You might have heard a lot about getting out of the comfort zone from motivational speakers and successful people. It all seems good in theory, but as soon as that motivational talk ends, many of us tend to go back into our usual routines.
Though we don’t need to be out of our comfort all the time, in fact, much of our time will be spent within it. Yet, the reality is, growth only happens outside of our comfort.
Often times the only thing standing between us and success is our choice of whether to stay within our comfort zone or to venture out of it.
What Is Our Comfort Zone?
Anything that you do on auto-pilot is your comfort zone and requires very less conscious effort.
It can be your usual routine, how you spend your day, which people you meet, what friends you have, what you do, and even how you think.
Within our comfort zone, we mostly operate on an unconscious level making very less use of our higher thinking and creative capabilities.
So many people are afraid to venture out into the unknown, to be creative, to think outside of the box, to try something unconventional, to take a leap of faith, to try out new things, and to take advantage of opportunities.
To embark on the journey of growth and fulfillment, we must have a clear action plan to consciously get out of our comfort zone regularly.
Today we’ll look into 8 specific habits that will help you expand your boundaries and recharge yourself to the core.
The best thing is, you can incorporate them in your daily routine.
But before we dive right into the habits, we must first quickly look into why is it so important to get out of our comfort zone and how it can impact our lives.
WHY Is It Important To Get Out Of Comfort Zone Regularly?
1) Opens up doors for greater things in life
Recall something you did that you’re proud of. Did you push yourself and went out of your way to make it happen?
Just think about it for a moment, can any great thing in life be achieved within comfort?
As children, we used to take risks while trying out new things. We were fearless. We were curious. And that is why we learned and grew so fast.
But as we became adults, we developed fears of failure and that is what usually stops us from going out of our bounds and explore life.
Remember, FEAR is nothing but “False Evidence Appearing Real”.
So allow yourself to move beyond your fears and hesitations, and open yourself up to life.
2) Expands your comfort zone
When a conqueror wants to expand his realm, he has to go out of his own land and explore other regions.
Similarly, if we want to expand our comfort zone, increase the quality of our lives, and enhance our self-confidence, we must keep on pushing the boundaries of our comfort so it expands bit by bit.
We have to venture into the unknown, to make it known.
The things that might seem too hard and too much out of comfort, will eventually become easy and comfortable as you conquer it.
To expand your boundaries, keep pushing them!
3) Adds thrill and excitement in life
No matter how good of a life we are living, it eventually becomes dull and boring if we stay within our bounds.
That is the reason we see achievers going further for more achievements and growth. Often it’s not because of money or fame, but because it brings a sense of excitement and liveliness.
Exploring new areas of life, making new habits, learning new skills, seeking more knowledge, all of this ignites the spark of life and makes you feel alive. It gives you something to grow forward to.
4) Skyrockets your confidence and self-esteem
Often all we need on a subconscious level is to prove to ourselves that we can do it.
Every time we push through our barriers and limitations, we improve our self-image and begin to gain respect in our own eyes enhancing our self-confidence.
5) Success breeds success
Each time you push yourself out of comfort to achieve a certain milestone or to do the thing that you know you should do, it makes achieving the next milestone much easier.
Every time you push yourself, you gain psychological momentum, and that will make any other challenging tasks much easier.
By constantly going out of your comfort zone, you set yourself up for further success.
6) You will learn valuable life lessons
When we try something we don’t usually do, we learn something we haven’t yet learned.
Pushing out of the comfort zone is a great opportunity to gain wisdom.
Even when things don’t go our way, we still get valuable feedback and experience which we can use in the future.
7) Discovering new possibilities
So many people live out their entire lives in one dimension, never really exploring what life truly has to offer.
When we get out of our usual life and venture into the unknown, we open ourselves up for countless opportunities, experiences, and treasures of life. That, in turn, can be a game changer for us.
Discovering new possibilities can change the entire direction of your life into something much greater than what you are living right now.
We never know what good lies out there for us until we venture into the unknown territory and be open to new possibilities.
8) It will toughen you up to climb higher heights
By constantly pushing out of comfort zone, you begin to gain character-strength.
This strength will allow you to take on higher opportunities, accomplish things that previously seemed impossible, and become more immune to life’s challenges.
In essence, you’ll train yourself to take your life to the next level.
9) Getting out of Mental Comfort Zone enhances your Creativity
Creativity is all about going out of the way and doing things a bit differently.
That takes courage.
When you learn to push yourself out of usual routine, you allow the creative side of your mind to kick in.
Exercising your creativity will add great value in almost every dimension of your life. It is the essence of growth and achievement.
10) It can change “Who You Are” and “Where You Go” in life
As you keep on venturing out of your comfort, you’ll find hidden potentials and abilities that you never knew existed within you! This can truly be life-transforming.
It can have a massive impact on “Who you are” as a person and the “direction” you take in life.
The fact is that we know very little about our own potentials and capacity. We can only truly discover ourselves by trying new things, experimenting with life, taking risks, becoming vulnerable, and being open and flexible.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
– Brian Tracy
How To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Become An Action-Taker?
How can we strategically train our mind so that we naturally become action-takers?
How can we re-wire our brain so that getting up and taking action becomes second-nature to us, and procrastination becomes a thing of the past?
We’ll look into 8 Habits/practices that we can incorporate in our daily lives so that we can reprogram our mind or let’s just say, reignite our spirit to become active and disciplined.
As you practice these habits regularly, you will start to develop not only your strength to take action but also your decision-making ability. After all, choosing to get out of your comfort is a decision in itself, isn’t it?
Not only that, but it will also skyrocket your self-esteem and self-confidence.
The key is to do them regularly and making it a discipline.
1. Morning Cold Showers
Cold showers have become quite popular lately as a practice to get out of comfort zone while also having immense mental and physical benefits, contrary to the belief that cold temperatures cause us to be sick, which is NOT true.
If done right, taking cold showers on a regular basis, has many long-term health benefits such as:
- Enhances your immunity against cold.
- Strengthens your heart function.
- Improves and balances blood circulation throughout your body.
- Healthier skin and hair.
- Reduces inflammations.
- Drains the lymphatic system so the toxic wastes are flushed and cleansed (the Lympathic system is responsible for our immunity and overall health).
- Highly energizes you at the cellular level.
Psychological benefits of cold showers include:
- Stress Relief
- Producing Motivation
- Greatly elevating the mood
- Energizes the mind
- Enhances focus
- Enhances decision-making ability (Decisiveness)
Begin Your Day By Stretching Your Comfort Zone
When you take cold showers first thing in the morning, it trains your brain to get out of the comfort zone as soon as you get up.
Let’s be honest, it takes guts to stand under cold water (especially if it’s winter season) and especially when you’ve just gotten out of your bed.
You have to make a conscious decision here as you step into the freezing cold water, and really that’s what it’s all about.
When I started taking cold showers, I remember myself standing nervously in silence for several minutes before stepping into it, trying to convince my mind to make this decision (it was winter by the way!).
Making this tough decision and then finally stepping into the physical discomfort really pushes you out of your mental and physical comfort zones both.
Imagine what kind of a decision-maker and action-taker you will train yourself to be if you do this daily!
Many successful people start their day by pushing their comfort
This cold shower method became popular with Wim Hof, who is known as the Ice-Man, and holds several world records.
Many scientists have since been interested in studying him and his strategies for physical health and endurance, and found great benefits and breakthroughs.
You also might have heard various successful people like Anthony Robbins taking freezing cold showers/baths every morning.
Taking morning cold showers is a habit that many successful people have to step out of their comfort-zone first thing in the morning, to fully wake the system up, and super-energize the body.
It is recommended that you start off with slightly cold showers, and then gradually make it colder day after day.
If you do it right, it is NOT going to make your sick, in fact, it will be quite the opposite as it will strengthen you both physically and mentally. (In-shaa-Allah)
I personally started off with slightly cold showers, then gradually got to the point where I would freeze a couple of blocks of ice a day before, stir it in a tub of water before pouring that freezing water on myself (ice-bucket challenge first thing in the morning).
The shock effect you get is just amazing. It will wake you up and energize you to the core. Taking cold showers in the morning is a very powerful way to start the day.
2. Declutter, Clean-up, And Organize
Many of us have some form of material possessions that we have been hoarding for quite some time.
Most of those things aren’t even in our use anymore, but we still keep them because throwing or giving them away is just too uncomfortable.
Even when we do intend to get rid of them, we put it off for some other day.
Stop procrastinating from now on. Look for things in your surroundings that are no longer in your use, whether it be in your home or office. Get rid of them.
Make it a habit to clean-up and organize your home and work-space on a daily basis. Hoarding unnecessary stuff and cluttered surroundings put us in a lazy and unproductive state.
Simple habits like making your bed after waking up, cleaning your desk, organizing your shelf and paperwork, and putting things in their right places instead of throwing them around randomly, can put you in an active and productive state.
3. Do Something New Regularly
Every day, do something that you haven’t done before. Maybe mix things up a bit and try different ways to do your routine things.
It can be as simple as:
- Reading something useful that you haven’t before. Gaining a little bit of knowledge every single day.
- Taking a different route than usual.
- Making your own breakfast.
- Trying a new workout.
- Learning a new skill.
- Trying a new recipe.
- Working on a creative idea.
- Visiting a place you haven’t before.
If we push just a little bit out of our comfort and grow 1% every single day, it will add up to bring a big change and transform our lives in the long run.
4. The 5 Daily Prayers
In the Islamic way of life, the daily routine is designed such that it naturally trains us to be more active and push ourselves outside of our comforts.
No matter how much sleepy, tired, or lazy we are feeling, we must get up, make ablution, and pray on the specified five times of the day.
Which requires us to draw our total focus and attention meditating towards the remembrance of God. Training our mind to be more focused and stay in the present.
Many people offer 4 prayers, leaving the morning Fajr prayer. When in fact the Morning Prayer (Fajr) is the most important to have a positive and enriched start of the day.
Additionally, it is better to go out to the mosque to pray. Adding an additional layer of training to be active and outgoing.
There is a reason why the 5 daily prayers have been made obligatory on all Muslims. If any of us don’t comply with the wise system that God has designed for us, we are missing out BIG time!
No One Is Busy Enough
Many people pose an excuse of being too busy for this. The truth is, nobody is busy enough. It’s all about managing your priorities.
If someone cannot manage to take out a few minutes for their own mental and spiritual well-being, then they’re not living life.
If you schedule your day around the daily 5 prayers, you’ll not only become good at time-management but also reap tons of other mental and spiritual benefits, while also attaining peace and contentment within.
5. Progressive Exercise
Being a fitness enthusiast for more than a decade now, the one thing that I believe strongly is that progressive workout is not just the training of the body but also the training of the mind.
When you set a workout schedule and you follow through consistently even if you’re feeling tired or lazy, you train your mind to push through that barrier of comfort on a regular basis.
You condition yourself to get up and get it done.
As you develop this habit of pushing through, it will start to influence other areas of your life as well, and after a certain period of time, getting out of comfort-zone won’t be as big of a task for you.
Also, it’s important that you keep on progressing in your workouts. Keep challenging yourself.
As you get comfortable with certain exercises, keep making them more challenging by increasing intensity, timing, or weights (if you’re weight training), or maybe it’s just time to try some new exercises altogether.
6. Go Out And Socialize
Going out and talking to new people isn’t that scary, trust me!
Most of us come into contact with so many new people almost every single day. Next time when you’re standing in a line or waiting for an appointment, try to start a conversation with someone.
Social anxiety is more common than we expect.
Most people aren’t even aware that they’re anxious as they’ve gotten so used to it, but their constant fidgeting and avoiding interactions reflects their internal anxious state.
Socializing will initially push you out of your comfort but eventually, as you keep on practicing, you’ll learn to get more and more comfortable in social settings.
This, in turn, will greatly help you resolve any social anxiety and confidence issues.
I’m not saying that you do it every time, with everyone. Just do it once every now and then.
If you want to learn in depth about how to get rid of social anxiety once and for all, its root causes and practical solutions, you can check this comprehensive guide on How To Get Rid Of Social anxiety, where I have discussed it in much more detail.
7. Unplug And Go Offline
With all the ease, facilities, and opportunities the internet has provided us, it does come with its side-effects.
With almost everything now in our reach with just a few clicks, lying in our pockets, available to us 24/7, our comfort-zone is at peak than it has ever been in the history of humanity.
It is now even more important that we keep a check and balance on our consumption of media.
Distraction From Real-Life
The internet media has a world of its own. Spending too much time consuming it, whether it be through social media, news, or entertainment, distracts us from the real, actual life that we have.
Now often it can be a good thing to surround yourself with “positive” forms of media.
It can inspire and motivate us. Change our state from negative to positive.
But usually, too much consumption to the point where you are on your phone most hours of your day is against health and harmony.
We get distracted by it so much that we never allow ourselves to think about the higher things in life. To ponder and reflect over our lives and our actions.
So many people with so much potential are living vague and meaningless lives just because their phone/internet has become a source of escape from the “bigger questions” of life.
In today’s era, if we don’t wanna face life (or in fact, face ourselves), simply just pick up the phone, get distracted, and don’t think about uncomfortable thoughts.
That is NOT going to change the state of our life though.
If we wish to really grow and change our lives while improving the quality of our existence, we must connect with nature and come in terms with our deeper self.
That can only happen when we allow ourselves to have enough mind-space for deep thinking and reflection.
Addiction To Entertainment
Something enjoyable/pleasurable becomes addictive when it is difficult for the individual to leave it.
We are surrounded by media so much that many of us have become addicted to it and don’t even realize it until we take some time off from it.
Overconsumption of entertainment has pushed us further into our comfort-zones. No wonder why one of the biggest hurdles people face today is laziness and procrastination.
False Sense Of Achievement
Getting too involved with social media tricks our brain in very strange ways.
Have you ever caught yourself frequently checking how many likes you’ve got on your new post?
Ever wonder why does it feel so good to get likes on a post?
It can feel so satisfying and gives our brain a sense of achievement, but in reality, what have we really achieved? What progress have we made?
If you’re using social media for professional purposes to promote your products and services then that’s a different story.
Most of us use personal accounts and we use it to share the highlights of our lives. When people “like” what we share, our brain unconsciously thinks as if we have accomplished something,
This ultimately makes us complacent and we lose motivation to do the things that really matter in life.
Have a certain part of the day when you completely unplug and spend some time with yourself.
Contemplate on your purpose and vision, and the direction you are taking your life towards. Allow those bigger questions and maybe some uncomfortable thoughts to flow through your mind.
This might initially push you a bit out of your mental comfort-zone but it will help you resolve what’s going on in your head and eventually gain clarity and peace.
Early morning (around dawn) is usually an ideal time for this.
8. Read Intellectual Books
Up till now, we have looked into getting out of the comfort zone physically and socially. It is equally important that we push and expand our intellectual boundaries, and force our minds to think!
A lot of people get settled with what they already know, and never venture out to learn new things that are out of their area of expertise.
As a result, they limit their growth and dynamicity.
If you don’t exercise your mind, it will get rusty pretty soon and you may start to lose your capacity to tap into creative and out-of-the-box thinking.
Lack Of Intellectual Growth Can Lead To Mid-Life Crisis
Lack of intellectual growth is one of the reason many of us get stuck at some point in our life, especially mid-life, and if we’re stuck for too long, we tend to hit a phase we call “mid-life crisis”.
It is during this age of apparent mental maturity when many people tend to think that they’ve seen enough, they now know enough, and don’t feel the need to learn more.
As a result, we start to lose our creative thinking capacity, problem-solving abilities, decisiveness, and the overall spark of life.
And even if we do take decisions or come up with solutions, they are not the most empowering ones.
Overall, lack of intellectual growth can cause us to be rigid, judgemental, arrogant, and limit our perceptions.
Reading Can Push Your Thinking To New Heights
The good news is, all the life crisis can be resolved if you keep on working on yourself and keep on expanding your intellectual boundaries. No matter how much you think you know.
One of the keys to keep on growing every single day and keep the river of our mind flowing with fresh thoughts, ideas, and solutions, is to develop a habit of reading intellectual books.
Intellectual books include any kind of book that:
- Pushes you to think
- Makes you reflect and dive deep within
- Makes you analyze and re-evaluate yourself, including your thoughts and actions
- Inspires you to make better decisions
- Inspires you to take action
- Inspires you to make changes in yourself and your life
- Teaches you higher wisdom of life
- Enhances your understanding of human behavior
You can look into personal development books, books on psychology and human behavior, business, history, religion, and spirituality.
The book that I found to be the most impactful in my life and has all the characteristics mentioned above plus much more than I imagined, is the Quran.
Understanding the Quran with translation and exegesis (detailed explanation) really lightens up the mind and soul in amazing ways, and takes us on a higher level of consciousness.
Set a specific amount of time you spend reading every day. I suggest starting with a minimum of 30 minutes. Don’t end your day until you fill your daily reading quota.
Write down all of these 8 habits on a paper. Write some details and steps on how you are going to develop these habits.
Then pick one or two habits and focus on them consistently for 1 week.
Once you have incorporated one or two of these habit into your routine, pick another one, and focus on it for the next week while also practicing the previous ones.
Keep on adding these habits to your routine one by one every week, until you have all the 8 habits in your regular routine.
Now it’s time for you to take action and take the first step.
Share this guide with your family and friends, and help add value to more people’s lives.
Until next time.