There are many reasons to expand your comfort zone and it’s not always easy to think of ways to do that. Sometimes we may not realize when it’s hard for us to move outside of our comfort zone. Trying new things can become harder as we get older and more set in our ways.
It’s scary because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves if we aren’t good at something and our nature is to avoid failure. If we can embrace a more childlike innocence, it becomes easier to talk to strangers, make new friends and try new things we aren’t used to.
Expanding your comfort zone can help you with problem solving, improve communication and lower your stress. This can help you become a better leader and can help you master new skills.
Here are some fun ways to get out of your comfort zone, improve your adaptability and social intelligence.
Maybe it’s an active class such as dance. Maybe you’ve never tried archery or aerial silks. Trying something that is completely new to you exercises your ability to adapt to new environments.
Taking a class is also a safe place to work on your response to change because you will be led by an instructor and able to ask questions.
You may want to try an art class, a woodworking class or something that is exciting to you. Try to choose a topic you are interested in so you’re more likely to be engaged.
Theatre classes are an excellent way to expand your comfort zone because they help you interact with people in silly ways and they can help you learn ways to overcome fears of speaking in public.
The other important aspect of joining a class is that it will help you socialize. You are bound to interact with people. The beauty of being good at different things is it exercises different parts of your brain.
It’s undeniable that a good leader must exercise both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. We employ the logic brain when balancing a budget and executing time management skills but when it comes to engaging with customers and employees, we must use our creative emotional intelligence.
The unique trait of a good leader is that they know how to relate to people and they are skilled at their job.
Sometimes expanding your comfort zone is working on being independent. In today’s day and age people can get very used to being surrounded with the company of others.
When it comes to independent thinking, which is a critical tool for leaders, it’s something that can be practised. Leaders can’t have a ‘follow the crowd’ mentality because they must think of ways to differentiate their business ideas.
By simply doing things you would usually do with someone else on your own, you are exercising your ability to make decisions on your own.
For example, you will choose where you eat, where you sit in the restaurant and what you order from the menu. You will probably even pick out what you wear all by yourself. While this exercise may seem silly it will help you feel comfortable being alone which is something many people get anxious about.
You will notice your environment more and get to feel more at ease after a little while.
The ultimate way to expand your comfort zone is to take a solo vacation. This allows you to be in a totally new environment and break your normal routine.
When you are in a new environment your senses are on hyper-drive. You will smell things, you will see more of your surroundings and hear more conversations.
It’s a challenge that can be very rewarding in expanding your comfort zone. It helps you overcome unnecessary fears of being alone and stretches your communication skills.
If you travel to a place where English is not the native language you can use body language and voice tone to pick up on many cues. This is a great way to build communication tools. Camping by yourself is another way to overcome your fears of doing something new.
When you reach outside your comfort zone, you realize you are capable of so much more. Of course don’t camp too far out there if you are not used to the wilderness.
This is a sneaky little tip that is geared to expanding your communication and vocabulary. If you join a monthly book club it will not only improve your intelligence level but the subjects will get you thinking about things in a new way.
Fiction books can help you develop a language and a skill set around emotional behaviours and help you better understand human behaviours. On the other hand, non-fiction books can improve your knowledge of certain subjects and expand your ability to speak educatedly about interesting subjects.
This is also a great way to allow your mind to relax, not think about work and do something new. When you meet new people, it allows your brain to learn how to be sociable because you see other people being sociable.
If you want to pick up on civilized social skills, you won’t find them in a sports bar. Attending seminars, conferences and theatrical performances can improve your ability to speak to people about complex subject matter in a social environment.
Leaders need to be able to debate important issues and talk about things other than the weather.
Finally, hosting a get together can help you work on things you may not be good at such as decorating, cooking or relaxing with friends.
They say taking time to have fun benefits the overall function of the brain because it lowers stress. Strong leaders incorporate fun things into their lives to maintain a balance between work and life.
If you work all the time, consider fun activities you can incorporate into your routine that are not just by yourself.
While leaders are usually confident, they must make efforts to stay social and not isolate themselves. Leaders are constantly asked to expand their comfort zone when business changes come up.
For example, when people leave a company you will need to hire new people. To protect the company, you will want to be able to read people and establish rapport. Networking is valuable for leaders. Having a strong social network can help you get referrals for good employees you can trust.
Sarah Williams is a lifestyle writer who specializes in self-development and dating advice. She believes that happiness is a combination of self-discipline and appreciating every day – just the way it is. You can read her articles at Wingman Magazine.