The hardest part of stepping outside of your comfort zone is taking the first step.
Some of the best advice someone ever gave me was to “plan to do the things you want to do because simply wanting to do something is not enough.” There needs to be an action in place. Take a few minutes and think about all the goals you have and the things you want to do in your short and face-paced life.
Do not rush this self-reflective process because you deserve to take the time to think about all the things you want to do in life. The more aware you are of the things you want to do, the more likely you are to actually do them. Setting smart goals now will provide you with inspiration and allow you to live your life with purpose, constantly hoping to better yourself in order to achieve those goals in the future.
Now, instead of saying you want to go skydiving, want to go to graduate school, want to ask the person you admire out on a date or want to travel, say you plan to do all these things instead. A simple shift in the wording of how you present your goals already makes them seem more attainable and that you have made a commitment towards accomplishing them.
You just said that you plan to accomplish your goals, right? You made the commitment to do so, now you just need to actually follow through. Just go for it — what do you have to lose? Unfortunately, when it comes to taking the initial step outside of one’s comfort zone many people think they have everything to lose. These people end up losing sight of the path that led to what they had wished to accomplish.
A comfort zone was given its name for a reason — it is a place where you are supposed to feel comfortable and at ease and live without challenges in your way. Is that the place you truly want to live your life? Some of the most enlightening, rewarding and inspiring experiences I have had stemmed from my plans to accomplish them. The only thing you lose when you do not live out what you desire is a part of yourself that you may never discover.
So where did my sense of confidence, adventure and risk-taking come from? Believe it or not I used to be a moderately shy young girl afraid of getting yelled at, messing up or breaking the rules, and now I do not let my fears steer me away from my plans. My eager sense of desire to live outside the bounds of my comfort zone came to me the day I decided to take that initial step out of it as a child who wanted to play competitive sports and put on private shows singing Disney songs in my living room for my family.
Once you know what it is like to feel uncomfortable and challenged and to then overcome any of the fears associated with those challenges, the good always outweighs the bad. Many people strive to live in this zone of the unknown and to constantly be challenging themselves. How are you going to improve as a person if you are not challenging yourself to do so?
If you are one of those people who struggles to push yourself to take risks, make it your plan to challenge yourself anyways. Your first goal towards accomplishing your real goals is to just go for it. Make yourself uncomfortable for a short period of time and you will be surprised by the positive effects that will come from your experiences.
It may sound scary, but you will be so incredibly proud of yourself if you just do it. I believe in you, and you should believe in yourself and your capabilities to thrive in the unknown. Every new day is unfamiliar and unknown until you live it, so now is your chance to capitalize on your goals and live the life you have always wanted to because you should strive to do all the things you plan to do.