Those damn comfort zones; the places we get so complacent in that we just can’t bring ourselves to leave, the limits we set for ourselves to not cross because there could be DANGER ahead! Our comfort zones can show up in all areas of our lives; our romantic life, business life, social life, they are everywhere. And the worst part is we have created them for ourselves, no one else, through stories that we tell ourselves to keep ourselves guarded.
As introverts, we find our comfort zones quite, well…. Comfortable. A nice and cozy place for us to hide and not be seen. A place where we can be quiet and just stand back and observe. We can spend hours cuddled up with a book or binging a Netflix show pretending there is nothing else we should be doing in that moment because we are comfortable, we are safe right there. No one can judge our motives or worse, simply notice us in the crowd. So we just sit back and daydream, and in a world full of Instagram stars and Pinterest boards, it’s pretty easy for us to get lost in a dream.
So how do we turn these dreams into plans? We get out of our cozy comfort zone and start putting our dreams into action! Sounds simple right? Or maybe a little bit scary? I bet you’re thinking – “I can’t get out of my comfort zone because then people will see me!” As a fellow introvert I can tell you that being seen, isn’t the end of the world, in fact it’s a great feeling when you are really putting yourself out there for your dream. But it’s all about balance and baby steps for us introverts!
Here’s how to get outside of your comfort zone, in true introverted style:
One of the first blocks to an introvert getting outside of their comfort zone is that we are so in our head constantly. There is constant chatter going on up there and the overwhelm can come quick! So you have a big dream, but the second you start thinking about it you think of every single detail that will be even the slightest bit scary and then you decide that your comfort zone just might be a good spot to stay.
Start by breaking your goal down into 5-10 steps you have to take to get there. Think about the time that it will take you to get to each milestone, and jot them down in your planner or iPhone notes, whatever your planning jam is. And then as you get close to each milestone break that down even further! That big dream doesn’t look so massive now and your mind can hush because that problem you’re foreseeing, isn’t quite here yet! And once you start making your way through the baby steps – the problem will seemingly disappear. The fact is, we are just creating these problems as triggers to keep ourselves safe.
Our inner calm is all a balancing act everyday right?! We spend our day hours at work, which may drain us and so when we come home we just want to relax and unwind for a couple of hours with our favorite book or Netflix series. On the weekends when our friends want us to come to a social event, we have to choose between a Friday night get-together, Saturday night party or Sunday brunch; because after one we have to give ourselves time alone to quiet our energy for a bit.
It’s the same with our comfort zones, so when we think about this big scary step we want to take, we don’t ever take the time to think about how we will give ourselves a chance to unravel after it all goes down. Balance yourself out. So if you decide you have to overstimulate yourself a bit at a new networking event; look at the time it begins and ends and then pencil in a little self-time before and after. Allow yourself the chance to breath, knowing that you can and will makes all the difference in our minds.
Quiet your mind
This is a biggie and trust me I know how tricky it can be! Our comfort zone is essentially just our mind feeding us all of our upper limits that we have. Subconsciously reminding us of stories of the past to stop us from potential threats ahead. Everyone has them, but as an introvert I think our comfort zones are amped up a few levels! Our mind is already going, and now we are fed extra stories on top of it?! If you’re ready to burst of your comfort zone it’s time to starting turning down the volume on our thoughts a little bit and listening to our hearts.
When is the last time you actually listened to your thoughts?
Next time you want to do something and the fear stops you, take a minute and think about why this fear is here. What is it protecting you from? Grab your favorite journal and write down what you notice about this comfort zone. From there begin to think of what is the worst that could happen, is this a serious threat to you or is it a problem you are just making up? We create problems more often then we create solutions. How can you reframe this particular problem to get closer to what it is you really want?
Stop listening to other people
We so often allow what other people think to be so toxic to our lives. We obsess over every detail of what someone may or may not see. We worry, we get anxious, we fear their judgement. There are two realities here I want you to take note of before you start making waves out of your comfort zone.
1. You have absolutely no control of what other people think and what they think has nothing to do with you.
2. As a general rule – humans want to see other humans do well.
This life, is your life, you get to do it once. So quiet the thoughts of others and go for it, for you and no one else.
A final thought to remember, there is no playbook for life. So you want to do something and do it in a way no one else has? I say go for it! When getting outside of your comfort zone, do it to the tune of your own playlist. Don’t focus on if it’s right or wrong. It’s your way, your style and the real achievement is truly going for it!
Show the world how us introverts have impact and soul like no one’s ever seen! We are the quiet achievers, ready to change the world one big quiet step at a time! Get outside of your comfort zone to start watching your magic happen.