At numerous times in your life, most of you felt the need to take various leaps to be able to motivate yourselves, to grow and to be better than what you were. However, have you ever sensed like these leaps were scary and unpleasant, even if they were a necessity?
I know I did, it even felt awkward and creepy at times! Breaking out of our comfort zone is sometime personally terrifying and it does come in numerous forms. I felt this way when I left the United States to go back to the Former Soviet Union knowing that I had defected 13 years earlier.
As I crossed the automatic doors of the busy airport, and registered my luggage, the thought of the tiring last month came to mind, a time where I sold all of my belongings, where I sadly said good bye to my friends but where I also felt like it was the right decision.
Circumstances like these are, regrettably, omnipresent. And the best response for most people in these kinds of situations is avoiding. Which of us wants to feel uneasy and fearful when we don’t need to?
My uneasiness didn’t come that from doing the wrong thing but came instead from the apprehension of what would happen to me as I set foot on Russian soil after so many years. Did the Russian computers still had me as a defector in their data base?
Frequently Faced With Challenges
It is simply a fact in the world we live in today that in our life, in our occupations, in our careers, we are frequently faced with challenges where we need to adjust our actions. But in learning to live outside your comfort zone, you prepare yourself for changes forcing you to go through the unusual, so that you may grow and mature through every aspect of your being.
Nobody says it’s easy. Here I was, in the LAX airport, standing between the beaches of California and the snows of Moscow, Russia. What do you think you would have done? I know you wouldn’t have made the jump into the unknown like I did, but I was ready, I was missing home, even if real home was Ukraine. Without the courage and the ability to take a leap, you could miss out on some great opportunities for progress in life.
I knew deep down I had to do this. I realized that in the latter years of my life in the US, most of the people I knew and spent time with were Russian and Ukrainian. I had to step out of my comfort zone to be able to grow, even if it was a hard thing to do, leaving behind me a world that I now knew for years.
A Comfort Zone Destroys Your Productivity
As soon as you start getting out of your comfort zone, you will find it easier to push your boundaries over time. It will become almost normal to you, I know it did for me, and then your comfort zone molds the changes so that it comes to be easier as you do it again.
As I got onto the moving staircase leading to security checking, I turned around and waved, knowing that I would never come back again. I was walking toward my chosen destination and thought “What a strange farewell”. Do you know that the comfort zone you are in right now destroys your productivity over time? How? Well, without the feeling of unease that originates from having time limits, you lose sight of your determination and desire to do more and acquire new learnings.
You then fall into a place where you stagnate in a zone of comfort and avoid undertaking any new things. I agree, fear and uncertainty do exist. But by taking risks in an unmeasured or if you prefer, in a measured fashion, and in taking a challenge in stuff you usually wouldn't do, you will realize that it might brainstorm and bring out your creativity.
Time to Move On
Now it was the time for me to embark, I got into the plane taking me away from 13 years of life into a country that I thought was great at the time but that in end brought me only disillusion. I walked in the right isle and finally found my place at one of the windows of the 747. I sat and looked down through the window of the plane, and the only thing going through my mind was “It feels right”.
In trying new things, it can make you reflect on your actual beliefs and where it clashes with the new. Get a new light, a different perspective by putting aside your inclination to only look for things you already agree with. You get a general self-improvement by visiting a new country, learning fresh skills, taking a crack at new foods, or anything that challenges your mind.
Never forget that maturity is in part knowing, where you need to become more mature. Then the plane finally closed its door and slowly slid down the tarmac, got into position, and as the pilot put all power into the reactors, the Boeing’s speed increased and I thought “There we go! We are taking off. Goodbye America.” The plane got high into the air, climbed through the clouds, and after a while got into cruising speed, I looked again through the window and only saw the earth below.
Tips to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
By breaking out of your comfort zone, it's important to remember everyone's zone of comfort differentiate, and what may increase your perspectives may paralyze someone else. Here are some tips to break out of your comfort zone in a very simple way:
- Do simple things with the opposite hand once a week, as it connects all hemispheres of the brain.
- Learn a new language or skill.
- Try a new restaurant as you pass by it.
- Take an altered path to the office.
- Change the way you do things on a weekly basis, It doesn’t matter if little or big.
- Travel to new places to widen your perspectives.
- Trust yourself and make snap decisions, as most people often contradict themselves.
- Do not weigh all possible options over and over again, just act to get things moving. It will teach you to trust your judgement.
- Connect with people that inspire you.
- Try something new every week or month.
You should know that learning another language give you a brain boost, creates new brain cells, and delay the onset of many brain related diseases. You need to push yourself past the mental blocks that whisper “Do nothing”. Try to embrace new experiences so you may reap fresh abilities and apply them to your daily life.
You just want to learn what you're actually capable of. Anyway it takes a lot of audacity to break out of your comfort zone. And throughout these inspired, creative, productive, and slightly uneasy times, you may discover that you want a new career for yourself.
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Sergei VanBellinghen, Founder & CEO of First-Class Lifestyle and sergeivanbellinghen.com, Success & Self-Improvement Coach, Freedom entrepreneur & business partner of Stuart Ross, also counselor in East Europe-West relationships, a passionate Globetrotter and an avid audio booker