If you’re working very hard for your career, for example, you may be too tired to after work to accept any invitations. While this is totally okay (‘no’ is a complete sentence that should always be respected!), you should really keep an eye on yourself. Does this happen more often than you’d like? Do you feel like you still have a balance between work and free time? When was the last time you’ve done something fun? If you find yourself rejecting any opportunities to experience new things, you’re basically limiting yourself. You may be maintaining your comfort, but you’re preventing growth. In that case, you should try and push yourself out of your comfort zone every once in a while. And you can do this through mindfulness.
How to use mindfulness to get out of your comfort zone
Step 1: Reflect and analyse
The first step to getting out of your comfort zone through mindfulness, is getting a clear idea of what your comfort zone is. Take the time to reflect and analyse your current life, your behaviour and your habits. It helps to write down what your days look like. Do this for at least three weeks and read back. Do your days basically all look the same? Are there no experiences that stand out? Then it’s safe to say you got a little bit too comfortable.
Step 2: Identify your desires/fears
Now, try to think of a couple of things that you want. Those could be anything, from wanting to try out a new cuisine to going on a holiday. Then find out what is preventing you from fulfilling those desires. Do you keep postponing having dinner at that fancy new restaurant because you got food poisoning the last time you went somewhere new? Did you not book a holiday because you want to go a little bit further but have a fear of flying? Indeed, the reason that we have certain desires that we can’t seem to fulfil, are often related to personal fears. This is where mindfulness becomes very effective; it helps you to become more aware of your own thoughts, and it makes it easier to see why you have been putting things off.
Step 3: Stretch your comfort zone – or get out entirely
Now that you are aware of where you tend to stick with what you know, it is time to take action. You want an awesome, fulfilling life with incredible experiences, don’t you? Well then, you need to let go of what is safe and start doing more things that help you grow. It can be difficult, because it often means facing your fears. Instead of avoiding what scares you, move towards it. Go to that new fancy restaurant. Book that trip. Ask that cute person out on a date. Plan that first motorcycle lesson. Get that tattoo. Paint your bedroom in a colour that would give your mom a nervous breakdown.
If you always stick with what you know and stay in your comfort zone, it will only lead to regret. Trying out new things will get stagnant energy flowing again, creating wonderful opportunities that you never saw coming and enable you to live a more authentic life. If you find it difficult to let go of your safe space, ask a friend (someone you trust completely) to pull you out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Sometimes you just have to grab someone’s hand and see where they take you.