In a range of situations, if you extend your comfort zone you extend your confidence.
This is because you extend your beliefs about what you’re capable of doing.
Here are ten top tips to build your confidence by taking a risk:
Step out of your comfort zone
Comfort happens when things feel good and things feel familiar; you know what to expect, you know what, how and when things will happen, what to do and how to do it. You feel at ease and in control. You’re in a comfort zone.
The thought of stepping out of a comfort zone can make you feel stressed and anxious. But there is another zone – the confidence building zone. In any one situation, step just outside a comfort zone into the confidence building zone and although you’ll feel challenged, you won’t feel so stressed that you retreat back to your comfort zone. You’ll be able to focus and achieve things in a controlled, managed way.
Identify your comfort zones
The first step to moving out of your comfort zone is realising that In a variety of situations, you’re in one. It can be so comfy and normal that you don’t realise you’re in a comfort zone. So think of all the things you do on a regular basis in the same old ways – your daily routine – the time you get up and the time you go to bed, the food and meals you normally eat, the route you take to work or to visit friends and family.
Look for opportunities to step outside your comfort zone
Write a list of five things you could do that would move you out of your comfort zone; things that won’t involve to much of a stretch. Look at your everyday routines and push yourself to do a bit more or do things a bit differently. If for example, you usually go for a 20 minute run, extend it to 30 minutes. Get off the bus or tube one stop earlier and walk. Take a different route to work. Always go to or have takeaway from the same restaurants? Try some different ones.
Get used to stepping outside your comfort zone
Make it a habit. Know that small steps out of your comfort zone enable you feel in control; to think positively and feel good about yourself and your abilities. Small wins are the building blocks of confidence.
Take a risk
Want to take a bigger step outside your comfort zone but not sure that things will actually turn out well; that it will be worth the risk?
But you take a risk every time you get out of bed each morning – as you go about your day there’s always the possibility of misfortune! When you choose to take risks (as you do when you get out of bed each day) you are making things happen rather than waiting for them to happen to you. Taking a risk can open you up to new ideas, opportunities and experiences. You can discover good things about yourself, your abilities, other people and the world.
Fortune favours the bold!
Reduce the risk; take a calculated risk
Although fixating on the worst possible scenario can prevent you from taking a risk, it can also help you get prepared; to do what you can to minimise that risk and the possible fall-out.
Plan how you will handle the worst case scenario
Ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen? How might I deal with that?” Know that if things don’t work out you will already have thought of what to do to manage what happens.
Trust yourself; make snap decisions
As well as planning how and when to step out of your comfort zone, allow yourself to do something on impulse. Now and again, don’t overthink it, just step straight out of your comfort zone and do things differently. Be spontaneous. If you suddenly feel inclined to do something that’s out of your usual for your routine and takes you out of your comfort zone, just do it.
Take a leap of faith
Have courage. Take a deep breath then hold it. The space created by pausing gives you long enough to engage your courage. The second you breathe out, use that moment you have created for yourself to make the leap and take action. Take the risk! Take that first step and let the rest happen from there.
Picture everything going well
Imagine that everything will work out. Visualise it going well.
Learn from setbacks
Look for what you can learn from the setback. Instead of berating yourself, choose to learn from the situation. Whether you choose to drive or get the train or you decide on this job or career or that job or career, if it doesn’t work out, you can think about what you learned from that situation that could inform a similar decision, next time? Each time you learn from a situation, you build your confidence to deal with a similar situation next time around.
You win or you learn
Sports participants know that whenever they or their team lose they can’t dwell on the setback for long. Instead, they identify what went wrong and what they can learn from what happened. They then move on to think about the next game or race and what they need to do to do to get back on form. If things don’t work out, to rebuild your confidence you must do the same; make a decision that you are going to bounce back!
About the author
Gill Hasson is a freelance tutor and writer. She works for adult education, voluntary and training organisations. Gill teaches a variety of Personal Development courses, including confidence and self esteem, assertiveness, communication skills and resilience. Her writing includes books on the subject of emotional intelligence, communication skills, assertiveness, mindfulness, and resilience . Her books How to be Assertive, Mindfulness and, most recently, Confidence Pocketbook: Little Exercises for a Self-Assured Life. Gill also works as a Career Coach: gillhasson.co.uk