Get Out of Your Comfort Zone in 3 Steps
By Ann Brenoff
It’s been said that life begins where your comfort zone ends. But what does it take to cross that thresh-old and push yourself to change your status quo?
It’s obvious that every journey begins with a first step, yet that’s where many of us get stuck. We know we deserve a healthier relationship, but we can’t bring ourselves to try a dating site. We know we want to get into better shape, but walking into the gym on that first day takes more leggings and courage than we currently possess. Does this sound like you? You’re not alone. Almost 80 percent of us admit that we abandon our New Year’s resolutions by February, according to Forbes.
Figure out what you’re afraid of.
Ask yourself, What’s the worst thing that can happen? The idea of taking an overseas trip by myself falls squarely within my fear zone. I have a good friend, though, who loves to travel alone and leaves her spouse at home. She reads up on sites she wants to see and relishes that she can linger in museums long after he would have grown bored. She strikes up conversations with other travelers. And, as she points out, “I have GPS and know how to use it.” Where I see loneliness, she sees valuable alone time.
Don’t let someone else’s comfort zone inform where yours should be.
Make sure you really want to do what others think you should. Another friend, who recently lost her husband, was convinced she needed to back-pack and camp out in the wilderness alone for four nights to help her process her grief. She returned on the second night, covered with bug bites. Her husband had always been the one to pack the mosquito spray when they camped. Sometimes, as it turns out, life outside your comfort zone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After all, everyone is different.
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This article originally appeared in Relax & Radiate Crate's mini magazine, The Girlfriend From AARP mini magazine (Volume 2, Summer 2022).