Use these five steps to get out of your comfort zone before you waste even more of your life to mediocrity.

I want you to think of your Comfort Zone like a bathtub. Your Comfort Zone bathtub is full of clean, warm, relaxing water.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in your Comfort Zone tub. Look at the fun little rubber duckies floating around you. Pick one up. Examine it.

Now see it for what it is: a manipulative object.

Watch as all your duckies transform into their true selves right before your eyes. Addictions, shame, guilt, fear, regret, perfectionism.

This is how your Comfort Zone tub works. It represents a soothing, safe environment surrounded by a cold, uncomfortable world. This is why you love staying in your tub and rarely venture outside its walls.

The problem is that everything you want in life exists outside of this tub. Dreams, goals, and opportunities. Authentic connection. Happiness.

But you’re so afraid to step out. You might slip and fall. You might be cold and uncomfortable. You might fail or feel pain. It’s much safer to stay in the tub.

So, you stay in the tub, paralyzed by fear and superficial decision making. You pretend to move forward when you’ve never moved an inch. At best, you’ve moved from one side of the tub to the other.

Your Comfort Zone is an unnatural place.

Somewhere along the line, you lost your curiosity. I know this, because children don’t have comfort zones. As a child, you had a thirst for learning, growth, and experience. A drive to be greater than you are now. A willingness to test fear and push through pain.

As a child, that was your daily experience. You scraped your knee countless times. Maybe you fell out of a tree. You tested the boundaries of your parents, friends, and teachers. You tried to find the edges of the world around you.

Instead of embracing that thirst, you make excuses now. You might poke a toe out of that tub every now and again. But, when the universe doesn’t give you exactly what you want, when you want it, with little effort, you blame others. And then you crawl back in your tub.

This is not the tub of comfort, as you’ve come to believe. It’s the tub of unhappiness. It represents living under the thumb of fear, shame, and guilt. Under the oppression of inauthenticity. With mediocrity as your partner. Forever.

Your Comfort Zone is a powerful source of self-sabotage. It’s drives negative self-talk and toxic beliefs. It’s a massive obstacle to getting your core needs met as a human being. To serving a greater purpose. To having a body and life you love.

It’s a very unnatural place.

What you must understand is that there are three layers here. Layer one is the tub. Layer two is the cold, uncomfortable environment surrounding the tub. And layer three is the bright, magnificent environment that lies beyond that.

Are you done living in that tub? Are you ready to enter the warm sunlight of success and authenticity? If you are, here’s an exercise to help you escape…

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: The 5 Steps

  1. Choose something you’re avoiding doing. It doesn’t matter if it’s health and fitness related—it can be anything.
  2. Think of the absolute worst thing that can happen if you step out of the tub and commit your attention and effort to this thing. If “death” or “irreparable harm” isn’t a possibility, proceed to the next step…
  3. Adopt a “bring it on” attitude. Close your eyes and see yourself stepping out of a warm bath tub into the cold environment. But beyond that layer, see the shining light of happiness and success—the third layer.
  4. Tell yourself, “I welcome discomfort. I welcome the pain.” This is not a masochistic view. Masochists enjoy unnecessary pain. The courageous enjoy necessary pain and discomfort. Successful people will tell you that their success lives on top of a mountain of failures. They had a willingness to endure the failures and the uncomfortable circumstances to achieve great success.
  5. Tell yourself, “These experiences set me free.” Imagine yourself putting clothes on and heading out your door. This is the visualization of you doing real work–leaving the tub behind and entering The Real World.

Some thoughts about fear, failure, and pain related to your comfort zone.

What you’ll notice as you put this process into practice is that fear loses its power the moment you step out the door.

Fear, in most cases, is nothing more than a monster in the closet. Once you open the door to reveal it, you see that it was a mere figment of your imagination. A terrible fairy tale the rubber ducks in the bathtub were using to manipulate you.

Welcoming pain in this context is what protects you from it. It’s what erodes the fear.

It’s possible that you’ll experience failure and pain when venturing out of the bathtub. This is a wonderful thing. Failure is a teacher. Being uncomfortable is a fertilizer for growth. You learn, through each experience, that you don’t die. Quite the opposite. You grow more powerful.

You want some fear, though. Fear can be a good thing. Being paralyzed is what you’re trying to avoid.

When you have too much fear, everything in your life looks like a threat. When you don’t have fear at all, you fail to see threats that are real.

Embracing The Real World over The Comfort Zone is how you hone your radar. You experience a chain of losses followed by some big wins. You learn about your strengths and weaknesses. You find areas where you can become more and areas where you may need to become less.

You must embrace failure because it’s the gateway to massive success. You must embrace pain because, when it’s finally absent, happiness is amplified. These two things combined are make for an authentic human experience.

This is how you get out of your comfort zone.

Comments

  • MARY ELLEN says:

    ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON ARTICLE! Thanks for sharing Kevin – I am going to follow these steps to get myself out of my COMFORT ZONE!

  • Lisa says:

    love this, & everyone needs to read it!

  • Sebrin says:

    This was extremely well written! While I can apply it to fitness, I am mostly applying it to my career and my emotional rut that’s keeping me from moving forward in any way. Thank you for giving me such a great tool to move forward. You’ve got a new subscriber!!

    • Kevin Geary says:

      Yay! Apply it to EVERYTHING. I teach that your life impacts your health, so when you apply these things to your job, as you said, you’ll find that it greatly impacts your health as well. To have a body and life we love, we must focus both on changes to our body AND to our life. They play on each other. So great job!

  • Andy says:

    Hi Kevin! I think this is a great post and everything you said can be applied to every area in our lives, not just in fitness. It resonates so particularly well with me too, since around a few months ago, I stepped out of that bathtub and out into the bathroom and eventually out the door. In other words, I quit my soul-sucking job and started a business I’ve always wanted to start, and also began exercising and eating healthy. I’ve always had a desk office job and I’m Asian, so I ate mounds of white rice every day, so it was a massive change for me. And what you say is true. That once you welcome the pain and the fear, they disappear. One day, I just realized that going outside my comfort zone wasn’t so uncomfortable after all and that I am actually enjoying this so much more than the bathtub.

  • Atom says:

    Well said. Nice metaphor. I will never look at my rubber duckies the same way again.

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