Venturing outside your comfort zone can be both terrifying and rewarding at the same time. When you force yourself to step out of your comfort zone, you put yourself in a position to experience the most self-growth. But too often, we coddle ourselves. We tell ourselves, It’s not the right time. This isn’t perfect, I haven’t accomplished this or that yet…

And we give ourselves excuse after excuse, justifying why now isn’t the right time to chase our dreams.

But let me tell you: the time is now. You just have to get out of your own way, force yourself into action, and take that first scary step into the area just outside your comfort zone. And here’s how.

8 Steps to Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone:

1. Check your mindset. Remember the best things in life happen when you challenge yourself. When you do things outside your level of comfort, you end up learning something you would not otherwise have learned. Who knows, you may even discover something new and exciting that ends up becoming an important part of your life.

2. Start small. Challenge yourself by doing small tasks that make you feel slightly uncomfortable. Start with something once a day that is beyond your norm. Maybe it’s just speaking up at your work meeting, or making your first sales call—whatever it is, you can start with a small task to build your confidence before trying something bigger.

3. Research. We feel anxious when we don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into. Do some research and learn about the new skill or activity you’re attempting to do. Read books, or gather information on the internet to familiarize yourself before making the leap.

4. Make a plan. Once you’ve done a little research, set a few short-term goals that will help you stay focused. For instance, if you have to make a speech and that is out of your comfort zone, set a small goal of practicing in front of a few friends or colleagues before the big day. Or make a plan to practice every day in front of the mirror, or video record yourself using your phone, until you feel comfortable in doing it in front of someone else.

5. Challenge your fears. Our fears are learned as children, but they can be unlearned. Sometimes you have to coach yourself with positive affirmations. F.E.A.R. really just means False Expectations Appearing Real. What if you change it to mean Feeling Ecstatic And Rocking it?! When anxiety sets in, ask yourself, What is the worst thing that could happen? Realistically, your life won’t fall apart if you try something new. Are there negative outcomes? There could be, but there could also be enormous positive outcomes, too! Embrace both the negative and positive outcomes for a deeper understanding about yourself.

6. Stay positive. Keep chugging away in the face of failure, and do your best to stay positive. When you challenge yourself with new things outside your comfort zone, fears will invariably set in and it may be hard to stay positive. But by staying upbeat, you will be able to conquer your task that much better!

7. Visualize success. Athletes visualize winning on race day. Similar to this, visualize the new challenge you’re facing… but also visualize a successful outcome. Your anxiety will decrease by visualizing positive results.

8. Get support. Tell your friends and family what you’re doing. They’ll not only support you, but hold you accountable. When you announce your goals to friends, most often you won’t want to back out on it, since you’ve said it out loud. The idea they could ask you about it is sometimes enough to keep you motivated and following through. Get the support and accountability you need!

I’ve discovered that the magic of ME happened in an area just outside of my comfort zone. Not until I silenced my inner critic—and all of the outer critics, too—was I able to take the first step, make that leap, and start my journey to where I am today.

Do you have anxiety about stepping outside your comfort zone? Are your fears holding you back from experiencing the magnificent life waiting for you? Do you keep making excuses, and saying, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…you’ll take action tomorrow…

Let’s change that narrative, together. Let’s take action, together, today!

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About the Author

teri karjala

Teri devotes herself to being the resource people need to uncover their greatest levels of joy and fulfillment in their everyday lives. From teaching courses, keynoting powerhouse events, and being a consistent abundance advocate, onlookers cannot help but leave her presence feeling energized, equipped, and ready to live life to its greatest capacity.