Living in your comfort zone is not always a bad thing. People need comfort and security, especially during times of stress. However, it is also important to step outside of that zone some of the time. Doing so leads to growth and, sometimes, to revelatory change. Furthermore, if you aren't careful, the comfort zone can become a trap. Below are a few ways you can step outside of that zone and explore something new.
Choosing Your Adventure
Stepping out of your comfort zone should not be a thoughtless act. You don't have to do something just for the sake of saying you did it. If you hate heights and it isn't interfering with your life in any way, you don't have to go skydiving. However, if you want to visit national parks and hike the Grand Canyon but your fear of heights is preventing it, you might spend some time on the ropes at a rock climbing gym to try and desensitize yourself. At the same time, if you tend to overthink, be sure that you don't get stuck in an ongoing rumination about what the right step out of your comfort zone is. If you feel like you're in a rut but you aren't sure why or how to stop it, sometimes you may just need to do something new to break out of your routine.
Try Something Small
When you aren't sure what to do or you're facing something really daunting, one small step might be the right move. Sometimes that small step might feel huge. Asking someone to have a cup of coffee with you, applying for a promotion at work, or going to the meeting of a hobby group for the first time can all be daunting, but these can also bring big rewards. The risk can feel big, but the reward can be great.
Try Something Big
On the other hand, sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone means taking a big step. Going to Antarctica, starting or ending a relationship, or quitting a job that you've hated for a long time are all big steps out of your comfort zone, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. These can't be impulsive however--or, if they are, you'll probably have to backtrack at some point and figure out how to solve some challenges that accompany them.
Maybe you've just decided to go back to college. You've applied, been accepted, and now you have to figure out how to pay for it. Remember that you can apply for loans and you can also look to Going Merry scholarships that can match you with eligible financial opportunities to help with the high costs of tuition. Whatever obstacles await you after making a big leap, look for ways to problem solve instead of getting discouraged.
Don't Fear Failure
With a few exceptions, most of the fears related to getting out of your comfort zone are about a fear of failure. Most setbacks can be overcome, but if you are overwhelmed with shame or other negative emotions related to failure, this can feel impossible. However, if you look on failure as a neutral occurrence and simply a sign that you need to try again, you take away the stigma and a lot of the fear.