How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Everything we want to do and experience is going to require practice and smaller steps that lead up to the big leap of accomplishment. If you are feeling stuck, timid and not sure what you can do next to take that step of action forward, here are a few ideas to get you moving. Use these examples below to practice gathering your courage and taking action. I’ve broken these examples down and geared them towards where you are at in terms of the goal you are wanting to achieve. It is time to get out of your comfort zone and be reaching your goals.
Read the various stages of achieving goals below and do the exercises. Then take what you learn and gain from doing the exercises and apply it to your big goal and the action step you are struggling with. For the best results in boosting your courage and confidence read this entire article and do the exercises.
You’ve got a goal, kind of. You at least know what you would like to achieve even though you have to figure out what this goal requires of you and what steps of action you will need to take.
If this is where you are at – you are about to experience wonderful changes in your life. You are ready to begin, you’ve decided you can maybe do it and you want it. It is very likely you are stuck because you are just not sure what to do next or how to begin.
The Prep Stage of a goal is where you determine your WHY for wanting to achieve the goal and HOW you would like this goal to change your life. It is also where you light the path to getting there to the best of your ability.
What you need to learn and practice is your observational skills and soul level thinking abilities.
Think about your 2 biggest accomplishments in your life to this day. Find paper and make two columns. Write down these two achievements one at the top of each column.
You don’t need to get fancy or super detailed, just write down what comes to your mind and write it down as it flows.
Write down WHY you wanted to achieve that goal. Even if this achievement was 20 years ago, you should still be able to remember why it was so important to you.
Next write down some of the steps you had to take to achieve these two goals you conquered. Add as many of the steps you can remember.
Last, write down how achieving this goal changed you and your life. What changed in you and in your life? Are these changes still a part of who you are and how you live your life today? Why or why not?
Write that all down.
What you just did is recalled the framework that led to your prior success. This is what the prep stage is in goal setting.
Now go through this exercise again for your New Goal.
Don’t get caught up in making it fancy. If you are thinking “I don’t know why I want this goal or how it will change me,” relax. Allow yourself to visualize all the possibilities and outcomes you can. Dare to think bigger.
Sure, losing 20lbs sounds nice and you know you’ll be healthier and will feel better, look better and have more confidence. But what else? What happened that caused you to gain those 20lbs? Low self-worth, love and care? Giving away your personal power in regards to your time and energy (ahem busy schedule that serves everyone but you)?
If you are healthier what will happen to your spirit and self-esteem, courage and confidence to do bigger things in life? If you are healthier, what will that new courage and confidence do for you in your work – more confidence leads to better work which leads to better pay. Better income does sound nice, as does being proud of your better efforts at work. If you are healthier, you will feel better inside and out, and that light within will glow brighter and it will attract other people into your life who also are glowing and feeling good. New, happier, relaxed people to hang out with sounds pretty good. Having happier people in your life combined with feeling better about yourself will enable you to start raising your standards, expecting more from life and the boundaries you set will also improve. Basically, if you achieve this goal of losing 20lbs and valuing your health more and develop better health and wellness, everything else in your life will rise and improve too.
This is how you visualize and extend the rewards and outcomes of how you and your life can change if you achieve a goal.
Go through the work and do this exercise. Think of as many of the steps as you can that your goal will require.
Take action on the first step this week.
You’ve got your why, it’s solid and you are looking forward and praying for those changes and results to arrive in your life. You have a good idea of what this goal entails and you’re trying to take action.
The problem is you are scared. You are scared of looking like a beginner, messing up and not being able to pick yourself up to keep going. You are stuck in past failures, excuses and doubts.
Did you do that exercise for the Prep Stage? If not, go do it now then come back.
Ok, that two columned list you made for prior achievements you are proud of, we are going to work on it more here.
Can you remember moments in going after those goals in which you were scared and took action anyway? Write these down and add how you felt after getting past that hurdle. I bet you felt pride and relief mixed with excitement, because you got closer to your goal.
Do you recall periods of inaction, in which your fears kept you stuck? What was going on and what were you afraid of? After getting past it, do you remember thinking, “Why didn’t I just do it sooner?”
Looking back are you able to think of times where you looked back and thought “That really wasn’t so bad or tough as I made it out to be. I’m glad I did it anyway and kept going?”
Do you see what we are doing here? Yep, we are taking the fears that have you stuck and we are breaking them into manageable pieces.
I want you to write down your doubts, fears and excuses you’ve been using lately to avoid taking action on your goal. Pour your heart out on that paper.
When you are done, read through your list and for every item you listed, break it down. Minimize it.
Say out loud,
“This is not as big of a deal as I am making it out to be. I’ve taken action on things that scared me before and I did fine. I’ve already (your two big accomplishments you are proud of) and I’ve added a lot to my toolbox of skills, wisdom and experience. I can do this. I’m going to feel really proud crossing this step off my list and I’m going to be closer to my goal achieved. It feels great knowing I am willing to learn, grow and change. I like learning along the way. I like being able to practice what I am working towards and knowing that I get stronger with every step I take.”
Everyone starts out as a beginner, always. Everyone gets stuck and feels scared at times. Everyone reaches moments in which they feel embarrassed and worry about what others think. Everyone stumbles and has to practice what they are working on. Everyone.
Forget other people. This goal is about you.
Focus on your WHY for wanting it, HOW achieving it will improve your life and just move forward.
You know you are making good progress on your goal, maybe you are more than halfway there already. The problem is what is between where you are now and your goal achieved are some really big giant steps for you to take.
In the beginner stage, you were learning and practicing.
Now you are IMPROVING what you’ve been practicing. You are demonstrating that you actually have changed and grown. You are right now, someone who is already the person who can achieve your goal. This is where you are honing in on what is required for you to keep the results. This is the fine-tuning stage.
Fine tuning is scary. You are scared to take these big leaps and climb up to the higher ledge because you have now separated yourself from everyone else who never begins and those who quit back in the beginner stage. This is where people are taking notice of YOU! They are seeing you change and they can already see the results you are starting to receive. They see you getting closer, everyone around you is excited for you and they are also ticked – you are doing it and making life happen for you and they don’t want to put in the effort. Others might be attempting to yank you back down to where you started – where they still are.
You also might be stuck truly not knowing how to make the last few leaps. You keep looking back, seeing your progress and what you have invested. You know you don’t want to quit, but you don’t know how to keep going forward.
First and foremost, keep that WHY and HOW fresh in your mind. By now you can see even greater, the possibilities that lie ahead for you. Go back and add more clarity and power and energy to your WHY and HOW.
Second – observe. Take note of what has already changed for you and within you. Write it down. This is your list of progress made. This list is like a safety harness, when you don’t know how to climb higher you can sit and rest in this list and find comfort there.
Third – Feel It! Feel the pride and excitement, you have already made it farther than most ever will. That is huge! As doubts and fears try to creep in, TAKE time to build and keep your mindset and focus strong. Dare to dream bigger about what you can do beyond this goal.
Training for a half marathon and you are now able to run 10 miles? Dare to add a second goal of running a full marathon. You know you can run 10 miles, which means you know in due time you can run 13.1. This means you can with appropriate time and training also run 26.2.
This is the stage in which you begin to know that you will do it.
This leads to your second issue of being stuck. You don’t know how to do get from here to the end.
Fourth – Make a list of everyone you know who has already done what you are wanting to achieve. Rate them based on their level of experience and wisdom. Your next step is to reach out and find mentors to help guide you. If you already had a mentor and you are now stuck, you have simply exceeded their current level in which they can help you. It’s time to acquire higher levels of help.
Fifth – Your next step isn’t to make a big leap blindly. Your next step is to learn what is sitting between you and your goal achieved. Seek out and connect with as many new mentors as you can. Research. Look at the map you had to get there and start adjusting it. Add, subtract and perhaps even draw an entirely new route.
It’s okay to feel like you are starting from scratch at this point. Remember you are already halfway there. You are not losing anything by wiping your action plan clean and redoing the whole thing. You now realize what exactly this goal is going to require, you can now see that which you couldn’t back in the prep stage. This is normal. You haven’t lost any time or focus. In fact, the clearer you can get at this point, the quicker and easier you will reach your goal. This is where you learning an important life lesson, there is always more to learn and become and adjustments will be necessary.
Six – Enjoy it. Enjoy the rest of the process for getting there. You are getting stronger, wiser and heck, you are even enjoying it a little. Probably a lot. Good.
In the intermediate stage, you’ve already invested too much time and energy into the goal to just quit. The only option is forward. That is scary too. You might feel like panicking and hiding in a little comfy bubble right where you are. The problem is right where you are, you’re dangling by a safety harness because you are literally halfway up the side of the cliff. The sooner you get moving again the better. Do what you can to take action daily and work at getting better at what you can do. You are making progress even if you can’t see it.
These are the just a handful of the most common fears and hold ups we face when trying to achieve our goals. Going through these exercises will help you learn how to dissolve your fears and help you learn how to think in the midst of challenges. If you are just getting going, looking ahead at the future stages of achieving goals will give you insight for what is ahead and you can be ready for it.
I talk a lot more about achieving goals, rising above challenges, doubts and fears
and how to build a successful mindset that is
decisive, empowered and resilient in our 100 Days of Inspiration.
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