I’m a firm believer that life happens at the end of your comfort zone. It’s one of my favorite quotes because as cliché as it might be, it holds so much truth. I didn’t really start living until I learned how to do this. After recent conversations with people, it really inspired me to create this post. The majority of the time whenever I mention my solo travels, the typical response is, “I could never do that!” and I say, “YES, you can!” I know people who turn down amazing opportunities because they’re afraid or they never put themselves out there to take a risk in life so they just play it safe. Living this way makes you way too comfortable. So you have to ask yourself this question, “Am I truly happy or am I just comfortable?” There is a huge difference between the two and the problem with comfort is that it can give this false sense of happiness. This is definitely something that I became more aware of over these last several years. I had all of these dreams, but I never really did much to bring them to life. I had all of these thoughts about the things that I wanted to do and achieve, but that’s all they were. They were just thoughts with no action. For me, it was not until my
father died that I literally WOKE UP. I stopped existing and I started to live. I hope that these tips of mine can inspire you to move closer in the direction your dreams without being afraid.
Do Things Differently.
Sometimes a change in scenery or switching up your daily routine can make all the
difference. It’s really just about breaking out of specific habits. Take a different route to work tomorrow or try out a new coffee shop on your lunch break. The next time you go to your favorite restaurant don’t order the same dish you always do, try something you’ve
never had before. If you always order wine, then order a cocktail. Watch a movie that you
normally wouldn’t watch. Do a new workout routine or try out a new trend. It’s all about
making small changes and gaining a different perspective, even if these new experiences aren’t always positive. Without even realizing it, you will slowly start to step out of your comfort zone.
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
In order to start living outside of your every day comfort bubble, you have to get more
familiar with the things that make you feel uncomfortable. More than likely the things that make you feel uncomfortable are the things that you have not even tried yet. It’s that fear of the unknown that makes you stay away. It’s what makes it so easy for you to say, “No, I can’t do that.” You should start doing this gradually in small settings and little by little work your way up to the bigger things. For example, if you are shy in social scenes, the next time you go out with friends make it your goal to become more outgoing by the end of the night. Then the next time, make it a goal to have at least one one-on-one conversation with someone that is not your friend. The more you do this, the less social anxiety you will feel.
To expand on the above, do everything in small steps. Let’s say your goal is to travel solo to a new country next summer, but you’ve never even had dinner at a restaurant by yourself. If you aren’t ready to just dive in, then work your way up gradually. This week, go to a coffee shop and sit down by yourself. Don’t rush it either. Sit there drinking your coffee [or tea] and take in the surroundings. Sounds pretty chill and easy, right? Next week, take yourself out to lunch and I don’t mean fast food. Go to an actual restaurant and get a table for one. Make conversation with your server that goes beyond your order. Whenever I eat out alone, the servers become my besties. The week after that, take yourself out to dinner, but sit at the bar if they have one. Make small talk with the bartenders. They’ll become your besties too. My point with this example is to do it all little by little. Challenge yourself each week to do another thing on your own, whatever that may be.
Learn to accept failure.
The fear of failing can be so crippling to the point where you have already set yourself up for a loss without ever trying. It’s one of the main reasons why people do not go after their dreams. It’s not really fair to do this, but at one point or another we have all done it in some way. Learning to accept failure can really make you see things in a whole new light. Allow the situation to simply be a lesson learned. Figure out what it taught you. What can you do differently next time? How can this situation help you grow and move forward? It allows you to take on the next challenge with a fresh pair of eyes and forces you to start pushing yourself more every time. Let the failures fuel you instead of stopping you.
Spend time with people who take chances.
Being inspired is a beautiful thing. I was SO inspired by one of my best friends for taking her first solo trip to South Africa last year that WHILE she was there, I booked my flight to Ireland to take my own solo journey for the first time. For me, it was instant and if it’s not instant for you that is OK. Take the time to talk to and hang out with those in your life who take chances and risks. Figure out the things that they do to help them chase their dreams. Talk about their failures with them too and let them explain how they’ve learned from them. Try something new and exciting with them that would normally make you nervous. I am not saying to go and skydive together tomorrow, but have a little adventure. Go and do
something that you’ve been afraid to do with them by your side. That extra support helps tremendously.
There are so many incredible benefits when you step outside of your comfort zone. It helps you grow as a person and you really learn more about your strengths and your weaknesses. Instead of running away from things you will begin to challenge yourself. You will no longer feel so much anxiety and regret. You will start to feel more excitement in your life and your self confidence will only improve. I tell you this from my own personal experience. I look back on my life years ago and can’t believe all of the things that I used to be afraid of. It’s a journey that I am proud of and my goal with this post was to help at least one person do the same.
Thanks so much for reading!