Feeling Stuck? How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone Today
Ding, ding, ding.
That’s your alarm clock waking you up for another day. But what does the day ahead really look like?
Do you feel excited and energized about what you’ve got on your plate?
Or do you feel frustrated, drained and stagnant?
If you’re nodding along to the latter, then you may very well be stuck in the drag.
Being stuck in the drag is the state of going through the motions of your life resulting from a challenging circumstance; a lot of the same old, same old; or even a compounding of self-doubt that’s made it really hard to find inspiration and keep moving toward your goals and dreams.
We all get stuck in the drag from time to time, but staying in the drag is a problem. It’s a place that’ll suck your energy dry and leave you feeling empty.
So let’s get you unstuck ASAP by helping you break out of your comfort zone.
Moving out of your comfort zone might be the last thing you want to do when you’re in the drag, but it’s the easiest way to get out of a funk fast.
As Dr. Andrew Molinksy of Brandeis University says, “By learning to step outside our comfort zones, and being able to take chances and have the courage and skill to do it, we can open a lot of new possibilities and discover things about ourselves that we would not have otherwise discovered.”
In addition to opening up new possibilities and discoveries, moving out of our comfort zones allow our brains to learn new things since, according to research, stability can stop us from learning.
Now, breaking out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean you have to go do something crazy, like base jumping or cliff diving.
In fact, the 3 tips that follow are so simple you could even put them to use today, no special planning needed.
Ready? Then let’s dig in.
Tip #1: Take a New Way Home (and Pay Attention)
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn
Too often we go through our daily lives running from one engagement to another with little thought to our surroundings. We get in and out of our cars or on and off public transit as if on autopilot.
But what if instead of taking the same old way home, you decided to shake things up and choose a new route?
It’s not the craziest recommendation in the world, but the new surroundings you’d experience coupled with the challenge of navigating a new path home could be just what you need to gain a new perspective and get yourself out of a rut.
But don’t just choose a new route then immediately return to autopilot. Pay attention to your new path—experience it through your available senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing, and/or vision.
For example, instead of focusing on the irritating driver near you, turn your attention to the touch of your body on your seat or the tall green trees up ahead.
Take time to absorb the small details around you. Let them bring you back to the present. Let them bring you a jolt of energy or inspiration. And let them take you on a little cruise outside of your comfort zone, even if just for a moment.
Tip #2: Go Solo to a Bar/Restaurant (and Test Your Comfort Level)
In addition to taking a new route home, consider taking yourself out on a solo date to a bar or restaurant you love or have yet to try.
Many of us are uncomfortable with being alone. We feel the need to have someone there by our side always, or at least to keep ourselves occupied with our smartphones.
But being alone can help you recharge, open up your senses, and get you out of your comfort zone. Being alone can also help you refocus on your needs and wants, not to mention your goals and dreams.
So, challenge yourself.
Here are the parameters:
- Pick a day within the next month that works for you.
- Select a meal time or drink time: morning, afternoon, or evening, and block it off for your solo date.
- Choose a bar or restaurant to enjoy by yourself and make a reservation for one, as needed.
Here are some guidelines:
- Try to avoid using your phone as faux company.
- Bring a notebook to jot down any ideas or doodles and any interesting thoughts and observations.
- Go ahead and strike up a conversation with your server, bartender or those around you—that’s a bonus step out of your comfort zone!
Remember: this challenge is all in the service of your own growth so hold yourself accountable and enjoy!
Also: I’d love to hear how your solo date went. How comfortable were you going solo? Did you feel more comfortable as time wore on? Or did you totally hate it? Whatever the result, please do email me once you complete your challenge; I’d love to hear from you!
Tip #3: Give Someone a Call (Who You Usually Just Text)
In the age of forever being “on” thanks to social media and all-hours emails combined with our regular never-ending life obligations (home, work, family, friends, furry companions, etc.), we tend to seek efficiency. This way, we can achieve more by doing less.
While this is all well and good most of the time, it comes with some negatives, namely that we get into a monotonous rhythm that’s hard to disrupt and can sap not only our creativity, but also our ability to truly connect with others.
Think about this: when was the last time you actively called the people you regularly text?
Text has made our lives a lot easier, but it’s also created a distance that too few of us rarely dare to pass.
Remember: you’ve got people you care about deeply on the other end of those texts, so give ‘em a call.
The call doesn’t have to be for a particular reason or especially long; call to just check-in and say, “hello.”
This simple action will not only resonate with your call recipient, but also help you push past your comfort limits, opening up the possibility for an even deeper relationship or conversation.
Get Unstuck NOW
The best way to get unstuck? Move out of your own way and leave your comfort zone!
As the last 3 tips made clear, you don’t need to do crazy things to break out of your comfort zone; you just need to take some initiative and give yourself a little push.
Think you can do that?
You bet you can!
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