How To Fearlessly Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

How To Fearlessly Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

This is definitely one of my goals for 2023.

I’ve always known that challenge and adventure was good for me; but for a variety of reasons I’ve become more anxious over the last few years and focused a bit too much on comfort and security.

There’s nothing wrong with comfort and security.

But sometimes, within limits, real happiness requires some real anxiety.

So stepping out of your comfort zone although (obviously) uncomfortable, can ultimate create more positive emotions, like happiness, which is pretty good …

via Forbes by Mark Travers

A new study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology highlights one type of intervention that can push us outside of our comfort zone and foster positive personality change and self-growth.

“I have always been fascinated by the question of how people change,” says Dr. Pninit Russo-Netzer, the lead author of the study. “I’m especially intrigued by the gap I often witness in my research and practice between intention and action when it comes to making life changes.”

To better understand the barriers people face when attempting to make positive life changes, and how to overcome come them, Dr. Russo-Netzer and her team designed a novel intervention, called a ‘behavioral stretch intervention,’ that encouraged people to take up activities that were previously outside of their comfort zone.

Participants in their study were randomly assigned to either (1) engage in an activity outside of their comfort zone over the course of a two-week period or (2) to simply keep a record of their regular daily activities (control condition).

The researchers measured how much self-rated growth people experienced over the test period. They found that engaging in activities at the edge of one’s comfort zone boosted the life satisfaction of people who had relatively low life satisfaction.

Moreover, the most significant benefits achieved during the intervention were seen from those who stepped outside of their comfort zone to assist others – engaging in activities like volunteering at a school to help students with hearing loss, donating one’s hair to people undergoing cancer treatment, or applying to provide foster care.

Part of the reason why the intervention was successful, according to Russo-Netzer, has to do with the fact that participants were allowed to decide for themselves which ‘stretch’ activity they pursued.

“A key component of our intervention is that people choose their out-of-comfort zone activity for themselves,” says Russo-Netzer. “This gives them agency, it fosters the intrinsic motivation that comes with personal choice, and it stretches them psychologically while protecting their feelings of comfort and safety.”

For anyone struggling to find their way out of their comfort zone, the researchers have the following pieces of advice to ease the process…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE