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Posted: July 31, 2013

Top 10 ways to venture beyond the comfort zone

Explore what's out there

Teri Karjala

I have heard most every excuse people give to justify staying in their own little comfort zones. Oftentimes, these are the people who suck others into their drama.

You know the ones; nothing is going the way they want it to, yet it is everyone else’s fault but their own. When asked what are they doing about it, they seem to be offended, and then proceed to carry on about how they have tried everything. In actuality, they have failed to take action at all, most likely for a very simple reason: because doing so is outside their comfort zone.

It is safe and it is easy to stay within that which you have already known. It takes courage to go where you have never been before. In business and in life, I have observed that those who take the risk to travel outside their limitations have grown beyond their imaginations. 

Doing things differently is imperative to seeing different results. Here are my top ways to effect change in our lives:

Teri’s Top 10 Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone:

Create a list of 100 things you want to do in your life. It can span all areas of your life; romantic, professional, and/or spiritual. This gives you an opportunity to really ask yourself what your goals are. You might be surprised by what you reveal to yourself!

Try something new every day. Even if it’s small (i.e., make a connection at a networking event). The best way to break the habit of ordinary is to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Practice spontaneity. Life doesn’t always need to be planned out. On brain scans curiostiy is the only emotion that activates the entire brain! Go exploring and tell people you are doing it for your brain!

Take risks. The more “small risks” you take the more comfortable you get with the “big risks.” This is truly a great way of forcing your brain to find new evidence that taking steps outside your comfort zone can also be safe and easy!

Practice saying “no” to the things that fill your time but do not fill your heart. Doing things just to please others is no way of fueling your passion and purpose in life.

Get in the practice of “shaking up your routine” (i.e., drive a new way home). You begin to create new neuro-pathways in the brain which also add to your overall self-confidence that anything is possible!

Tap into your creativity. Do something to get your creative brain flowing. To make this even more powerful, step into nature while you do this!

Educate yourself on whatever you fear. Chances are that it’s not that scary at all. We are only born with two fears: 1) Fear of loud noises and 2) Fear of falling. Everything else is learned - which can be unlearned.

Mind map all the possibilities to something, even the craziest ideas. Want to go to Paris in a month? Map out how much you’ll need to save, where you go once you get there, and how many pictures you plan to take in front of the Eiffel Tower. Doing so makes you realize dreams you had that thought were possible before. Conceiving a step-by-step road map allows you to achieve such a big goal through actionable baby steps, making your plan more practical and secure.

 Write down all your “successes” you’ve had related to getting out of your comfort zone and then reference when doubt, fear, or uncertainty sets in. Here’s the proof you can do it again!

Make an effort to do something unlike yourself today. Start small, but work towards that trip to Paris, France, or your version of it. The benefits to you, your business, employees, and even your personal life will speak for themselves.  An added bonus? The immediate boost you’ll feel to your self-esteem as a result from taking chances and succeeding. So, what are you waiting for? Do something different now.

Teri Karjala is owner of the Creative Counseling Center, LLC, as well as Talking With Teri, LLC. Teri’s passion for the business aspects of owning and maintaining a business has made her a sought out coach by others in the helping fields. She is a regular columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine and speaks to therapists across the nation in building their thriving practice. Recently she has released her “How to Live Deliciously” Creative Journal Series to help inspire and empower adults, teens, and children. These are available in print at www.talkingwithteri.com.

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