We have all been there. You want to try a new activity or goal in life but you are not quite sure how to get there. Daydreaming about it can be fun, but starting it can be challenging and overwhelming. So you think maybe some other time. Today I want to share with you how I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and how you can too!
For years I have been wanting to use a pressure cooker. I always heard about the fun things you could do with it like canning and reducing your time in the kitchen. You can cook dried beans within 6-8 minutes without pre-soaking! Truly an amazing accomplishment when it normally takes 3-12 hrs depending on the type of bean. As you might expect, I was thrilled when we received a pressure cooker as a wedding present three years ago.
The only problem was I did not use it. It just sat in my cupboard and collected dust. Why?
Because I was scared. I was scared of trying something new. I blamed the fact that I had no one to teach me. I heard so many horror stories about how dangerous a pressure cooker could be that I did not try. Despite articles I read about how much safer they are, I still did not pursue it. But the truth was I was scared to try something unknown to me.
About six months ago I bought a pressure cooker magazine to help inspire me to cook something. Still nothing…
Then last weekend my husband said, “I think we should start using the pressure cooker.” Apparently that was all I needed as a catalyst to try to use it.
The next day I picked out a recipe while Eric put together the pressure cooker parts. We decided to choose something easy for our first experiment…beets! A friend of mine gave me a bunch from her garden so we wanted to put them to good use. Then the fun started.
I was gritting my teeth when the steam began rising out of the pressure control due to my nervousness. But guess what? Nothing scary. No eyes went missing. No faces were burned off.The only thing that happened was delicious beets in a quarter of the time. I am now very eager to try other recipes. It was super easy and a great time saver. Now I know what to expect and I am no longer afraid to use it.
We all tend to have things we are nervous about trying, whether it be trying a new class at the gym or presenting a new idea at work. Stepping out of our comfort zone can be a scary process, but that is where the magic happens. You begin to feel more confident in your abilities to do other things as well. Here are 5 ways you can learn to step out of your comfort zone:
1. Focus on the Excitement- When you try something new there tends to be two feelings: nervousness and excitement. I encourage you to focus more on the excitement. Excitement is going to give you the energy and confidence to complete the task at hand.
2. Share the Experience- It can be overwhelming learning something new. By sharing the experience with someone else it can be make the activity less daunting. If it wasn’t for my husband wanting to use the pressure cooker, I don’t know how long I would have put off using it. By sharing the experience it can also make you more accountable for your actions. You don’t want to disappoint others when you don’t follow through.
3. Get Inspired- Watching your favorite chef on TV or picking up the latest fitness magazine can be motivation to get you started on your goals. Who or what inspires you? It might be a biography of someone you admire, or maybe you like to create inspiration boards to achieve your goals or dreams. Whatever inspires you, start doing more of it
4. Start with Baby Steps- Sometimes it is easier to focus on individual steps than the whole activity. When you focus on the whole activity it can seem overwhelming and easy to back away from. First, focus on looking up what time the gym class is. Second, write the class into your schedule. Third, put on your gym clothes and so on. You get the idea With this approach you can focus on the barriers as they come instead of focusing on them all at once.
5. Enjoy the Journey- I know. I know. This sounds corny, but it is so true. Learning and appreciating the process is all part of stepping out of your comfort zone. Making mistakes is expected. Learning from mistakes is what is important. I have made raviolis from scratch many times. Each batch is a little different and I improve each time. Sometimes I take a couple steps back and they are less than edible, but that is okay. I am learning and it is about enjoying the process.
Everyone has different personal goals or dreams. Some are easier than others, but for most goals it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone to get there. Good luck