What are you waiting for? Get ready to bloom.
Now Is The Time (from the Words of Faith poetry book)
Come forth in the power of your essence
The very power of your presence
Take hold and be present.
See all your life, you’ve been in this cocoon,
Shielded from the world and its hurts.
Protected from the depths of yourself,
Safe within your own arms.
All your life, you’ve been in this shell
Created not to hinder, but to grow.
Does it hold?
It’s been too long my dear
Now is your time to break forth.
Don’t be afraid of your wings,
They’re given to you to fly.
Don’t be afraid of your scales,
They’re yours to stand out.
Now is the time
So come forth.
In that very power of your essence –
How to come out of your comfort zone and step out in more confidence
I wrote this poem as someone who was consistently afraid of 'putting myself out there'. As someone who feared stepping out and being open to the opinions, criticisms and judgements of others. And so, I created a safe haven for myself, within myself.
I held back.
I denied opportunities for comfort. I played it small for safety. What I didn't realise was how much of a disservice this was to myself.
How in seeking my comfort I was denying my growth.
If you can relate to anything I've just shared then read on! Because I'll be sharing some key tips that helped me push past my comfort zone and pursue the next level.
What is the comfort zone?
My quick google search told me that a comfort zone is 'a settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.'
Little effort yields barely acceptable results... Eeish.
I'd say I define the comfort zone as your safety net. You know the ins and outs of it. It doesn't make you think twice. It's your default setting. Your 'go to' mode of action. A place you're comfortable, confident and dare I say complacent in.
Yes, we all need some level of comfort in our lives. Comfort is a beautiful thing, right? Then why should I actively seek out discomfort when I can stay in the same place?
Why should I come out of my comfort zone anyways?
I acknowledge that the comfort zone is not wholly negative. For a time, it can provide good levels of stability and security which we need to maintain consistency in our lives. It can keep us balanced - for the time being.
But think of it like this...
Do you want to remain stagnant in the same position for the next 20 years of life?
If your answer is yes, then I'm sure you'll know by now this post may not be for you.
Yet for those of us on the fence, seeking to come out of the comfort zone but needing an extra push, here's why:
Some reasons to come out of your comfort zone:
Out of pressure, diamonds are formed. Out of fire, gold is refined. And out of comfort, growth is achieved.
1. Stepping out of your comfort zone leads to growth.
2. You'll gain valuable lessons and life experiences.
3. Your goals become more attainable.
4. Less time is wasted in the same position.
5. You will definitely reap the rewards.
So, how do I come out of my comfort zone? Some key steps to take:
1. Recognise the areas in your life that you are holding back in
Start by pinpointing the areas of your life that you would like to advance in. As simple as it sounds, make the conscious effort of highlighting things you want to change.
Ask yourself: where exactly do I want to grow?
Is it in your relationships? Your career? A new hobby you're trying to cement?
Note it down and also seek to understand why you've become settled.
Is it fear? Procrastination? Laziness? Lack of opportunity?
Knowing what keeps you in your comfort zone will allow you to understand what to eliminate when coming out of it. For example, if laziness keeps you in your comfort zone, you can think of a new disciplined routine to follow that eliminates any lazy habits.
2. Set realistic goals for how you want to grow
Start small, but make sure you start.
Once you know what you'd like to change, set realistic goals that will allow you to come out of that comfort zone. Clarify where you'd like to be and take the little steps daily that will lead to your bigger results.
Be specific when it comes to what you want to achieve. For example "I want to write more" can become "I will write once a week for an hour."
3. Feel the fear and do it anyways
You can pinpoint, plan and set goals. But until you take action, you will remain in the same position.
This has been KEY for me. So many times I've had to disregard the fear or apprehension that I feel and just do the things I know will get me the results I desire. I've often found that fear increases just when I'm about to take action, and this is the most crucial stage. That fear can either make me back down into my comfort zone or reach ahead and persist with my plans of action.
Don't let the fear stop you from achieving what is necessary. As Nike says, just do it.
When I was younger, I heard Lil Wayne say 'repetition is the father of learning' and it's stuck with me til this day.
So, how do you continually step out of comfort zones?
Keep growth on your mind. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
There will always be a new comfort zone to overcome. A new level to reach. The comfort you feel today will not be the same in the next year or the year after that.
You may have to revisit areas time and time again. You may relapse and slip back into comfort. But that's how life goes. Allow yourself time to rest, recuperate and then move forward.