Change is Hard: How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Change is hard. Sure, it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn 4 simple steps to getting you out of your comfort zone and into lasting change.
For over 20 years, I’ve helped thousands of people make incredible change in their lives. From an 8-year-old who couldn’t sit still, to an 82-year-old who was tired of letting anxiety ruin her life, I’ve witnessed amazing changes that people can make.
The irony is that I used to be the most “change phobic” person there was! I’d been going to the same “McYoga” studio for many years, knowing that I wanted and needed to make a change, but I was in my comfort zone and it was conveniently just down the street. Once I finally made the change to a studio more in alignment with my philosophies, magic happened! No longer was it just about the physical poses (or asanas). It was about all 8 limbs of yoga, including the yoga philosophies and the breath (or prana). It brings so much JOY into my life (and indirectly helps my clients too).
Around the same time, I finally made the change to a new nail salon. Doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but I had been going to the same salon for over 15 years and I didn’t even really like it! But, again, it was convenient and I was in my comfort zone. Now I don’t dread going to the salon and I can really enjoy the self-care!
Does this sound familiar? Many of us stay in situations, places or relationships for far too long because we are in our comfort zones. So how do you step out of your comfort zone and change?
Step 1 to Change: Baby Steps
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” It’s a several thousand year old Chinese proverb that’s been around so long because it’s true! When I work with someone who wants to lose weight and has no exercise plan in place, we start with baby steps. If I ask her to exercise 4 – 5 times per week, there is now way she will be able to sustain the change. However, when I chunk it down and ask her to commit to 2 “or more” times per week, that is a change she can achieve (and feel good about). After she has achieved that for a couple of weeks, then we can move up to 3 times a week “or more”. By saying “or more”, you’re giving yourself permission to celebrate the 3 times instead of beating yourself up if you don’t make it to 5. When change is made in baby steps, it is far more likely to be a lasting change.
Step 2: Write it Down
Think of a change you’d like to make in your life. Now chunk it down: what’s the next smallest step you can take that will begin the journey? WRITE IT DOWN. “I commit to __________, because I’m ready to change”. Writing it down (pen to paper) wires it into your brain in a whole different way than if you tap on a keyboard or screen. To learn more about the neuroscience CLICK HERE
Write it down over and over – on post it notes, with an erasable marker on your bathroom mirror. The more you write it, the greater chance you will actually make the change.
Step 3: Quiet Your Inner Critic
Another key component of successful change is to quiet our inner critic. You know the one – we all have it: the voice that says incredibly nasty things to ourselves that we would never in a million years say to another.
The first step to quiet our inner critic is awareness – really beginning to tune in and hear what we are saying to ourselves. Be careful that you don’t use it as a way to beat yourself up “Oh, I’m always talking nasty to myself, I’ll never change”. Instead, turn it around with “Cancel/Cancel”. When you hear that nasty voice, hold your hand up like a traffic cop and say out-loud “Cancel/Cancel”. and then re-frame it. Example: “I’ll always be fat, I’ll never lose weight”. Put your hand up, say out-loud “Cancel/Cancel, I can begin to eat more mindfully or I can begin to move my body in healthy ways”.
Notice this was a gentle shift, not unrealistic. If you had replaced it with “I’m a size 6”, everything inside of you would be screaming “not true!” If you want to learn more about the turnaround, CLICK HERE
Step 4: Get Assistance
The next step to making lasting change is to get assistance. It could be as simple as getting an accountability buddy. My sister has a gym buddy who helps get her there several times a week. Truth is, for many of us, we are far more likely to follow through when we make a commitment to someone else than we are to one we make to ourselves. If you know you are ready and want more help, CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
Take a moment now and see if you are willing to commit to these 4 steps for the next 7 days. If yes, GREAT! I’d love to hear how these work for you, so please come back and share in the comment section below. If not, ask yourself “What am I afraid of? What comfort zone am I stuck in?”