10 Ways to Stretch Your Comfort Zone

Wouldn’t it be great to stretch yourself a little this year? Imagine you…just a little better. A little more confident. A little more bold. Pretty awesome, right? Well, that’s not going to happen doing the same old, same old in 2017. If you want different results, you’re going to have to take different actions.

We all have comfort zones in various areas of our life, and that’s okay. We need to have a place to relax, and just be. But, too much of this goodness can lead to boredom, feelings of unfulfillment, self-criticism, and general discontent. We don’t grow and improve if we aren’t stretching ourselves. So unless you want the 2017 version of you to be the same as your 2016 version, why not do some stretching?

Some tips for not pulling a “comfort zone muscle”:

  • Small steps are great. Gymnasts don’t start doing a split their first week. It takes gradual stretching over time.
  • Get a buddy. Sometimes the unknown and scary is a little more tolerable when we aren’t doing it alone. Go ahead and grab a friend – it will be good for them, too.

Researching is necessary at times, but don’t get stuck there. It doesn’t count as stretching during the “research phase”.

Now that all of that is out of the way, here are TEN great ways to stretch yourself:

  • Toastmasters – This public speaking and leadership club is a great way to improve your public speaking and leadership skills. Public speaking is one of the top fears people have. Find a club near you and stretch these skills with other people who are looking to do the same. ToastmastersInternational.org
  • Ask for Help – This one can be a toughie. We all need help at times, and most of us really enjoy providing it when someone else is in need. If you need someone to lighten your load, or teach you something new, don’t sweat it, just ask.
  • Promote Yourself – Modesty can be good, but not if it’s at the expense of your success. Highlighting your skills and expertise shows others how you can help them – it’s not bragging. Polish up your resume or create (or update) your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn.com
  • Take a Class – A college course or adult education classes can give you a little edge on some area of your life. Learn something new or go deeper with something you’re already interested in.
  • Get a Personal Trainer – If you have physical goals, you’re more likely to get them accomplished with some help. Hire a personal trainer who will hold you accountable and support you as you work towards your goals.
  • Meet New People – This can be challenging if you’re comfortable with your current circle of friends. If meeting new people and actually talking to them makes you cringe, joining a new club could be a great stretch assignment for you. This could be a networking group or a group centered on a hobby. Visit MeetUp.com to find a group near you.
  • Why So Serious? – Play is fun! You don’t need a reason to want to have fun. Take voice or dance lessons. Try acting or improv classes. Check out the website of your local theaters or do a Google search for an offering in your neck of the woods.
  • Travel – This can be scary, so stretch yourself. Visit a new place. Bring a friend and just explore.
  • Be Bold – Try something that makes you feel a little queasy in the belly – a ropes course, skydiving, snowboarding or rock climbing are good examples.
  • Get a Personal Development or Life Coach – Ahem…Just like the personal trainer, Personal Development Coaches can help you set goals, develop a doable plan to achieve them, then support you as you work through the challenges.

These are just a few ideas to help nudge you out of that comfort zone. Try one or think about something that you know would improve some aspect about yourself and try that. There’s no wrong action here. If it makes you a little uncomfortable and you know you’d be better for it on the other side, go for it! When you stretch a little, over time, you’re going to see (and feel) the difference. You will start collecting all these little wins which will develop your confidence and resourcefulness. Now THAT’s something to celebrate!

Alrighty Oh Bold One! Share in the comments what you’re going to do to stretch your comfort zone.

Need help figuring out where to begin? An Empowerment Session is a great place to start! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Comments

  1. Great post April! Nothing happens in a comfort zone. I love your list of things to try. For me this year it’ll be public speaking. I’ve done a bit in the past but want to do more of it, so some training on that is on my list.

    • Good for you, Angela!! That’s a goal I think many share with you. Be sure to check out Toastmasters!! 🙂

  2. Stretch my comfort zone…hmmm, by digging a little deeper and sharing even more of me 🙂

    • Ooohhh, that’s a great one, Christy! It’s hard to be vulnerable, authentic, and transparent, but peeling those layers back is so worthwhile!! Good on you, Girl!! Thank you for sharing that!!

  3. Another great article, April! I am stepping out of my comfort zone this year and learning how to play guitar. I also plan to go zip lining, which is huge since I’m terrified of heights! I went on a beginner course in Florida last fall, but this year I plan to go Expert level (Yikes!)

    • WOW, Sylvia!! You mean business!! Those are awesome comfort zone stretchers! I’m so impressed by your resolve and willingness to try new things and expand your world. You go girl!! Thanks for sharing these goodies!!

  4. These are fabulous ideas! I’ve been thinking pretty seriously about Toastmasters. The new year always has me thinking about making a fresh start on something, and it really is a great time to move at least a little outside my comfort zone.

    • Good for you, Pam! I hope you try out a Toastmaster’s club near you. It’s free to be a guest, and everyone is learning together. Some clubs are great networking opportunities as well! Best of luck stretching this year!! Thanks for commenting!

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