How To Escape Your Comfort Zone
Updated: Apr 19, 2021
Comfort zones – we all have them. You might even be in yours right now, sitting down in a cosy chair with a nice cup of tea, all safe and warm while the chaos of the world swirls around outside.
It’s a nice place to be, for sure, but if you have big goals in life, staying in this cosy space isn’t going to help you achieve them. We can only grow and develop (in any area of life) by leaving our comfort zone and trying new things.
You can pop in and out of your comfort zone
It can be scary, but if you think of your comfort zone as a comfy room you can always go back to after trying the new scary thing, it doesn’t seem too bad. You don’t have to open that door and step out into the swirling chaos forever – you can pop in and out as and when you want to, and every time you do pop out of your comfort zone, your world is going to be a bit bigger (and far more exciting).
So, how can we put this into a writing exercise?
First of all, I want you to write a paragraph or two describing what your ‘comfort zone’ is like for you. Describe it as if it were an actual place – perhaps a room in your house or somewhere outside – and add in a few details here and there so you can really picture it in your mind.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘happy place’ – as in ‘close your eyes and go to your happy place’ – and if you’ve ever pictured this, it’s probably similar to your comfort zone. You might be on a beach, or in the middle of a forest, or high up in the mountains – or you might be in a cosy reading nook, reading your favourite book while the rain falls against the window. Picture it in your mind, then write it down.
Next, write a description of how you’re going to get out of your comfort zone, however you want to imagine that – just make sure you make it into something fun and exciting. For instance, if you’re in a room, you could open the door and walk down a brightly lit corridor full of other doors – colourful doors with signs such as ‘possibility’ and ‘growth’ on them, which open to new and exciting places you couldn’t even imagine from the cosiness of your comfort zone.
Or, if you’re nestled in a cosy cabin in the mountains, you could get dressed up in your winter gear and venture out into the snow – and perhaps take an epic zip line down into the valley. Anything that gets you excited or raises your adrenaline.
Your comfort zone exit strategy
Make your ‘comfort zone exit strategy’ as creative or as random as you like, but make sure you can picture it clearly – and then write it down. Read over both passages several times until they’re fixed in your mind (and, if needed, come back to them on a regular basis).
Now, every time you go to do something outside your comfort zone, you know exactly what you need to do: picture yourself leaving that cosy room, or that sunny beach, or that beautiful view from high up in the mountains, heading towards the thing you need – or want – to do.
If you’ve made your ‘comfort zone exit strategy’ into something fun and exciting, you’ll (hopefully) feel that sense of excitement every time you leave your comfort zone in the real world, and hopefully this excitement will override any fear you might have about the new thing you’re trying out.
Retreat and recuperate
And just remember: after you’ve done the scary thing, you’re allowed to retreat back to your nice, cosy comfort zone, put your feet up, and relax, safe in the knowledge that you’ve achieved something amazing – and grown that little bit more. Now you can recuperate for a bit before venturing out again.
This blog post has been adapted from one of the prompts in my book, Write Your Year: 365 Ways To Change Your Year And Your Life.