The comfort zone is the area in which we feel comfortable, familiar, safe and secure and we know what to expect. It is a risk-free area without changes and surprises and it holds your existing habits.
It's tempting to stay in your comfort zone and to not want to venture beyond it, however if we allow ourselves to stay there we will not be challenged, experience personal growth, or learn new things.
Your comfort zone could be limiting you. You could be missing fantastic opportunities. If you only do things you can do perfectly, you stop gaining new insights, stop learning new skills and stop taking chances.
To grow, to learn and improve, we must step out of our comfort zone and enter the 'stretch' zone.
By stretching yourself, by learning new and exciting things, by taking a new challenge and by taking risks, you will discover, learn, grow, improve and enrich, deepen and broaden your knowledge, experience and expertise.
Although the first step out of your comfort zone may feel threatening and can be difficult, at some point you will feel comfortable again. That's the way to increase your comfort zone! But to become better, you must be prepared to stretch your comfort zone again and again!
If you want to be the best rider you can be, you must step out of our comfort zone. Here are 6 Simple Strategies to help you step out of your comfort zone:
Strategy 1 - Face Your Fears
When stepping out of your comfort zone you’ll probably feel fear. Fear for the unknown or you ask yourself:
- What if I fail?
- What if I am not good enough?
- What if they don't like me if I do something new?
While you’re afraid you need to think positive thoughts
- There is no failure, only outcomes ...
- Wouldn’t it be great if …
- I’ll feel so excited when …
- This is an exciting experience …
Have faith that a new change or a new opportunity will bring you to a new, but also comforting place.
Strategy 2 – Embrace Change
Embrace change by developing the habit of finding good and positive in it. If you embrace change you’ll become more comfortable with the changes in your life and will begin looking forward to new opportunities that await you and your horse.
Choose the belief that change is good and that expanding your comfort zone lead you to path of becoming the best rider you can be. With this positive mindset, you’re ready, willing, and able to expand your comfort zone.
Strategy 3 – Try Something New
Try something new with your horse. Whether it’s planning a clinic, or deciding what to do next weekend, looking forward to something new or different can be uplifting, refreshing and expanding your comfort zone. Start a new course, learn something new to get your brain active and start thinking of new things instead of dwelling on the 'comfortable' old.
Strategy 4 - Meet Exploratory Riders
Gather positive riders around you who are also willing to stretch their comfort zone. Spend time with riders who are taking changes, who are exploring, investigating, learning, growing, and who like to share their excitement, and experiences with you. They can help you step out of your comfort zone with their fresh perspective, new ideas and interesting concepts.
Strategy 5 - Say "Yes"
Say “Yes” to opportunities that presents itself, big or small. From reading an equestrian book a rider is recommending to an invite to an event you typically wouldn’t attend with your horse. Some things are life changers, and they should be embraced with open arms instead of shot down because of fear for the unknown.
Strategy 6 - Dream BIG
Dare to dream. Let your mind dream big. Keep focused on your dream, visualize your goal and use your imagination. Your imagination is a great source of energy and strength! Your imagination can lead you out of the comfortzone into the zone where the magic happens!
"A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown." –Denis Waitley
Good luck with expanding your comfort zone! It can bring a whole new world of excitement, passion, experiences, friends, and knowledge into your life.