We are obsessed with making progress. Progress in our personal lives, progress as a society, progress on how to continue advancing and progress on taking care of Earth. How do we continue making such progress? It’s not by standing still or staying inside our comfort zone. If you only do what you know, how will you continue to make progress? You can’t! You must step outside of that comfort zone, look fear in the face and say “I’m still going to do it.” You have to try new things, go on new adventures and explore! But, how do you do that?
Let me provide a personal example for you on how to get outside of you comfort zone. I have a fear of swimming. It started when I was young. I remember I was around 5 years old and my brother was around 7 years old. We were at the pool at the apartments where we lived and I don’t remember where my parents were at the time. There were a lot of people hanging out at the pool on a hot day, including several kids. One kid who was around my age had this big ball that was bigger than him and he threw it at my brother. When it hit him, he fell into the pool and I saw him touch the body of the pool. Neither of us knew how to swim, nor did my parents. As a kid, it was such a traumatic experience because not only did I not know what was going to happen to him, but I did not have the ability to help him. Thankfully, if memory serves me correctly, someone jumped in the pool to help him get out. Afterwards, my parents got mad at us for being so close to the edge of the pool when we didn’t know how to swim. The fear was instilled in us. That was the last day I had ever been to a pool until I was 18.
Why am I telling you this? Because sometimes there are deep roots on why you cannot get outside of your comfort zone. My comfort zone is dry land. When I get into the water, I am well outside of my comfort zone. You must figure out the root of why you do not go outside of your comfort zone.
The next step is to figure out why you want to go outside of your comfort zone and what it would mean for you. To me, becoming an effective swimmer, which is one of my 2019 goals, would mean that I conquered my fear that has stuck with me for some time now. On top of that, that means that I can go on more adventures with my family, such as at the beach. It also means that I would get my children out of that loop and allow them to swim at a young age and enjoy it.
After you figure out your purpose write it down. If you want to successfully overcome a fear, such as this, you must become obsessed with the success of it. You must prepare yourself with knowledge and an action plan. In David Goggins book, Can’t Hurt Me, he wrote about the same issue in that he couldn’t swim. He became obsessed with learning to swim because he wanted to become a Navy Seal. He would read as much as he could about it and then he would go to the pool for hours working on improving himself. I’m not quite there, yet, but this is my next step.
Lastly, you need to follow through with your action plan. Once you follow through, you will be proud at what you accomplished and how you enlarged your comfort zone. After you complete this step, find another way to enlarge your comfort zone and continue doing so for progress.