How to expand your comfort zone:
While I was in high school, I had a quote taped to my wall. It read: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I am unsure of who the author is, but that simple sentence has stuck with me for years. It is easy to get stuck in the daily routine of your life; to choose comfort over growth. The problem is that once you get stuck in that habit, it is increasingly difficult to get your way out. Sometimes ripping off the band aid is easier said than done, so here are 7 tips I have found to be helpful in my personal life.
- Take baby steps.
If you are trying to write a book like me, the idea of sitting down at your computer and writing chapter after chapter can seem daunting. Instead, chunk up the task. The first baby step would not be to write an entire book— it would be to get all of your ideas down on paper. After everything is out of your brain and instead on the table, you can move on to organizing them. Focusing on one step at a time allows you to relax and give your brain a rest. Caffeine can keep you awake, but you still need your sleep.
- Lean in to your support system.
I would not be where I am today without my family. Sometimes you will need a second opinion. Sometimes you will need a distraction or a sounding board. Regardless, accept help from the people who love you. It will help you in the long run to get used to collaborating.
- Celebrate the small wins.
Allow yourself to feel excited about every success. An “A” on a test does not guarantee you will graduate with honors, but it is still something to be proud of. Smile about it and take a moment to feel happy about your accomplishment. This will help fight against burnout.
- Have a motivating end goal.
It is inevitable that you will have a tough moment or a rough day altogether. Having an end goal in the back of your mind to remind you of why you are working so hard will help you through your ruts. Create a vision board, if that is something that helps you. Allow yourself to dream a little and use that as fuel for your future.
Taking a break is not a bad thing. Turn away from your task and take a deep breath. Getting overwhelmed and frustrated will not get you closer to your goals. Take time to take care of yourself and grab some water.
- Reward yourself.
If you have been working hard for a goal, it is important to reward yourself. This can be anything from an ice cream date with family and friends to buying a new shirt you have had your eye on.
- Have a backup plan.
You may not necessarily need a backup plan, but it is helpful to have one. If your current path turns out to not align with what you want with your life, you will already have a different path to follow. A backup plan simply helps to ease your mind and prevent you from going into panic mode.