Out of Your Comfort Zone: 5 Ways to Change Into The Person You Want to Be
It’s not hard to feel the need to change something.
However, taking action and making the change is hard.
Today you’re going to learn how to step out of your comfort zone and change into the person you want to be.
Let’s dive in!
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People who find it hard to make a change usually share some of these signs:
- They tend to find excuses why they don’t need to change by convincing themselves that their habits aren’t harmful, or that their spouse won’t approve of the change and won’t support them.
- The idea of making a change and stepping out of their comfort zone causes them a lot of anxiety.
- Even when the change becomes inevitable, they worry it’ll make things worse. Or they worry that the change won’t last and they’ll go back to their old ways.
- If they ever took action on changing, they struggle to stick with it.
- They think about making the change, but they always put it off until later.
If any of the signs above sound familiar, attempting to change your thinking and behavior will likely bring up some discomfort.
Why Do We Avoid Change?
Many people fear that changing something might make things worse. You might not like the new job, you might not find someone better…
People convince themselves that keeping things the same is the wisest thing to do.
However, sometimes you’ll need to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Sometimes you need to choose between the pain of being in a toxic relationship and the pain of breaking up, or between the pain of not being able to pay your bills and the pain of looking for another job.
2. Avoiding discomfort
When attempting a change, people usually worry about not being able to tolerate the discomfort that comes from trying new ways.
Someone who’s trying to lose weight dreads giving up the food he likes and the pain that accompanies a workout.
What he doesn’t realize is that his confidence will build up, and his ability to tolerate discomfort will increase as he starts taking action, and the discomfort will become more and more manageable.
Making a change, might mean letting go of things or people for good.
Walking away from a toxic relationship means you’ll have to grieve losing your partner.
Fear of grief can be paralyzing and prevent us from changing.
The Problem With Avoiding Change
Avoiding change and remaining stagnant, especially when it becomes inevitable, can present many of the following issues.
1. It can interfere with your personal growth in other areas of your life. Staying the same isn’t likely going to lead to a rich and fulfilling life.
2. You risk being left behind. The world around you is constantly changing, and your decision not to embrace change isn’t going to prevent others from changing.
Moreover, if you keep doing everything the same, you won’t learn anything new.
3. Your life may not get better. Many problems aren’t going to be solved itself, and require you to change.
But if you choose not to do something about it, these problems are going to remain unsolved and your life may not get better.
4. The longer you wait before making the change, the harder it gets. It’s easier to quit smoking after your first cigarette than it is after ten years of smoking.
The longer you postpone making the change, the harder it gets.
In fact, there’s no perfect time to change better than now.
Preparing To Change
Even though circumstances around us change quickly, we often change at a much slower pace.
Whether it’s an incremental change, an all-or-nothing change, or simply getting bad of a bad habit, when you’re not ready for the change, you likely won’t be successful at maintaining it.
One of the reasons why we tend to break New Year’s resolutions so fast is lack of preparation and commitment.
Getting ready to make a change requires going through the five stages of change:
This is when people identify a need for change and are actively weighing the pros and cons of making the change.
If someone is considering losing some weight, he would start by writing down the pros including enjoying better health, a better self-image… as well as writing down the cons including having to let go of some high-fat food he enjoys, and the pain of working out.
This is when the actual preparation happens.
People establish a concrete plan of what steps they need to take to make the change.
The one who’s trying to lose some weight starts planning what diet he needs to follow, and how many times a week he needs to work out until he reaches the desired weight.
This is where the change takes place.
This step is often overlooked. If making a change is hard, maintaining that change is even harder.
How To Embrace Change?
#1. Identify The Pros And Cons Of Changing
Create two lists.
On one write what is good and what is bad about staying the same.
On the other list, write down about the potentially good and bad outcomes of making the change.
This will help you determine whether the decision is ultimate for you or not.
You don’t need to change for the sake of change.
Switching jobs, moving to a new home, or looking for another relationship won’t necessarily make you mentally stronger or improve your life.
#2. Be Aware Of Your Emotions
Emotions can influence your decision to change and to keep that change.
You might be worried that you won’t be able to follow through with the change, that the change won’t last, and that you’ll go back to your old ways.
You might be scared about the possibility of things getting worse, or you might be sad that you’ll have to let go of something in order to make the change.
When you examine your emotions, you’ll be able to determine how valid they are, and whether or not to act contrary to these emotions.
Sometimes, you have to change even when you don’t feel like it.
However, if the change won’t make a big difference in your life, it might not be worth putting yourself under the stress of change.
#3. Manage Your Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts like thinking you won’t be able to endure the pain of change or maintain the change long enough can influence your decision to make the change as well as to maintain it.
It can affect your motivation to keep going.
Being aware of these thoughts is important to be able to rationalize them and change them into empowering ones.
Just because it’s uncomfortable doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
#4. Create A Successful Plan
Creating a plan for change will help you implement the change and stick to it.
Unless it’s an all-or-nothing type of change, you should create change in incremental steps.
Create your plan with these steps:
1. Divide the change into smaller goals that you accomplish in the next week, month, or year. Identifying the next goal you should focus on, will help you stay motivated and highlight your progress.
Every goal you achieve is an accomplishment. However, make sure you set realistic goals for yourself.
2. Identify steps you can take every day to get you closer to your goals. Implement the necessary behavioral changes in your daily life that will move you closer to your goals.
3. Anticipate challenges along the way. Identify possible obstacles you might encounter and make a plan for how you’ll respond to these challenges.
4. Establish accountability. This will help you keep going and stay motivated. You can ask for help from friends and family members to support and check-in with you about your progress.
You can also do it yourself by writing down your progress daily.
#5. Behave Like The Person You Want To Become
If your goal is to become a successful salesperson, study how successful salespeople behave and act like them.
If you want to be healthier, behave like a healthy person.
Start eating a healthy diet and engage in more physical activities.
Start changing your behavior now and be proactive about becoming that person.
Embracing change is a two-way street.
The more you embrace positive change, the more motivated you become to change further and often.
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Keep in mind that life is constantly changing whether you change or not, and when you practice embracing small changes, you become mentally stronger.
You become better prepared to deal with larger inevitable changes in your life.
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