Get Out of Your Comfort Zone & Push Your Boundaries

“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~ Pema Chodron

cz14Comfort is easy. We fear uncertainty, loss, pain, and so we seek to cushion ourselves against the rawness of life by spending our lives in artificial, climate-controlled boxes safe from unwanted intrusion. Powerful forces conspire to keep you in your comfort zone, penned by fear. The Matrix wants you to be compliant, following the rules of the group, being an accepter rather than a creator. Through the two-part strategy of making the comfort zone comfortable and everywhere else uncomfortable, we are pressured to remain within our comfort zones: cozy, content, cloistered. This is unfortunate. Personal discovery and personal development happen only outside your comfort zone.

These past few years, I’ve focused on my writing and getting published. I had my mind set on where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I didn’t realize the process (rewrite after rewrite) so my original concept that I had didn’t quite pan out, but I’m happy, because now it has a more focus and detailed structure. But this experience is going to be about more than just obtaining a finished book. For me this is a huge step. This truly is out of my comfort zone.cz1

Initially, I experienced a mix of emotions letting someone not just read but help edit my writing. I had feels including gross absorption and wonderment. My new point of views were gripping me, showing me something much bigger and brasher than myself. I stepped out of the myself; it was the culmination of a mentally pre-rehearsed experience. The journey felt a lot like autopilot, but I was finally there. Moving away from the old me  and into something I had been anticipating for months, maybe even years; but when it came around, it all just happened.

“The word ‘safe’ is an adjective meaning secure and a noun meaning an enclosed locked container. If you’re living the adjective then you’re living the noun.” ~ Steve Pavlina

The first lesson I learnrd from this move was not to go over things for months on end—that can drive you crazy. Its better just to immerse yourself in the moment and let things come around. This doesn’t mean neglect import things; it just means not to consume yourself with worry.

The important thing to remember is that new experiences present opportunity; it’s just whether or not you’re willing to take them up on it. It’s easy to sit back and only take in the things that are comfortable to you, but to get to where you aspire to be requires a little discomfort.

Often, those things which present worry also bring out your better qualities. They may even change you, give you a sense of clarity, a feeling of enlightenment, or maybe they just satisfy your thoughts and needs for that moment.

If you put yourself into a mind-set that deems its social barriers to be as wide as your room, you will find that reality will soon take the same shape. If you’re open to exploring and talking to new people, you will lose track of feeling lonely.

CZ3To put it simply, get out, do something and speak to somebody. Don’t procrastinate and wind yourself into pointless worry. Even if you don’t agree with someone else viewpoint, other sometyme can understand what your trying to say and can restructure it so the masses can also. I am quite a reserved person, but that doesn’t make me anti-social. I’m just a thinker rather than a shouter. This has its benefits and it has its downfalls. Yes, I can assess a situation quite effectively, but my reservation can mean I miss an opportunity because I’m too frightened to do anything about it.

I suspect I didn’t do as well as I could have on my initial draft because I wasn’t willing to go further than what I was told or expected. My mentality has since changed and I now find success from setting my own boundaries, or in my case, fewer boundaries.

I have found that meticulously defining goals and targets detracts from what you really set out to do. If you don’t set any guidelines, but have a rough idea in mind, the results have the potential to be outstanding. There are no limits to your potential achievements. So, to truly push the boundaries, start by not making any. Just put in your all and give it your best shot. Nobody can ever ask you of more than you’re capable. This will also help you to develop an inner sense of self satisfaction, which will intern boost your confidence and could help reduce self-reservation.

Secondly, mix with people who are better than you at what you’re trying to do, and don’t be intimidated by them. Learn from what they do and examine how you could enhance their methods to increase your chances of success.

What’s Next?

These were just few ideas and tips I have picked up. I wanted to share them so that other people could up their game and start living. It’s no fun sitting home alone. Go and do something out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret it. Comfort zones foster an attitude of learned helplessness, making progress harder. Learning, creating, growing happen only when you step outside your fortress and venture into the wilderness.

To get out of your comfort zone:

  • cz2Bring awareness to your comfort zone and your natural tendency to stay inside it.
  • Change your frame of mind. View your comfort zone not as a shelter but a prison. Embrace constructive discomfort. Don’t take the safe, known path. Choose challenge over comfort, and set goals that force you to get out of your comfort zone. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  • Gradually expand the perimeter of your comfort zone. Lean into the discomfort. Don’t sprint out of your comfort zone, take small but frequent steps. Push the walls out, don’t try to knock them down.
  • Periodically check your progress to confirm that you’re going further out over tyme.

As your life continues to improve it will become easier to expand your comfort zone, because when you’re happy, optimistic and confident, you’ll be more inclined to take risks and live adventurously.

* Resource(s) & Photo(s) courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/JLBarranco,Tom Murcko
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