Looking Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Following our hearts, taking steps towards our dreams and becoming a better version of
ourselves often requires us to look beyond our current reality. This takes reflection, courage
and confidence. Moreover, transformation and growth are usually not about feeling
If you think about the major points in your life where you grew and learned many lessons, my
bet is that they were not necessarily the pretty, peaceful times.
For me, the times in my life I can I remember learning and growing the most are those times
that were also challenging. Perhaps I did something I had never done before. Or perhaps I
chose a path that felt scary instead of the one that seemed predictable and comfortable.
The more we get out of our comfort zones the more we're going to grow. If we wait until we
feel comfortable, or quit when things get uncomfortable, we can end up feeling stuck.
If our goal is to live a fulfilled life, we may never feel 100% comfortable. The point is to continue
to take steps forward despite feeling scared. A certain level of uncertainty in our lives can be a
The things we resist because we’re scared are often the same things we need to do in order to
live the life we want. If you think about your greatest dreams you have for yourself, my guess is
that the one thing you don’t want to do is the one thing that will get you closer to that dream.
Now there is a difference between something that just doesn’t feel right, and something that
you are resisting because you are scared. That is for you to determine.
When we distinguish what doesn’t feel right versus what we are scared of and ultimately,
resisting, we can take one step forward at a time towards what we really want. Fear can cover
us like a blanket, squelching to the point of feeling stagnant.
Only we know what feels right. Only we know our own truth. In order to step out of our
comfort zones, we have to keep moving forward in spite of our fears.
This takes courage. Simple, yes. Easy? Not necessarily. Continue to take steps forward no
matter what. Be mindful of when the fearful part of you makes the decisions. Get an accountability partner or a professional coach to help you. This can take vulnerability, trusting
yourself and knowing that in the bigger picture, all is and will be well.
It is human nature to cling to the comfortable spaces we are used to. And while our comfort
zone is cozy, it squashes creativity and innovation. It restricts us to well-trodden paths where
we don't see anything new, and we don't discover what strengths lie deep inside us.
Sometimes taking small steps initially can help to ease you out of your comfort zone.
1. Redefine perfection. Oftentimes we are overly critical of ourselves and we wait to do
something until it is "just right." Taking a step out of your comfort zone does not have to look
absolutely perfect. Reframe your fear of failure by transforming the meaning of perfection.
2. Do something differently. What if you did one thing differently? Shake up your routine a
little and stretch beyond habit. You can always start small and work up to making bigger
changes. As you make it a habit to do things differently, you can build change into your day.
Every night ask yourself what you have done differently that day and then celebrate your
3. Be patient and believe in yourself. You don't have to rush or expect a major overhaul
overnight. You have more resources than you realize, and they will show themselves when you
need them. Know that they are there, ready for you to use. You will know instinctively what to
Sometimes doing nothing is far more debilitating than taking the leap, or even the first baby
Somewhere in you is massive courage that you may have never known existed.
So what do you say? I say let’s choose courage together.
About the Author:
Nancie Vito, MPH, CHES is a coach, consultant and founder of Flourish where she helps creatives, aspiring entrepreneurs and other professionals get out of their own way. With a background in mental health, she is on a mission to inspire you to get unstuck, turn off autopilot and consciously create the life you want. Working with one-on-one clients, groups, and organizations, she specializes in burnout prevention, overall well-being and helping people design a more fulfilled life. She has been featured in publications such as Huffington Post, Marie Claire UK and MindBodyGreen.