“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security” – Gail Sheehy
Your comfort zone, believe it or not, has too many teeth left. The fact is if you don’t stop it now it will puncture your artery and suck the life out of you bit by bit. Sometimes we do not even realize this until it is too late and then we feel too weak to make a change. Your comfort zone has your best interests at heart. Sounds weird I know. Although you comfort zone is like a bloodsucking vampire it has good intentions. It’s intentions are to keep you at ease, happy and confident. It will keep you warm and fluffy at all times. Something that we have to recognize though is that slowly but surely it is gulping the life out of you. Opportunities for personal growth are passing you by. Every time your comfort zone wins the tug-of-war its teeth grows bigger.
3 Ways you can use to kick your comfort zone in the teeth:
1. Realize that nothing good comes from staying in your comfort zone. In order to make lasting change we need to identify our limiting beliefs. Example: For a very long time I struggled against the feeling of being comfortable in my bed and not waking up early to exercise and meditate. And believe me I had many rationalizations for not getting up. I would tell myself over and over that I am entitled to sleep longer because I work hard. Now in itself the statement is not untrue. I do work hard and I can sleep longer. However, sleeping longer is not a healthier choice and keeps me from being fit and therefore I need to get up and busy with my morning routine. So the first thing that will help us to break through our comfort-zone is to change our limiting beliefs.
- I can never stand in front of people and talk, I am just not that kind of person
- I would never be able to wake up at 5 in the morning to exercise
- I just can’t seem to finish my projects
- I am too old to change
- I have a sweet tooth and that is just how I am
2. Man (or woman)-up and put on your jacket. It’s cold out there. Change your beliefs about your world and break free! So now we know that one way our comfort-zone keeps us demobilized is by creating beliefs about why we cannot and should not change. So how do we change our belief about something? One way is to analyze and test the belief. Let’s take the belief that I would never be able to wake up at 5 in the morning to exercise. Step1: Look at words that are generalizing, distorting or deleting information. Like in our case the word “NEVER”. “Never” is a really long time. This is a distortion of time. What do you base our assumption on? Just because you haven’t done it before does not mean that you can not do it in future.
Step2: Look at the self-imposed limits or rules. You don’t have to wake up at 5. You don’t have to wake up at 5. You can start small. Just try and wake up 15minutes before your alarm.
Step3: Look for positive spin-offs. Remember we as humans move towards pleasure. What are the positive /pleasurable spin-offs that will come from you exercising? You will feel energized and less lethargic during you day. You will feel good about yourself. You will be healthy and therefore can give more to the people around you So in conclusion you can see that this belief doesn’t have arguable legs to stand on and is therefore false and can be changed.
3. Face your fear and grab the bull by its horns or the vampire by its teeth, but nonetheless you will have to get your hands dirty. After you have changed your believe you will have no excuse to break free from your comfort-zone. What is the easiest way to do this? It’s by facing you fears. You know what is flabbergasting is that once you faced your fears you might realize that it isn’t so bad! The first time you have to talk in-front of a lot people it might feel like hell, but once you are doing it you realize that it is fun and that your fears just dissolve. Like Nike says: “Just do it!” Comfort zones are really just self-imposed limits that we put on ourselves. Remember the three steps to break free are:
- Realize that nothing good comes from staying in your comfort zone.
- Change your beliefs about your world and break free!
- Face your fear and grab the bull by its horns. Get your hands dirty and “just do it”.
Choose one area of your life that is ruled by your comfort zone and apply the three step approach and have absolute conviction that you are strong enough to kick your comfort-zone in the teeth. Do you have other methods of breaking free from your comfort-zone? Please share with us in your comments.
Julian Meyer currently lives and enjoys his life in South Africa. His true passion is to help people in creating a better life for themselves. Visit Julian’s website at www.julianmeyer.co.za – there he offers his humble, yet bold opinion and useful tools that proved to be effective in creating a positive, sustainable change we all need…