This is a guest post by Kevin McNamara. He has a great website on a theme that’s very close to my own: getting out of your comfort zone. Read on to discover his tips for how to break out of yours!
5 Comfort Zone Challenges to Change Your Life
Comfort zone challenges help us to break our state and move from a place where we feel comfortable to a place where we feel uncomfortable. This is how we grow. As Dr Wayne W Dyer said, “The difference between a flower that is alive and a flower that is dead is that the flower that is dead has stopped growing.”
When we as humans stop growing we start to die inside. To grow is to live fully. When we look around even at some of our own circle of friends and family, we see so many who have stopped growing. People who are living average lives and are content to sit back and let the circumstances of the world control them, instead of them taking control of the reins.
My Own Dark Night of the Soul
In my own life I have had phases where I stopped growing. I had no purpose, no direction and no goals. I was dying inside. I had lost my daughter, Holly, at five months of age to SIDS, was depressed and had gone through two marriages and two divorces – all over a period of five years. One day I looked at my life and realised I had two choices: I could continue as I was, a victim, and blame everyone else except myself; or I could take control of my life, take responsibility and move forward, learning and growing as I went. I chose the second option.
I just decided one day that I hated my life and it was time to change. I had to raise my self-confidence and self-esteem. I started meditating daily, changing my negative self-talk to positive affirmations, and went beyond a belief in myself to a ‘knowing’ that things would be okay.
The Keys to Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
To become confident with any aspect of our lives we need to practice the thing we want to be good at and we need to practice often; repetition is key. Doing something once and expecting to be good at it is delusional.
This is where comfort zone challenges come in. A comfort zone challenge is something we do to take us out of our average life that places us in a state of being uncomfortable. Doing this often enough leads to us becoming good at it and in turn raises our confidence and self-esteem.
5 Comfort Zone Challenges that can Change Your Life
1. Saying Good Morning to Passers-by
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But so many people you pass in the street look away, are staring straight at the ground or have a frown so large they might explode! They look really unhappy. I either run or walk most mornings and pass by lots of people. I make it a habit to say good morning to everyone, especially those who look unhappy or try to look away. This does two things: (1) it gets you into the habit of talking to strangers, which is great for your confidence, and (2) you get a response from the other person. They have to make an effort to respond and most people will put on a smile. So you are helping yourself by becoming more confident and you are helping others by putting a smile on their faces. You will actually make that other person feel good about themselves. Win-win!
2. Intro Vlog
Make a video where you talk to the camera introducing yourself and what you do for a living, and publish it on Facebook or some other social media platform. I have a Facebook group called 52 Week Get Out of Your Comfort Zone Challenge where new members have to do just that. Again this is great for your confidence. Putting yourself out there and making yourself both vulnerable and accountable – this is how we grow.
3. Take a Selfie with an Emergency Service or Military Officer
Now this can be a police officer, fireman, paramedic or any one from the armed forces. I often have people say to me that in this day and age that is really dangerous to do; it’s not, in my opinion. (Obviously if they are involved in some kind of emergency situation you aren’t going to ask.) I have many photos with these people and have only ever been knocked back once. 99% of these people are friendly and will only be too happy to have a picture taken with you. We gain confidence in talking to not just another person but someone in authority.
4. A Selfie Video in a Crowd
So many people worry about what others think of them. There is a whole new world of freedom once we let this emotion go. I learned a long time ago that the only thing other people worry about is themselves. They don’t care what you do or say most of the time. Go out and find a crowded market, shopping centre, airport, train station, or anywhere you find that has big crowds; start filming yourself and talk into the camera. You can talk about anything but do this for around a minute, minimum. Once you get over the feeling of “people are watching me” you get a huge adrenalin rush. The first time I did this I was really scared and it took me a good 30 minutes to find the courage. Once I did it I was on cloud nine! It is a real buzz walking along in a crowded area talking into your camera. And when you realise no one cares, a whole new world of freedom opens up. You can see my YouTube example here>>>>>.
5. Ring or Write to Someone and Tell Them That You Love Them
This one is probably the toughest of all the challenges. How many family members or friends have we neglected? People we know and love but never acknowledge with our feelings. This is a simple challenge but a most profound and enlightening one. You can do one of two things. First, ring a person and have a conversation with them. As part of that conversation tell them that you love and appreciate them. Tell them that is why you called: to say I love you. The second way of doing this is to write them a letter. Sometimes we express ourselves better in words on a page than through our voice. Do the same thing here: tell them you love them and appreciate them and that is why you are writing. Again you are putting yourself out there, being vulnerable and allowing your emotions to shine through. It makes you feel good and it makes the recipient feel fantastic! Another win-win.
There are many comfort zone challenges you can do to give yourself confidence, raise your self-esteem and change your life.
The key is to do them consistently and make them a habit in areas of your life where you struggle. The more we do, the more we grow and the more we live with increased confidence and higher self-esteem. Living outside your comfort zone consistently is where the magic and freedom lies.
Kevin McNamara is an inspirational speaker, mentor/motivator/coach and author. His mission is to help people move outside their comfort zones to live a life of magic and freedom. You can learn more on his website at www.getoutofyourcomfortzone.com. You can also pick up his complimentary ebook, 7 Comfort Zone Challenges to Double Your Confidence and Raise Your Self Esteem, by clicking here>>>>>.