Getting out of Your Comfort Zone

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone on purpose?

For me, it happens almost every day.  Not always in huge grand gestures, like the first podcast I was on, or the first newsletter I created, or the first person I hired. 

Some days it’s as simple as making a new recipe for dinner, or changing the pen I use to write with, or wearing different shoes.  

You get the point.  

Every day I step out of my comfort zone, on purpose.  

You’re probably asking why would you do it, Dan.  What’s the point of making yourself uncomfortable?

The truth is that when you step out of your comfort zone you are MAKING yourself grow.  And when you do it on purpose you get to determine where you grow.  

Think about it.  If you want to get better at speaking in public the best thing you can do is get on some other platforms, go get interviewed, or go out and talk to a group like toastmasters.

If you want to get better and introduce yourself to new clients you might start by saying “hi” or, “how are you today?” To complete strangers in the store or on the street, or in the restaurant.  The next time you go out to eat tell the waiter a little about yourself.  Work on your introduction with complete strangers.

When you don’t take action on purpose, then you might get uncomfortable in a direction you might not want to go in.  

Either way, the good Lord has a way of pushing us out of our comfort zone every once and awhile.  

One question I get a lot is, “Dan why are you always pushing your comfort zone?”  

My answer is fairly simple. I push my comfort zone because I want to grow. I like to always be moving forward.  The best way to move forward is to push yourself.  

Here are some tips to help you get out of your comfort zone

  • Make a list of something that you would like to be able to do in the next year.  This helps because if you don’t know what you want then it’s extremely hard to start moving in the right direction.  

Some ideas are: be able to talk to strangers, start a podcast, be able to go live on Facebook or IGTV, talk to the opposite sex, create amazing presentations, speak in front of 50,000 people, ect…

  • Start small.  If you want to be able to speak in front of people don’t start in a high-pressure situation.  What I mean is that if you’ve never been able to talk in front of a group don’t organize a huge event and throw yourself into it as the keynote speaker.  

Start smaller, like a group of 2-5 people having drinks.  Then move up to a small group of non-judgmental people in a local organization (like a Grange meeting), next do a presentation for some kids (like your local school on your career, or a group of 4-H kids), then organize your own event and invite a small group of people like 10-25, then get on someone else’s platform/event and speak to their group.  Last is to get in front of larger and larger groups until you are comfortable with it.

  • Don’t wait, start today.  One of our biggest issues as humans is that we allow our fear to rule our actions.  

When we are afraid to make a video and publish it, we have a tendency to put it off until we tell ourselves, “oh well I guess we just weren’t meant to make that video.”  instead of that do it right then and there.  

When I first started recording videos on my phone it was terrifying!  I mean to tell you I was scared out of my freaking mind.  It was so hard to hit the record button.  Then after I shot a few, it was even harder to post them.  

After I posted them I started to get feedback.  Some peers commented on the videos encouraging me to keep spreading the knowledge.  Fast forward to now, a year later, I am fairly comfortable making those videos and don’t even think twice about posting them.  In fact, I would really encourage everyone to follow my youtube channel.  

  • Share your struggles.  It’s tough to share where we struggle.  For some reason, we are hard-wired to think that others don’t have the same struggles as we do.  

We think that our older brother has it all together when really they depend on us to help them, and we depend on them to help us.  When you share where you’re struggling it frees your mind to focus on what you need to do to move forward.  

I remember after we finished building our house, my brother, a great diesel mechanic, told me how much he admired that I could just design something and go build it.  It wasn’t a skill that he had, but he wanted. 

So what did we do?  

We started by working together to build a tack room in his barn together.  I took lead on the project, making sure he knew exactly what was going on.  

We sat down together and designed the room, made a material list, got the materials, and started building.  He was WAY out of his comfort zone the entire time and nervous until he could see the end in sight.  Then we knew he could do it.  

You wouldn’t believe what happened next.  

He called and said, “Hey I need to build a deck and stairs out of my back porch, I have the plans drawn up. Would you come to look them over?”  

He gained so much confidence by stepping out of his comfort zone one time that he was ready for more!  When you share your struggles it’s easier for others to help you.  

If you never share them how will anyone know what you need!

  • Before and after pictures and comparisons.  For the longest time, I didn’t believe in these.  Until one day my wife, unknowing to me, took a picture of our craft area in our house before we started organizing it.  

Then she snapped an after picture when we had completed the project and got the workstations built and it was all organized.  

WOW, what a difference we made in just a few short days.  By having something to compare so you can see just how much better you became by stepping out of your comfort zone.  

Those before and after comparisons give you encouragement to keep stepping out, again and again.  When I look back to the first videos that I shot a year ago to now, what a difference!  I learned where to look, when to shoot, lighting, and so much more.  

Never compare yourself to anyone other than who you were yesterday!

  • Find an accountability partner/group.  When you have someone else that knows your plan they can help you keep moving in the right direction.  

A good way is to set up a zoom call weekly with a group so that you can all help keep each other accountable for where you want to be. 

This one scares a lot of people. 

If you handle it right, it’s not a bad thing at all.  In our group, we never judge.  When someone doesn’t meet their goals for a week for stepping out of their comfort zone.  

We all ask what we can do to help, or simply give them support by helping to see how far they have come and that they can do it because they have done so much more in the past.

Hopefully, these tips will help you take uncomfortable action in the very near future.  

Let me know if you want to join our accountability group I would be more than happy to chat and see if you would be a good fit for our group.

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