“A ship in harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for…”
Firstly, let me just say that we are allowed comfort zones. We are allowed to live and enjoy and value them, but it’s advisable not to cling so tightly to your comfort zone that you never challenge yourself or grow.
Stepping out of your comfort zone and cultivating confidence is all about the following…
Letting go of control
We need to recognise that there are things in life that we just can’t (or shouldn’t) control. I know that not being in control is scary, especially if you’re a bit of a controlling person like myself. But stepping into situations where you have little to no control is healthy for you (especially if you struggle with control).
Letting go of the wheel every now and then teaches you:
- Other people may be able to handle a situation better than you, let them.
- You learn new things about yourself and life when you aren’t controlling every little thing.
- Great things can happen through spontaneous action, exploring, and just going with the flow
Big life lesson: not everything can be planned, predicted or prepared for.
Do you trust yourself to be safe and get through the unknown?
Cultivating self-trust is key to confidence in uncertain situations. It means that even if you’re not in control; even if you have no idea what’s going on; even if the rug is pulled out from under your feet, you will be OK because you trust yourself to deal with it.
Yes, sometimes scary or truly uncomfortable things happen outside your comfort zone and when thrown into the unknown, but the more you get through situations like that, the more strength and resilience you build-up resulting in confidence and self-trust.
Your new mantra: “I can handle the unknown; I can handle failure or setbacks; I trust myself.“
Feel the fear and do it anyway! As scary as this sentence is, it’s an important one if you want to build confidence. As we’ve said in other posts during the Challenge: the more you face scary, challenging, or out-of-comfort-zone things, the more confidence you will cultivate for yourself.
Bravery is a muscle to be flexed often if you want to live a life without limits, prove yourself wrong and keep being the best, most confident you.
Channel your inner Gryffindor!
Stepping out of your comfort zone is all about cultivating a Growth Mindset over a Fixed Mindset.
A Fixed Mindset is where you are not open-minded and decidedly stick to your guns about what life is, who you are, and what one should do. Growth Mindsets are all about looking for ways to grow and find solutions and improve instead of feeling stuck and helpless.
I see a Growth Mindset as deciding not to think small. To push the boundaries and see what you can achieve despite your fears. It’s choosing to do more, be more, and see yourself as an experiment, in a way.
To say, “what if?” to life and just see what happens when you give the things you care about a try!
Your comfort zone grows with the more things that you do outside of it. You prove to yourself that you’re capable of many things. Growth, challenges, goals, purpose and passion, and curiosity are all key parts of a big life and one lived with confidence.
Of course, when you are outside your comfort zone, you feel vulnerable. You feel uncomfortable, on edge, on display, and afraid because the unknown is, well, unknown, and that’s unnerving to most of us.
But there is a real power in vulnerability.
Brene Brown talks all about vulnerability, so I recommend that you read or listen to her work. As she says, yes vulnerability feels bad but it often leads to the best things in life.
Love, creativity, connection, self-expression, daring, innovation – these are all born from vulnerability.
So, step out of your comfort zone every now and then, feel the vulnerability and the fear, but keep going until you get to the other side where all the best feelings lie!
What exists outside your comfort zone:
- New cultures, tastes, people, experiences
- New opportunities and challenges
- Growth and self-exploration
- A list of badass things you have achieved
- A life better suited to you and your desires; life outside of fear and limits
- Self-trust, self-knowledge and self-worth
Today’s challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to tell a story to a group of people. Don’t shy away, don’t make it short; tell the full story with glee!
This week’s worksheet to complete: Confidence Challenge Week Five Worksheet
Checklist for the whole challenge: Confidence Challenge Checklist