We, as humans, are wired to avoid unpleasant emotions naturally. They find it difficult to leave their comfort zone as a result.

“There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

As cosy as it may appear, this protective cocoon prevents people from developing personally and doing the actions they desire but lack the guts to take. For instance, years spent in unfulfilling work might make you miserable, leading to burnout and disengagement. But it's now your haven. Although you are aware of your potential, pushing your limits concerns you since it implies risk.

Five Tips to Get Out Your Comfort Zone

If the decision to leave the comfort zone aligns with a person's values, this shift is akin to making a bid for self-actualisation. Why is this important? For one, not striving for growth could mean falling into inertia later in life, and avoiding it, you can try these five tips:

  1. Acknowledge your emotions. Acknowledge that you feel scared and anxious. Face fear by listing the worst things that can happen if the fear comes true and the best things that can happen if the fear comes true. This will allow you to deal with your emotions more rationally and clearly.

  2. Define your goals. This is an important step. I suggest you take away from the busyness of life, turn off your cell phone and meditate to clear your mind. Define your goals, no more than four, and for each, answer these three questions: 1) why the goal; 2) for whom; and 3) how will this make you feel? Sound a bit complicated? It is not. I will use one of my goals for 2022 as an example. The goal is to have me-time weekly, (why) to take care of myself, to grow spiritually, to reflect and to be a better version of myself (who) and (how) so that I can feel happy and at peace. Makes sense?

  3. Prioritise your actions. Recently Liz Fosslin, author and speaker, creatively defined a way to break down to-do lists into three categories: 1) things you have to do, 2) things you want to do, and 3) things other people want me to do. Using this method, you can prioritise your actions clearly, and I suggest you tackle the first category first and use only three actions per category. Remember to go slowly and make changes one at a time so you do not feel overwhelmed.

  4. Use a career, executive and leadership coach. Working with a coach will be a great way to define what matters to you and how to have an accountability partner that helps you get out of your comfort zone. The coach can act as your mirror, questioning your fears and emotions and allowing you to see things from a different perspective. There is black and white, and in between are different shades of grey. This can help boost your self-confidence as you "jump" out of your comfort zone.

  5. Keep track by journaling. The use of journaling brings benefits to cleaning your mind of emotions –positive or negative– that distort your thoughts. Journaling will help compare the gains and losses of your decisions and, more importantly, create an inventory of your wins.

In a recent article, Susan David, Ph. D., wrote to keep choosing courage over comfort. This statement summarises what it is about getting out of your comfort zone.

Bringing It All Together

Being safe, accustomed, and less stressed are all advantages of living in your comfort zone. However, playing small and choosing a life that is less than what you can live lacks passion, as Nelson Mandela memorably observed.

You can live the life you're capable of by learning to step outside of your comfort zone. Find what inspires you, then push yourself incrementally.

Leaving your comfort zone is the first step toward professional and personal growth. It takes courage. In a recent post, Susan David, Ph. D., wrote to keep choosing courage over comfort. This statement summarises what it is about getting out of your comfort zone. With Bring the Best's coaching programme GREAT 101, you may find growth possibilities in many facets of your life that will surprise you!

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Casimiro da Silva Santos, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Casimiro da Silva Santos, better known as Cas, uses pronouns he/his. He is a dad, a business and climate action leader, a coach, and a speaker. His mission is to create a perspective of abundance, alleviating scarcity so that we can live a brighter future. After a transformational coaching experience with Simon Sinek Inc., Cas decided to create Bring the Best®, a coaching and consulting firm for personal development and business growth. Through individual, career, and executive coaching, Bring the Best transforms lives so that each person can live the life they want and dream about. His coaching style is authentic and empathetic, with a special focus on the LGBTQIA+ community.



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