Athletes do it – so do top professionals in the business. Using challenges to clear the fog of monotony will also help you rid your anxiety and fear of failure and push you past barriers keeping you from real success.
Your comfort zone acts as a boundary that you can’t pass because you’re too nervous and afraid to breach the unknown. Since it’s a false and self-imposed boundary, it’s not true.
Most people have built self-imposed boundaries to keep themselves safe and to avoid failure. Unless you’re willing to break out and explore outside of that comfort zone, you may get stuck in a world of the mundane – never realising your real potential.
One challenge to try when you’re ready to leave your comfort zone is to gather information about those situations you’re anxious or fearful about. The scenarios we invent in our minds aren’t usually real, and information in the form of education can empower you to go beyond what you’re comfortable with.
Hold yourself accountable for breaking through your comfort zone. Enlist the people in your life to help you keep on track and to push you just as you’re driving yourself. It’s doubtful you’ll be tempted to quit when others are watching your progress.
A plan of action is acutely necessary and acts as a roadmap to lead you through the swamp and finally break through your comfort zone. Create checkpoints just as you would if you were on a trip across the country.
These checkpoints should be mini-goals that you can reach and know you’re a few steps closer to breaking out of the comfort one and achieving your ultimate goal. These mini-goals are challenges that will keep you enthused and enable you to stay on track with the result.
Challenges will begin to desensitise you to the anxiety you might otherwise feel about moving on to the next step – and the future. Eventually, you’ll want to change the small challenges you began with to super difficulties where you have to be more aggressive to push ahead to the next goal.
Sometimes you may fail the challenges, but just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will you break out of your comfort zone easily. Learn from the negative experiences and that knowledge alone will take you far on the next challenge.
Always expand your comfort zone to the next level. For example, if you’re the author of several novellas, but you want to write that page-turning historical novel, figure out what you have to do first.
Should you make an outline, do some research, contact publishers and read other novels in that genre? Go for it. Begin the journey and keep pushing the boundaries that keep you prisoner and cause self-doubt. Until you take action and begin to challenge yourself – you’ll never get the results.