If You’re Not Uncomfortable, You’re Not Growing

wood cutout of man climbing stairs

You have a huge presentation coming up at work, and you feel completely unprepared because you can’t seem to get over the paralyzing fear of public speaking. It’s the daily morning meeting again at work, and you want to speak up in the brainstorming session, but you are afraid of saying the wrong thing. Sound familiar? Tons of people all of the world, successful people, in highly visible positions also fear public speaking. But it’s not about the fear of public speaking, or being afraid of judgment for saying the wrong thing; it’s facing your fears and pushing forward in spite of them. Growth happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. You need to start becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. But how do you break free from your own self-doubt and self-sabotaging thoughts? You can start by implementing simple changes to your daily routine. Routines feel safe and comforting, but they can also turn stale and confining over time. All those inspirational quotes telling you to break out of your comfort zone aren’t just trying to sell you a pipe dream. Doing something new and potentially frightening helps prevent burnout and is good for your brain. Still, it’s pretty hard to shake yourself out of a routine. So let’s dive into the steps you can take today, in order to ease the discomfort of doing things that make you uncomfortable.

Make a change to your daily routine

This doesn’t have to be a huge, monumental change to your daily routine. It can be as simple as taking a different route to work, exercising at a different time than usual, learning a new skill, or even trying a new cuisine. Whether the change you make is large or small, make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis.

Don’t make haste decisions

Sometimes slowing down is all it takes to make you uncomfortable. This is especially true if speed and quick thinking are a normal part of your life. Slow down and observe what’s going on. Take your time to process information, before making a decision. Think, don’t just react.

Trust yourself

Okay, so this one sounds easy enough. But in fact, it can be quite hard to just trust in yourself. Allowing yourself to feel confident in your behaviors and decisions will help you to actually become comfortable and confident about them, eventually. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Little victories

It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone, so celebrating little victories is crucial. Self praise is a great way to reward yourself and rewire your current way of thinking. For instance, if you dread morning workout sessions, but you pushed forward and got one in before work, praise yourself. I know it sounds a bit silly, but science has proven that self-praise goes a long way.

Identify your fears, and then face them step by step. This will help your brain become more adaptable, and it ease the anxiety associated with change. You can do anything you put your mind to.