How do you step outside of your comfort zone?

Do you love it, or hate it when people tell you “think outside of the box” or “step outside of your comfort zone”? It seems these are the most popular sayings nowadays. I personally prefer the older sayings, which are being lost by our youth. ‘You reap what you sow’ is a personal favorite, but when I said this to some middle schoolers, they looked at me with puzzled faces and asked ‘what’s reap and sow?’.

In a previous post, I pondered the saying ‘think outside of the box’. You must first contemplate what’s inside your ‘box’, who you are and what you want to do with your life. The same applies to ‘step outside of your comfort zone’. What defines your comfort zone and what will you accomplish by stepping outside of it? This simple saying can end up being very therapeutic, as it forces you to reflect on who you are and what you want to do with your life.

If you’re like me, and have started off on an adventure into being your own boss, you’ve already stepped outside of your comfort zone. Being an entrepreneur and an employee are at opposite sides of the spectrum, in my opinion.

Here’s where I started in determining my ‘zones’:

Inside my comfort zone

  • I enjoy working in the background, taking directions and getting things accomplished. 
  • I am goal oriented and work well within an established schedule
  • I enjoy talking to people face-to-face
  • I like to get along with everybody
  • I strive to be organized

Outside my comfort zone

  • Being in the forefront – running the show
  • Promoting myself and my business
  • Speaking in front of a group of people
  • Determining my own priorities and objectives
  • Meeting new people and worrying about what they think of me
  • Moving forward without knowing exactly what the road in front of me holds

So I’m working on getting outside of my comfort zone by running two networking groups of my own, by attending networking meetings hosted by others, doing lots of research and learning how to set my priorities and goals for the day and sticking to them.  It’s difficult when you work out of your home, to feel like you’re really ‘at work’. 

What are your challenges, fears and struggles?  Take a minute and write down what’s inside and outside of our comfort zone, and you might learn something about yourself you didn’t know, or had forgotten.  The real key is to just keep moving forward!

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