Stepping outside of your comfort zone

by - October 20, 2019



This came to mind recently when I was thinking of the fact that I have done things that my younger self would be terrified to do. I think it is important to challenge yourself, but equally not overstretch yourself so much to the point that you are putting yourself in a situation you are completely uncomfortable in and unready for.


I remember very well one of my maths teachers telling me in order to bump up my grade, to focus on areas of maths just outside my comfort zone. This has come to be something I  have applied to the rest of my life and I've found it really helpful. By focussing on something that is just close to your reach, you are challenging yourself, but equally, it is a feasible challenge. 

I used to be one of those people that believed in waiting until I felt ready and hoping that the magical moment would come and it would just click- I'd be closer to where I want to be. I very rarely actively tried to do something which I knew I wanted and made me feel a little uncomfortable because I simply didn't think it would be helpful - I let fear convince me that I would feel ready someday by doing nothing. However, I have come to realise how making those first steps when you don't feel quite ready- that's where the growth and magic of it all lies. That's what facilitates you achieving your goals. 

Learning to step outside of your comfort zone is a hard skill, but I think so valuable. I'm going to share below some things that helped me. 

1) As I mentioned above - do something that's just outside of your reach - this is in my opinion, the best way of taking on something new and leads you in baby steps to where you want to be.

2) Mindset. Such a huge part that stopped me taking on something that I wanted and was just a little scared of was the way I thought about it. Because I was scared, I would convince myself that I just wasn't the best fit for things I wanted to do and that there would be somebody better. It's okay for you to sometimes feel like that - it is just because you are scared. But, rather than putting yourself down before you've even given yourself the chance, think about the fact that you have nothing to lose. If you are told no, you are in the exact same position you are now. That if you don't succeed, it will be a learning experience. That actually you could be so much better at a job than you think you would be if you just gave yourself the chance to find out.

3) In the end the only things we regret are the chances we didn't take. This quote really resonates with me in this sense. It is better to be in a position where you did something you were slightly uncomfortable with and maybe it didn't quite go to plan and you learn from it, than to think what if I'd done it and I'd succeeded. We will all fail at some point, but it is so much better to be in a position where you tried and learned from it than didn't get to where you wanted because you never put in the effort.

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