The Real Reason Why We Don’t Step Outside Our Comfort Zone

Is it FEAR of Getting Hurt or is it LAZINESS?

Being adventurous does lead us into unknown territory where we may feel lost. I get it, we also fear getting hurt physically and emotionally.

Physically, we may fear getting injured or sick from trying new exercise or a new sport. We tell ourselves, “maybe I am not ready. I feel run down. I may get sick or too tired. I may get injured. My knees, shoulder, ankles or whatever may get worse….”

Emotionally, we may fear getting rejected when we initiate intimacy with our partner or make new friends, or suggest a new idea at work, or help someone we don’t know. Or we may fear failing at a new business, a new course or a new job or a new investment.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you do anything without research and assessment. Being fearless does not mean being reckless but it is your duty to at least take the effort and conduct the risk analysis.

Risk Analysis

So, there are essentially two obstacles. Not just FEAR but ALSO taking the time and effort to conduct RISK ANALYSIS. Most people who do not take action blame it on fear, when in reality they are just too lazy to make the assessment. So the question is: Which one is letting you down? Fear or lack of risk analysis? Or both?

For example, when it comes to initiating relationships, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen if that person rejects me?” Often the answer is ‘not much’, ie simply fear stopping you taking action. There are plenty of other people on this planet. On the other hand, when it comes to trying a new exercise, getting injured is a real risk, but the assessment needs to include risk mitigation. How can I ease into exercise? How do I warm up before exercise? How do I stop before my form is compromised due to fatigue?

Or it could be enrolling into a new course at uni. The risk is you lose interest in the course or you find out the course is not right for you. So, the ultimate risk is losing money and more importantly, losing time. The gain is knowledge you can leverage to invest in your future earning potential. How do you mitigate the risk here?

Or it could be a new job. The risk is you lose an existing job where you have gained respect and trust. The gain is you get a better job with greater opportunity for growth and earnings. How do you mitigate this risk?

In all cases, you need to answer that question for yourself because only you know the nuances and consequences in your life. Below I outline a process to help you.

Get rich or die trying?

So, change ultimately requires not just fearlessness but constant risk assessment. If you are too lazy to make that assessment daily, I get it, you may be in a stage in your life where you don’t feel like any change is warranted or necessary. Consider this however: Most people are in one of THREE states.

High State: Life is great! I wake up every day with purpose and passion. 

Low State: Life is terrible, and I am not excited about getting up in the morning.

Numb State: I am neither happy nor sad but stuck somewhere in the middle where it is not bad enough to change anything.

I am not judging here. Merely making an observation that the numb state often precedes the low state. I’ve been in all three states and the one thing that I know for certain is that I have ONLY ever achieved something in my life when I have gone out on a limb, got hurt, dusted myself off and tried something new every day. BUT only when I have LEARNED from it. Every fail is an opportunity for growth. Yes it’s a cliché but ever so remarkable.

It All Starts with new LEARNINGS 

The path to overcoming FEAR and conducting RISK ANALYSIS starts with LEARNING. Most people dive into new things recklessly because they are pumped up on motivation. The antidote to that starts with new LEARNINGS. You need to learn before AND after you step outside your comfort zone. Before: information allows you to make the right decision through proper analysis. After: if it was the wrong decision, you have to ask “What did I learn from this?” In both cases you are gathering information for future risk assessment. Ever heard of millionaires and billionaires who have been bankrupt a few times? Why are there are so many? Because the ultimate learnings come from failures and experiences. This is the zone where you should live your life. I am not saying it’s easy but it’s definitely not numb.

There are STEPS I follow daily before trying something new:

Step 1: Learn [podcasts, books, people, fails]
Step 2: Decide [risk analysis]
Step 3: Act [take action with no attachment to the outcome]
Step 4: Review and Reflect [pivot]
Step 5 Repeat Steps 1-4 [this takes courage]

As a business owner and self-confessed high-achiever, I believe that our ability to learn things fast is now our most valuable skill to living in the High State; which is why I have compiled your favourite teachers, starting with Jim Kwik, to help us upgrade. I have done this upgrade every January since the age of 17. Today all my learnings on how to live a life of not just purpose, not just fearlessness but courage to step outside my comfort zone, have culminated in an annual event we at A Higher Branch, call Upgrade Your Life. Next year’s theme is 2020-VISION. It is not just about having goals. It is about having clarity; NOT just for future goals but as a process for daily living; stepping outside your comfort zone must happen daily. I hope you can step outside your comfort zone and join us. This is a not-for-profit event organised purely out of love and compassion for our community. Click here: