Try This To Help Yourself Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Let your friends and loved ones help.



I was having coffee with a friend the other day and we had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: I want to do something I’m afraid to do. You know, step out of my comfort zone. Something I wouldn’t ever think of doing, and just do it.

Friend: Sounds like a great idea. What do you have in mind?

Me: I think I want to get on a bus and go to Seattle for the day by myself, walk around, do some shopping, strike up conversations with strangers, stuff like that.

(Disclaimer: I’m an extreme introvert and homebody, and live out in the woods where my nearest neighbors have fur or feathers; so while this may not seem like a big deal for most normal folks, it would be a huge ordeal for me.)

Friend: Sounds good, you should do it.

Me: I will sometime. I’m afraid though. I’ve never been to Seattle by myself, and I’m afraid I’d get lost or something. There are so many people there, what if I get overwhelmed?

Friend (sympathetically): You can do it. Do you want me to go with you?

Then we both laughed because her going with me, of course, would defeat the purpose of my stepping out of my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to the “big city” plenty of times with a friend or my family. I enjoy the city immensely, for a limited time anyway, but always with a companion.

But it got me thinking: it’s okay to have a friend help you step out of your comfort zone. As far as Seattle is concerned, I’m not a big fan of feeling alone in a large crowd of people, but it’s something I want to do to challenge myself. But having a friend accompany me on my day trips before I’m ready to take the “alone” plunge into a situation that is potentially uncomfortable — but challenging in a good way — is OK.

Despite my introversion, I do enjoy people and getting out and experiencing new things. Some things, that is. Several years ago, a group of friends invited me on an outing for pedicures all around. I had never had one before, or anything like it. I figured it couldn’t be too bad, everyone loves pedicures. Right?