Look around the room you’re sitting in. There is something there right now—no matter where you are—that is so powerful, so colossal and completely life-altering. It’s a force, a power, a barrier that’s as real, tangible and massive as the Great Wall of China…and it’s surrounding you and hindering you everywhere you go.
It’s blocking you from reaching your goals. It’s preventing you from following your dreams. It’s holding you back from achieving success. It affects every decision you make, every action you take and every step you want to move closer to your ultimate objectives.
But when you try to talk to someone about this Berlin-sized wall barricading you in your (perhaps) unfulfilling life, you quickly realize that this prevailing force—this blockade, this obstruction—is completely invisible to everyone on the planet except you.
What is this powerful invisible force? Well, it’s your comfort zone.[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Think about it—if quitting your job was already inside of your comfort zone, you would have done it by now.[/quote]
Your comfort zone is an imaginary wall that you’ve built around yourself to keep yourself “safe”. And I want to emphasize the word imaginary. Comfort zones are not just invisible, but they are imaginary. They are merely pretend barriers we have built with our minds based on past situations and conditioning.
At the same time, comfort zones feel so real that they have the power to affect important decisions in our daily lives, which is why it’s time to take a good hard look at where yours begins and ends. The good news is that because comfort zones are imaginary—just a bunch of neurons firing in your brain—the boundaries you’ve created in your mind can be pushed further out to enclose more of the things that you want to accomplish.
When it comes to quitting your job and becoming a full-time business owner, this transition is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the uncertainty of the future. In order to make a successful shift into self-employment, you HAVE TO accept this part of it. Pushing the boundaries of comfort are what lead people to greatness and to unlimited wealth and success. Staying wedged where you are—all cushy and comfy—will not get you anywhere.
Think about it—if quitting your job was already inside of your comfort zone area, you would have done it by now. Or you would feel “comfortable” walking into your boss’s office today and saying “See ya!”, but I’m guessing there’s something (invisible) holding you back. So what you want to do is work on expanding your comfort zone in other areas of your life so that eventually it becomes big enough to encompass and include quitting your job.
Here’s the thing about your comfort zone. When you step outside your comfort zone and do something new, it doesn’t just create a tiny blip in your zone to incorporate that one new thing. Instead, it expands your ENTIRE comfort zone. This means that when you practice getting out of your comfort zone in ANY area of your life, it will expand your whole invisible wall out further.
So here are 7 SUPER EASY ways that you can start to expand your comfort zone and get in the habit of embracing uncertainty on a daily basis.
#1: Put down your Smartphone
Next time you are waiting in line, stuck in traffic or sitting alone at a café, leave your Smartphone (or book or magazine) in your bag and just enjoy the moment. In our fast-paced society, most people feel uncomfortable not “doing” something every single second of the day, so practicing sitting with this uncomfortable feeling of doing nothing for a while.
#2: Take a different route
If you commute to work, take a different route one morning. Or if you like to walk or hike the same route each week, do it backwards or choose a new route.
#3: Hang out with someone new
We tend to spend most of our time with people who we like and who make us feel comfortable. Try meeting up with someone new to gain a fresh perspective and new points of view.
#4: Order something different at a restaurant
How many times have you ordered the same exact thing at the same restaurants week after week? Try ordering something completely new next time…something you’ve never had before. Or branch out even further and go to a different restaurant and order something new there.
#5: Try a new exercise
There are hundreds of ways to exercise and a great way to get out of your comfort zone is to try a new one. Whether you have an exercise routine in place or not, pick an exercise or sport that you want to try and hop to it.
#6: Change up your daily routine
If you have a set way that you like to structure your day, mix it up. If you exercise after work, try doing it in the morning. If you check email first thing out of bed, hold off on it until later in the day. If you wash your face and then brush your teeth, do it the other way around.
#7: Don’t check your email until after lunch
Try to get out of the comfortable feeling of constant stimulation by checking your email or your Smartphone until later in the day.
The key is to remember that the feeling of uncertainty is your friend. Deepak Chopra talks about uncertainty in his book The Seven Spiritual Law of Success. He says, “Uncertainty is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. Without uncertainty and the unknown, life is just the stale repetition of outworn memories. When you experience uncertainty, you are on the right path so don’t give up.”
In the end, what’s the worst case scenario of taking the leap out of your comfort zone? Check out my article What’s Your Worst-Case Scenario? to read more.