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How to Step Out of your comfort zone

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence

Andrea Seydel Live Life Happy Unconventional Bookclub

With Reach, Andy Molinsky offers a guide based on his own groundbreaking research on breaking out of comfort zone. Andy Molinsky Is a professor of psychology and organizational behaviour and he specializes in behaviour change. Do you have trouble reaching beyond your comfort zone? So many disappointments spring out of our own unwillingness to stretch beyond what we feel comfortable doing. We are often encouraged to stop out of our comfort zone, but don't know where to start. Reach helps us navigate this challenge and takes us to the next level.

Part 1: The Challenge of Reaching Outside Your Comfort Zone

Acting out of your comfort zone is challenging. But why is it so challenging, Why self-threatening? What can we do to overcome these challenges?

Core Psychological challenges or the reasons why it can be so scary to step out of our comfort zone: 1. Authenticity challenge- this isn't me at all. 2. Likeability challenge-will doing this make people like me? 3. Competence challenge- I'm not good enough. 4. Resentment challenge- I shouldn't have to. 5. Morality challenge- feeling this isn't something I should be doing. Common Consequence of these challenges is avoidance: 1. We full on avoid 2. Do the task, but only partway and not so well. 3. We procrastinate or delay doing them. 4. We pass the buck and let someone else perform the task.

Part 2: How to Successfully Reach Outside Your Comfort Zone

When reaching beyond our comfort zone we need support and what Lev Vygotsky, Psychologist called "scaffolding." These resources are

1. Conviction: having a deep sense of purpose in what you're doing and why. An example might be stepping out of comfort zone to help others. Externally focused conviction like a paediatrician helping a child losses his nerves by knowing they will be helping the child. Or public speaking, fight the reasons to stop and focus on the reasons to go.

2. Customization: finding your own personal way of performing the task so it feels as natural as possible. Think of the metaphor a tailor, tweak and customize so it's right for you. Customize what you say in order to feel comfortable in situations. Eg Customer service rep, changed her response so she didn't feel cold and robot like. Customize your body language to feel more confidence. Power poses. Customize your timing that feels like a better time to step out of your comfort zone or by psyching your self up to do something. Customize context.

3. Clarity: the ability to gain perspective on the challenges you face and what you might be avoiding. Clarity helps see distorted thinking like "I'm not good enough." Tips to get clarity: Step away, refer to yourself in the third person (you can do that), practice self-reflection, find clarity through someone else's eyes, create your own recipe that works for you.

Surprising Benefits of Taking a Leap:

It is incredibly powerful the effect of simply giving it a try!! Two major discoveries you'll have 1. This isn't so bad after all. 2. I can do this (and I'm better than I thought)

When you feel you can do something, you have confidence or in psychology it is called self-efficacy, the belief in your ability to succeed. This Can Do cognition is like the little engine that could. The psychological research of Albert Bandura suggests that people with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to approach challenges confidently, have deeper interests, and recover quicker from setbacks or roadblocks.

Part 3: How to Make Your New Behaviour Stick

Building resilience through resources of: 1. Thoughtful and effective practice routine.- Practice is critical 2. A mind-set that supports learning and experimentation (Notice, Appreciate and Internalize your Small Wins). 3. A healthy support system

Myth is that all you need to do is step outside your comfort zone- Reality is that very few people spontaneously leap outside their comfort zones, rather that leap is a result of considerable thinking and deliberation. Myth that magic only happens outside your comfort zone- Reality is that magic can happen both inside and outside your comfort zone. Reality is that everyone struggles with situations outside their comfort zones. Myth that getting out of your comfort zone is just about sucking it up- Reality is sucking it up is important but so are other strategies. Stepping out of your comfort zone takes more than inspiration, it taks effort, persistence, strategy and a keen understanding of the challenge.

Part 4: Practical Tools to Apply Reach to Your Own Life

TIPS: 1. Name your situation 2. What are your avoidance strategies? 3. Unlock your sources of personal convictions (if there were no blocks what would you be able to do? 4. Learning to customize your behaviour 5. Develop clarity or realistic scenario thinking


His book helps you get unstuck and helps you grow and take yourself to the next level.

This book provided us with fresh insight from social science to help us push beyond boundaries while remaining true to our authentic selves.

For a full highlight of this book visit my Live Life happy Podcast or website at

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