Does the crowd terrify you when you need to give a speech? Are you not satisfied with your work anymore but frightened of finding something new? Does it make you nervous to ask for a well-deserved raise in office? Fear is a valuable thing, yes that’s right. It’s a natural response of our brain, it makes people safe and encourages caution when needed. But sometimes, it may act as a hurdle in your career, limiting your growth trajectory, and sometimes we have to be brave and face our fears to get over them. But how do you step past these etched fears? Here are 10 ways you can step outside your comfort zone and overcome the fears-
1. Know what’s outside your comfort zone
The first step is to identify your fears, things that make you uncomfortable. Ask yourself what are the things that you know are worth doing but you’re afraid of doing because of the fear of failing at them? Writing these down will help you identify your discomforts clearly. Once you know your fears, research them thoroughly. If you are afraid of public speaking but want to take leadership roles, practice speaking in front of a mirror, record yourself while talking and see where you can improve. Talking to people who have already done it, learning about their experiences will help you in overcoming the fear and will make you feel optimistic.
2. Learn from your fears
Most of us are so afraid of failure that rather than facing the fears, we choose to do nothing. But always remember, we learn more from our suffering than success! In times of stress or discomfort, remind yourself of the opportunities waiting for you outside your comfort zone, experiencing situations that make you uncomfortable can both challenge you and help you grow. Things we are most afraid to do are often the things that have the greatest potential to expand our lives and careers.
3. Add challenges to your daily routine
Aditi, a fashion writer says, “Daily meetings at the office would make me sweat. I couldn't eat or drink anything till the meetings ended. I would not speak at all in fear of saying something imbecile. But it started affecting my growth at work, I made a conscious decision to take action and started expressing my opinions in discussions actively. Today I lead meetings with confidence and I am glad I faced my fears bravely.” Adding some small challenges in your daily life will make you comfortable doing the commonly unthinkable things and boost your confidence. Sometimes it might take a while to get comfortable, just keep at it until it becomes comfortable. Then move to the next uncomfortable thing.
4. Motivate yourself
If you are feeling anxious about doing something outside your comfort zone, ask yourself some retrospective questions: “What is the worst that could happen? Could I survive it? What is the best that could happen? Would I or others benefit from it? Are there downsides to remaining where I am? What is holding me back?” These questions will elevate your thinking process and you could analyze the situation better, eventually making an informed decision based on it.
5. Start initiating conversations
Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social gatherings or putting forward your views in boardroom meetings? Striking conversations might help you overcome your fears. Start engaging in interesting conversations with your colleagues. It is also a good way to learn interesting things about the world and people. If you start feeling a little panicked while talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to your comfort zone. Practising this often will help you become less nervous in such uncomfortable situations.
6. Picture yourself glow with confidence
Have you been overthinking a lot about an upcoming task that is giving you jitters? It’s time to take a step back and relax. Take a few deep breaths and think of something that makes you happy. Feel your whole body relaxing and glowing, as you think of your great joy. Now repeat some empowering phrases- “I am safe”, “I can do this.” This will reduce your body stress and give you the confidence to step out of your comfort zone.
7. Don’t do it alone
You might think that you are alone in your fear of the unknown and you have to go through the struggles all by yourself. We agree,embarking on a journey to overcome your fears alone can be intimidating. It’s always good to have a trusted friend, family member, colleague or mentor by your side to share your concerns. Ask them what makes them uncomfortable and how they got through their fear of stepping outside of their comfort zone. This will not only give you a helping hand to cross the bridge of fears but will also teach you how to take risks.
8. Journal your growth
It’s always a good idea to write down your achievements in a journal. The list will reflect your growth and give you the confidence to fight your fears. On days when you feel a little overwhelmed, go through your diary of achievements and say it out loud to yourself, - ‘If I can do this, I can do anything!’ As you go through your list, you will feel more and more relaxed about the new things which seemed dangerous to you.
You got it ladies, just take the first step and we are sure you will make it! And when you do, share your story with us. Now go, kick your fears to the curb and start achieving your dreams!