Anxiety is an expert when it comes to limiting your experience of life.
Do you often feel uneasy or have a tendency to worry? If so, you know that stress and anxiety can take away your sleep, stop you from enjoying the people around you, and prevent you from embracing new opportunities.
Anxiety is built upon fear and it thrives on negativity. Anxiety gets you stuck in “preparing” for the worst case scenario or “wishing” for change, rather than embracing possibilities and taking action toward what you want.
Anxiety even convinces you that staying within the familiar (your comfort zone) will keep you safe and happy.
Actually, a lack of new experiences has dangerous lasting effects. It physically changing the way your brain operates overtime, and getting you trapped in a life of worry, limitation, and negative thoughts. Plus, remaining within your comfort zone can make life boring!
Stepping out of your comfort zone may actually be the only way to keep yourself healthy, aware, and (consequently) safe and happy.
Breaking free of your comfort zone isn’t about engaging in dangerous behaviors. Letting go of fears that limit you will train your brain to experience newness as a positive, healthy thing – rather than letting your overactive fear (anxiety) stop you.
To compare “safety vs. comfort zone” is to compare…
self-love vs. self-doubt
support vs. overprotection
healthy boundaries vs. walls that shut everything out (and shut you in!)
Do you feel that it is time to take control over your fear and to find fulfillment?
Do you want to learn how to step out of your comfort zone in a way that’s right for you?
Here are the 6 Tools For Living Beyond Your Comfort Zone and Experiencing a Full Life:
1. Be aware.
Take some time today to consider each of these questions:
What are my safety nets (people/places/thoughts that I can depend on to support me in a healthy way)?
What is my comfort zone (people/places/thoughts that appear to be safe but in fact limit me and feed my fear)?
Don’t rush through this. You can come back to it occasionally, and build upon your understanding of how to identify (and create!) a healthy support system.
2. Be thankful.
When you identify something that is a healthy safety net or area of support, take a moment to be thankful. Express your gratitude to someone whom you appreciate. Thank yourself for those thoughts, moments, and choices that you’ve already made which pushed you beyond what you thought you were capable of.
3. Be wrong.
Allow a mistake. You’ll prove to yourself that you can handle it and you will grow from it.
To invite a mistake, try finding a situation or experience in which you are not an expert. You might take on a new project, start a conversation with someone new, or visit an improv class. Ask the “dumb” questions and take action before you fully understand what to do.
Can you think of other ways to take a risk in a way that might break you free from your comfort zone?
4. Be right.
Interestingly, it can feel like a great risk to portray one’s self as smart and knowledgable.
When you know you’re right, or when you have something genuine to add to a conversation, you risk receiving unpleasant reactions from others.
Fighting for your beliefs and your intelligence may both free you from your comfort zone and teach you more about the quality of your current support/safety system.
Take the leap. Share a thought, suggest a change, and speak your mind.
5. Be brave.
When you catch yourself thinking negatively or feeling fearful, pause and ask yourself…
What’s the worst that could happen?
This question is not meant to be rhetorical. In fact, consider it now regarding an issue that’s been on your mind. Spend some time with it. Answer it. Don’t think in circles, but do write a few things down that could go wrong if the worst were to happen when you leave of your comfort zone.
Now, write a few things down that would become possible if you left your comfort zone.
Then take some action. Don’t wait for this to be easy or you’ll be waiting forever. If you’re brave enough then you cannot, and will not, remain stuck.
6. Be accountable.
Don’t place an expectation on yourself as though you are supposed to do this alone. Stepping out of your comfort zone and facing the fear and anxiety that you experience will take work and support if you want to create lasting change.
Share your goals, struggles and successes with someone that you trust. I recommend finding a therapist who specializes in anxiety treatment and who uses intuitive and solution-focused methods to help you find success.
When explored and practiced consistently, these tools will reduce overwhelm and help you find clarity. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about how to reduce anxiety and life your life more fully.
The post Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone: 6 Steps to Stop Anxiety and Live a Full Life appeared first on Kristine Tye, LMFT.
This content was originally published here.