We are in the phase of a change of season, and not only in terms of wardrobe, as you can read in this article, to enter this phase of the year, nature also invites us to get rid of the superfluous, of what no longer has vitality. To do this, you need to get out of your comfort zone the one we have built for ourselves especially in the “summer” part of our life when we have created a dimension made up of many objects, habits, goods, relationships, patterns, and beliefs. We create this zone where everything is familiar, we know how to handle any situation and therefore we tend to keep out everything that could jeopardize it. By strenuously defending this stability we risk being confined and missing important opportunities. To avoid this you can take the 8 steps to get out of the comfort zone cage.
We define it as a cage because the moment we stay in our comfort zone it is as if we were building a boundary within which we are locked up. Of course, this cage could be golden when inside we have created a place where we are comfortable, but it is often an uncomfortable, painful cage, in which we are so forced that the fear of being worse prevents us from going out to try to get better.
In any case, a cage is always a cage! And it prevents us from being free. And it is only when we are willing to take a step to open the door and put our nose out that we take our life back in hand.
What are the questions that can help us begin to understand if we want to change something in our life if we really want to look beyond this comfort zone?
- What I don’t like in my life? It is time that we try to identify it in a precise, concrete way.
- What are the things in my current life that I don’t like?
- And once identified, what would I like different for me?
- Who or what prevents me from achieving what we desire differently, our purpose, our desire for transformation?
- The moment I try to reach it, how do I feel about it? Fear? Discomfort? Anxiety? Each of us can put our feelings on this list.
- Let’s imagine in ten years with nothing changed and everything exactly like now: is that what I want? Do I like it? How do I feel? If there is something we don’t like, that we want to change, then it’s time to go and see what’s beyond our comfort zone.
It seems strange to say, but to get out of the comfort zone, the first step is to go inside. To prepare us to get out of the cage and do it in the best way, here are the 8 steps we can take.
8 steps to get out of the comfort zone cage
1. Get to know yourself
The first step, perhaps the most difficult, is to learn to know ourselves and to be ourselves. Let’s start by discovering what we really like, what belongs to us, and what is perhaps the result of conditioning, the expectations of others. By getting to know each other, we learn to pay attention to our inner voice, the one that knows our deep desires, our deep beliefs, and our values, and can become our guiding voice.
2. Grow your self-esteem
Many believe that being self-confident is a kind of gift of the divine or the result of external factors such as having grown up in a favorable context. In reality, self-esteem is a learned skill. Certainly, some people are more confident than others because of their personal attitude, because they have already tested themselves and have discovered that it can be done, or because they find it fun to challenge themselves. In any case, the more you train it, the more you develop it. A strategy that we can use is “fake it till you make it” which means “pretend until you can”, that is, do as if you can do it, and you will see that by doing it, you will learn.
3. Make peace with fear
Being afraid is natural, facing it is brave: “courage and fear in motion“. We must give it the right role, that of alerting us when there is a danger. In the remaining cases, it is important to learn to live with it without blocking us. We can face which fears, looking them straight in the eye and which ones to put at your side, facing a piece at a time, continuing to move forward, triggering a movement that will surprise us at a certain point along the way.
4. Push the boundaries
Consolidating our self-esteem and learning to live with fear allows us to push the boundaries of our comfort zone until we get to enlarge them so much that we realize that we no longer need it. We will then realize that the external world does not exist in reality, as it is the result exclusively of the elaboration of our mind, of the way in which we perceive it with our senses.
5. Proceed in Small Steps
There are moments in life where we proceed through shock because we are forced to take a big step that creates a break with what has been up to that moment and makes us jump. This doesn’t happen often, and when it does, it can lead to trauma. In most cases, proceeding in small steps is what helps us: small changes, small new daily habits, trigger the new mechanism. It takes an average of 66 days to trigger a new habit so one small step a day works!
6. Face your shadows
In this journey sooner or later we come to meet the gray areas, those parts of us that we do not like, often the result of suffering and wounds. They somehow represent our inner demons, which scares us. But this step is part of our growth and sometimes facing them is less difficult than we think.
7. Develop willpower
In order for the previous steps to work, the will, the determination to do so is necessary, and these arise from the answers to the initial questions that we have asked ourselves and how much we want to achieve the transformation we have decided to do.
8. Act with love and joy
When we decide to take this journey we must always be guided by love for ourselves and by joy, and not face it as a pressure that can create internal conflicts, which would prevent us from transforming our lives for the better.
Once we step out of our comfort zone, our real-life begins “- Neal Donald Walsh
Once the bars of our cage are eliminated, we can begin to have experiences that we have never imagined to do, we may find our true potential – which can finally be expressed – we may find space for our talents and have the opportunity to put them available to others. We will feel more fulfilled our increased self-esteem will bring us an inner strength that will make us understand that we are walking on what is our path, in those who are our steps. And it is during the journey that we will be able to experience states such as joy, peace, happiness, which certainly do not depend on everything we have accumulated in our comfort zone. This way we will really have the opportunity to be just as magnificent in the nakedness of a bare tree. Without leaves and branches, free of what no longer had life, but magnificent in its essence in its strength, in its vitality, as much if not more than the same tree full of leaves and fruits. Because those leaves those fruits, when spring comes they will come back in a different way, and then fall again and come back. It is the cycle of life, it is the cycle of abundance, the fruit of that magnificent solid tree full of life.
Are you ready to start your 8 steps to get out of the comfort zone cage?