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Stepping outside your comfort zone

By Rania Sa’adi , Family Flavours - Aug 14,2022 - Last updated at Aug 14,2022

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Rania Sa’adi
Licensed Rapid Transformational Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist

 

Do you sometimes feel stuck in your job, life or even a relationship, unable to move forward? It is because you have probably created a “comfort zone”. 

A comfort zone is a “made up” area in our mind, an illusion, in which a person lives in a psychological state of happiness, peace of mind where everything is static, and therefore no change is ever possible. But the good news is that it is NOT real and if you had the power to create it, you have the power to uncreate it.

When speaking about “comfort zones”, a couple of questions come to mind. Firstly, why do our minds create such an area where, although comfortable, we feel stuck in? Secondly, if we are so comfortable in that comfort zone, what good is there to get out of it? 

To answer the first question, it is always good to remember that our mind’s first and foremost job is to protect us from threats or danger and keep us alive.

That’s why it rejects what’s unfamiliar or uncomfortable because it feels “unsafe”. It will always take us back to what’s familiar for our protection; this is how the “comfort zone” is created.

 

Why is it a good idea 

to get out?

 

What this zone is doing is keeping us static, away from innovation, challenge and motivation. Development is the natural approach to life. Staying in the comfort zone for a long time goes against that natural cycle and, therefore, has many adverse effects on our physical and mental health. One of the best ways to self development is to go out there and try new things, fail and succeed, all to learn and grow into better human beings. A growth mindset is the only way to achieve your goal in life.

To reach that area where learning and growth happen, we need to step into the fear zone and cross it to the other side, where most people lose their drive to get out. But remember, not taking risks is the biggest risk of them all.

 

Expanding your 

comfort zone

 

I encourage you to practise positive self-talk. The subconscious mind often tends to be negative for the purpose of protection. Despite the good intention of the mind, negative thinking causes anxiety and stress. It limits development, success and reaching our goals. So, changing our thoughts and self-talk from negative to positive motivates us to step outside our comfort zone.

 

How to change negative thoughts

 

Foremost, we need to pay attention to what we say to ourselves to change negative thoughts. Let’s catch those negative thoughts and ask ourselves:

How does it feel?

Is there real proof of what I’m saying?

Do I talk to my child or my friend like that?

Is this type of thinking leading me to the desired result?

What alternative thinking will change my feeling better about myself and thus lead me to a constructive result?

 

New words

 

One of the easiest techniques to change negative self-talk is to change the words you use. For example, change “I’m worried” to “I’m excited”. Notice that they both have the same physical impact on the body: Accelerated heartbeat, lack of concentration, muscle tightening and stomach butterflies, but one gives us energy, motivation, enthusiasm and the other keeps us where we are and holds us back.

 

New habits

 

An additional way to help us get out of our comfort zone is by starting to implement new, more beneficial habits that will help us move forward and override old bad habits. By doing this, you make the unfamiliar familiar. Start by introducing those new habits gradually into your life.

Finally, reward yourself every time you take a new positive step towards your development. The mind works by associations and linking pleasure to a difficult task enhances the building of a new positive habit. The mind also learns by repetition. Therefore, the more the habit is repeated, the easier it becomes part of your lifestyle.

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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