Shake Up Your Own Comfort Zone
In Part 1 of this post, I discussed how we can shake up the traditional way of talking about our comfort zone by expanding it rather than jumping out of the comfort zone altogether. The next step is to talk about how to shake up our own comfort zones to create that expansion.
I believe that we can all shape and re-shape our lives, and I also believe it’s our responsibility to do so. Although it might sometimes seem otherwise when we’re overwhelmed, we have much more control than we might think.
We are all different
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating and embracing change.
I experience this often in my writing: topics that are so relevant for me sometimes receive a tepid response, while others that I consider “just good” may resonate with readers deeply. I find this so fascinating, and it is one of the reasons I try to stay away from general advice and to tailor my own ways of doing things.
I like the idea of sharing what works for me, and what works based on research I’ve read. Probably because I’m a marketing person and I spend a lot of time studying and developing strategies, I like the idea of building a framework—a structure for reference—and a list of ingredients. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to use that framework as a reference to work on yourself, and then it’s up to you to pick the ingredients that resonate most with you.
With this in mind, I’m going to talk about how to shake up your comfort zone. There are two parts to this, which I will break down into smaller elements:
- How to expand your comfort zone (set the groundwork by creating the right mindset.)
- What to do (create change by taking action).
First let’s look at the HOW, or the mindset to cultivate.
The HOW or the mindset to cultivate
- Start with you.
- Understand your comfort zone.
- Find your WOW.
The order of the steps is crucial. Although it is not required to go in this order (i.e., it’s not true that you can’t move to Step 2 if you haven’t completed Step 1), I believe it is important to start with a deep understanding of yourself.
“Start with you” at a glance means to take a good look at yourself and understand your identity: Who are you? Where are you from? What’s your background (education, culture, family, friends, relationships). What are your dreams and desires? What are your passions? Don’t be scared or overwhelmed by this list. The goal is just to have a general idea of who you are.
“Understanding your comfort zone” at a glance means looking at your mindset, attitude, habits, and time management skills and gaining a deep understanding of how each of these shapes your life and your choices.
“Find your WOW” at a glance means finding for yourself what brings you happiness, balance, and purpose. It means clarifying your own definition of success, both professional and personal.
Now that you have the basic elements of the HOW, it’s time to look at the WHAT, or the actions you can take. Again, I want to emphasize that this is not a prescription. My aim is to provide ideas so you can create a methodology of what works for you.
The WHAT or the actions you can take
There are three aspects of the WHAT:
- Start shaking things up.
- Start practicing.
- Start growing.
You can think of the WHAT as your action plan. It’s important to remember that the WHAT always comes after the HOW because the actions you take are informed by your mindset.
First, we’ll start by shaking things up. This means that once you’ve gained a deep understanding of your mindset, attitude, habits, and approach to time management in the HOW section above, you can now decide what changes to make to those elements based on what’s working and what’s not.
Next, you’ll start practicing. You’ll be focused on micro-steps and micro-moments in which you’ll practice implementing these changes to train yourself to embrace change.
Finally, you’ll experience growth.
Now that you have the full structure of the Comfort Zone Shake-Up, we are ready to talk about the ingredients!