Stepping outside your comfort zone is one of the most helpful things you can do in order to grow as a person and become successful. Yet, many of us have a tough time leaving our comfort zone because we feel in control and more secure. We find it much easier to go to an event with a group of friends or go to the same restaurant again and again because we know what everything is going to be like. There’s nothing wrong with a little comfort, but if you want to make a change in your life for the better you’ll want to experience new opportunities and try new things.
One of my favorite motivational quotes is “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it” – by Pablo Picasso. This is essentially saying you can do anything you put your mind to if you go out and give it a shot. By taking action and putting one step forward, you will be on your way to conquering a new hobby, meeting someone who will make a difference in your life, and taking your life or business to the next level.
Face Your Fears
The first step you must take to get out of your comfort zone is to face your fears. Grab a piece of paper and write down everything that makes you anxious and prevents you from achieving your dreams and aspirations. Think about how your life would change if you were able to overcome your fears or anxieties. You will open yourself up to new opportunities and challenges.
Let’s talk about public speaking for a minute. Many people are afraid of it, which is why there are now so many sites online such as Effortless English Club that can teach you have to speak and write proper English. Studies have shown humans to fear speaking in front of an audience more than death; and you are not alone if speaking in front of others doesn’t float your boat. If you want to overcome your fear, look into the thousands of resources available that will challenge yourself to become a better speaker. Pick up a few speaking books by Dale Carnegie or join a local Bozeman speaking group named ToastMasters. Both will change your life and help you become a leader and more confident speaker.
I’ll be the first to admit that I could brush up on my speaking abilities. One thing that’s helped me is to start a podcast / online show where I interview others and talk about entrepreneurship. I had never been in front of a microphone and was not comfortable talking to high profile entrepreneurs and celebrities. Yet, with 15 entrepreneur interview podcasts under my belt I’m already much more confidant and have a top business show on iTunes. This wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t take action and go for it. Trust me, my first episodes were terrible, but I’ve been able to learn from them and improve each one.
Take Massive Action
The next step is to take action and put your first foot forward. So many of us talk about our dreams and aspirations, but don’t take the action it takes to get there. Remember when you were a little kid and weren’t afraid to fail or make a mistake? Why should today be any different? What is the worst thing that could happen if you took action and failed? For one, you’d learn something and have a better chance of finding success the next time around. What if you decided to start a business? Maybe you fail and you have to get a job again for a while to make ends meat. BIG DEAL! I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded and have learned that failure plays an essential role in finding success.
In addition to taking action, you must start taking risks. I’m talking about calculated risks that will take you to the next level. Part of stepping outside your comfort zone is to try new things and challenge yourself. Without taking risks, you’ll have a tough time getting to where you want with your life. When looking at my group of friends and the entrepreneurs I interview on the podcast, I notice the ones who are willing to go out on a limb are the ones who are most successful. For example, I spoke with Kevin Harrington (Billionaire and Shark Tank Investor) a few weeks ago about his thoughts on leaving your comfort zone. He felt strongly that you must be willing to take risks if you want to build a scalable business and stressed that you need to get comfortable taking risks.
Analyze your Friend Group
I’m sure you have a great group of friends whom you are comfortable around and enjoy being with. This is great, but make sure you are surrounding yourself with motivated and positive people because you will be forced to become more successful. They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with on a daily basis. If you are hanging around others doing big things, you are more likely to do the same. So don’t be afraid to go to networking events and start a conversation with the person you are sitting next to. You never know who you are going to meet; and how they might be able to help you along in your entrepreneurial journey.
Knowledge is a powerful tool that will help open new opportunities. We all learn differently and prefer to consume content in various ways. If you don’t like to read then watch videos or listen to podcasts. Find out what you want to get better at and put your energy into improving because you can do just about anything when you put your mind to. Set a goal to learn a new language or hobby. I have a website named DIYPETE.com where I teach people how to build furniture out of wood, metal, and concrete. I get emails every week from people all over the world thanking me for inspiring them to try out woodworking. They had always been intimidated, but once they watched the videos and took action, they realized it wasn’t that hard. I’ve seen photos of their first wood projects and they look great. Learning woodworking is similar to cooking or any other hobby. Just give it a shot and see what happens. If you are looking for a good read about how to learn new things quickly check out Tim Ferriss’s book named The 4-Hour Chef.
Spontaneity is a great trait to have that will get you out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. We all have a couple friends who have to plan everything weeks in advance and if something comes up that is out of the normal; things will go haywire. But what if something comes up that could change your life for the better? Say you have a last minute opportunity that comes up to speak at an event or to go on a vacation. Don’t automatically say no and feel like everything needs to be planned to a “T.” Do your best to be a little more spontaneous. It will make life more exciting and the new experiences will be rewarding.
Having the ability to step outside your comfort zone will bring about new opportunities and success. So don’t be afraid to face your fears and take action. Surround yourself with great people, take risks, continue to learn, and be spontaneous. These steps and traits will improve your confidence and you will become a more successful person because of it.