Most of the time, what ultimately leads us to success is the very thing we are afraid to do – the thing that lies beyond our comfort zone. Let’s put it in a simpler way, we want to be healthy, but we don’t want to get our butts off the couch to workout. Often, all these things that we refuse to do, where we procrastinate, where we put off for another day, is what that will ultimately lead us to the path of a better life.

For example, we know that consuming a healthy diet is one of the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle. But, it seems so hard for us to keep away from those greasy yet delicious foods. What is health when you can sink your teeth into the cheesy goodness of a pizza. We can’t resist the sweet taste of creamy ice cream on our tongue. It is hard to get out our comfort zone. It’s hard but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it!

Let’s take a look at the things we can do to get out of our comfort zone:

1. Have a bet with your friends/family.

Are you feeling lazy to exercise three times a week? Do you procrastinate while writing that epic fantasy novel of yours? Do you worry about the risk of starting a business? Tell somebody about it.

Tell your friends or family members about your idea. And make a bet with them. Bet with them that you are going to accomplish the goals in a certain period of time. “I’m going to lose 30 pounds in six month, if not I will treat you to dinner” Tell this to your close friends, so that they can remind you of your bet.

It’s not necessary to limit yourself to achieve the goals within a time frame, but it’s probably more effective that way. The key is to motivate yourself to get started. The bet can be like, “I’m going to the gym twice per week, if I miss once, I will pay you 10 dollars” Tell this to your siblings. I’m willing to bet that you won’t be so kind to donate 20 dollars every week to your siblings right?

By having a bet with your friends or family, first, you know that someone is expecting results from you. They will monitor your progress. They will look out for you. Secondly, it somewhat acts like a competition. Deep down, everyone is competitive and you will want to win the bet. Now, you have another extra reason (not the main reason) which will motivates you to take action.

2. Find someone with the same goal with you.

It’s easier said than done unfortunately. Finding someone with a common goal as you takes time, but it definitely worth the wait, especially when it is a long term goal.

Observe the people around you, who shares the same goal as you? Who want to be healthy? Or, who dreams of building a start-up? There must be someone who shares the same goal as you. You just need to pay attention to the people around you. Find them, approach them and tell them about your goal.

Since both of you have a common interest, both of you will benefit a lot from each other. Firstly, both of you are expecting progress from each other, just like what I mentioned in the first point. At the same time, when you face obstacles, he/she may lend a helping hand to you (You’re both in this together, remember?). When one of you is successful, both of you can celebrate together, and I’m sure that success will become the motivation of the other half.

3. Start small.

Don’t be too eager, be patient. You don’t have to force yourself to get out of your comfort zone immediately. Start by taking small steps. Baby steps. Start by doing tasks which are tiny, which you won’t resist to do.

You want to jog every day after work? Start by changing into your workout clothes or changing into your running shoes. Want to start your own business? Start by drafting out your business plan or researching the market or demographic which you aim to target. Want to be good at cooking? Start by buying the ingredients or reading some recipe books. Starting is the key.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucius

No matter how tiny the steps you take, it doesn’t matter. You must learn to count the small wins, the tiny steps you have taken. And remember, the beginning is always the hardest, and it is okay to start small. You learn to crawl before you know how to walk.

4. Begin with the end in mind.

Imagine that you only have 3 months to live in this world. What would you do so that you won’t leave the world with regret in your heart? Write down your bucket list. I bet a few (if not most) of the tasks in list are outside of your comfort zone.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

– Mahatma Gandhi

We need to reframe our perspective on life. If the previous perspectives you had aided you to step out of your comfort zone, to make your life better, then by all means, keep it. If it doesn’t, change it. Change your perspective on life, and you will have the guts to do something crazy, which is beyond your comfort zone.

Most of the time, our perspectives on life are shaped by the people around us – family, friends and society. It’s not scripted by ourselves. We are influenced by others in the process of scripting our perspectives. Just because the majority of people think that starting your own business is impossible doesn’t means that it is true.

“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.”

– Stephen R. Covey

By beginning with the end in mind – imagining the end of your life, it makes you realize what is truly important to you. You will have a clear destination, dreams that were previously buried deep in your heart.

The idea of “Begin with the end in mind” originated from Stephen R. Covey’s book, “The 7 habit of Highly Effective People”.

5. Visualization.

This should be a familiar concept to you if you have stumbled across lots of articles about personal development. Visualize your success. Visualize the progress.

To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan… believe… act!

Alfred A. Montapert

The same applies to how we are to get out of our own comfort zone. We utilize our right brain to visualize the process. Visualize ourselves doing the things that are out of our comfort zone.

According to Dr. Charles Garfield’s research on peak performers, almost all world-class athletes and other peak performers visualize. They experience it through visualization before they do it.

To step off your comfort zone, you should first visualize the process. You experience it, feel it, take it all in. Then, when it comes to real life, you will feel more comfortable in taking the first step because you have already experienced the whole process in your mind. Visualization makes things familiar to you, and thus making them appear easier.

6. List out the benefits.

Sometimes, we refused to do things which are out of our comfort zone because we are not determined enough. We aren’t fully convinced that it will benefit us. And, maybe we are afraid of failure. We fear that if we move out of our comfort zone, we will end up failing.

To counter these problems, we should list out the benefits of the activities which are outside of our comfort zone. We need to convince ourselves that it is beneficial. We must convince ourselves that, by getting out of our comfort zone, we are moving to a better way of living. Remember:

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.

Winston Churchill

Ask yourself what will change if you work on things that out of your comfort zone. Think and reflect on it deeply.

7. Stop making excuses.

Last but not least, stop making excuses.

“I can’t do that because it’s beyond my comfort zone!”

“Everyone said that it is impossible!”

“If I fail, everyone will laugh at me!”

Stop making excuses! Most of the time, excuses are created by ourselves to prevent us from doing what we want to do. We lack confidence and so, we start creating different excuses to persuade ourselves not to do things which are beyond our comfort zone. Remember, excuses only results in procrastination.

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

– Benjamin Franklin

 

Just ask yourself one simple question. Did you ever achieve something great by making excuses? Those who are good at making excuses won’t go far in their lives. If you want to get out of your comfort zone, stop making excuses now!

 

“Forget all the reasons it won’t work and believe the one reason that it will.”

 

Instead of wasting our time and energy on making excuses, we should instead focus on finding ways to achieve our goal. We should shift our time and energy from thinking about negative thoughts to positive ones.

LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.

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