blue couch beside brown brick wall

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

In my coaching, at the moment I am in awe of the prisons my clients have created for themselves. Fear, self-doubt, not worthy, not deserving, not good enough, not capable enough and more.

These thoughts run through their minds, meaning they won’t allow themselves to step up and claim the life they really want to live.

We call it self-sabotage but it’s deeper than that. To me, it’s a conflict between the old brain and the new mind. The subconscious, which by the age of 7 had a blueprint of what was meant by things like love, safety, comfort and what was OK with that. From then on has gone to prove that to be true.

Then the new brain, the conscious learns something else. It learns it doesn’t have to be that way, that love safety, comfort and OK ISN’T what they think it is. They learn that they have to break through and create a new world for themselves.

This takes strength.

A strength and determination that inspires me every time I see it in my clients. What about you? Where are you in your riding? Are you doing your comfort zone things?

Entering the competitions at the same level which you know you can do? Training with the same coaches who you know? Not pushing you or your horse because you don’t know what will happen next.

Uncertainty is scary for many people

You are normal if it scares you! I want to cry every time I face it! But the fact is successful people are successful because they are willing to do what others aren’t. I’m happy to keep facing my fears, pushing out of my comfort zone and facing complete uncertainty because I know the best thing that can happen is – I will learn something.

I also know the worst thing that can happen is – I will learn something! So I’m going to win no matter what! So if we know to succeed we need to step out of our comfort zone. How do we do that exactly?

The first step is:

1. Be aware.

Awareness is always 97% of the journey. Start to be aware of why you make the choices you make. Is this the right choice for you because it agrees with your top values and moves you towards your vision and goals? Or does it keep you safe and comfortable?

Let’s say the choice is to a dressage test level 3, and you are in level 4. If your number 1 value is growth and your vision is to be a Level 1 rider, then the answer is you absolutely must do the level 3 test. But you might do that ‘excuse’ thing, where you say you aren’t ready, maybe in Spring, we don’t have medium trot yet… or whatever else you come up with – but the answer is then being made from you wanting to stay safe in your comfort zone, and not about growth and living the life you want to create.

2. Take ONE step.

If your comfort zone is Level 4, I’m not saying do Level 1. That would be so far out of your comfort zone, and not really useful in terms of your values and goals. Also, respect and love where you are and understand you will feel uncomfortable or uneasy or anxious about doing this if you choose that response. So, make it a small, doable step.

It might be – look at the level 3 test. Then it would be – practice the level 3 test at home, then it might do the level 3 test on another arena, not your place – then finally a small competition. Don’t allow yourself to play the overwhelming strategy. Just break it down into small steps and keep moving forward.

3. Have the attitude of winning.

Like I said. When I step out of my comfort zone, I know the best and the worst thing that can happen is – I will learn something. And that is winning to me. Don’t be afraid of learning. Learning is how we grow! Learning is how you learned to walk, how to rise to the trot and a million other things that you do know without thinking. So when you realize winning isn’t if you win the level 3 class, winning is ENTERING the class, you free yourself up of the pressure.

I make it very easy to win. I woke up today – winning! I brushed my teeth today – winning! I wrote an article for you guys – winning! I win 1000 times a day so when I ‘fail’, which I also do ALL the time – it doesn’t matter! The ‘failures’ give me the best learning so I win anyway and I learn how to do it better next time.

I trust this helps you and you will do one thing to push yourself slightly out of that comfort zone. I know! It’s SUPER comfy in there! But it’s also boring and stagnant and you will never achieve any new results from there!

Lisa Ryan

Lisa Ryan is the Chief Appreciation Strategist with Grategy, a company founded on the principles of leveraging the power of gratitude in business and in life. Utilizing 20+ years of sales, marketing, and training experience, As an employee engagement keynote speaker, Lisa helps companies keep their best customers and top talent from becoming someone else’s. She does this by training individuals, teams and organizations the importance of appreciation in creating stronger relationships, and becoming healthier, happier and having a lot more fun in life.

Lisa is the author of six books, including: “The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude,” “Express Gratitude, Experience Good: A Daily Gratitude Journal,” “From Afraid to Speak to Paid to Speak: How Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety Boosts Your Confidence and Career,” and “With Excellence.” She is featured in two movies: the award-winning “The Keeper of the Keys” with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), John Gray (Men are From Mars/Women are From Venus), and Marci Shimoff (Happy for No Reason and “The Gratitude Experiment” with Bob Proctor, Dr John DeMartini and Mary Morrissey.