Thinking outside your comfort zone is a little like coloring outside the lines. Those lines may not seem like much, but in reality they are boundaries that may be holding you back from learning new things, exploring the unknown or moving ahead with your dreams for success.
Being stuck inside your comfort zone is a lot about habits. In the same way that you stop at the same Tim Horton’s for coffee, eat lunch at the same diner with the same friends, or shop at the same grocery store each week, your thinking patterns can become a habit as well.
In order to move forward in building the creative, confident life you want, you’ll need to challenge yourself to try both thinking in new ways and doing new things. You’ll want to break out of old routines and learn something new – it doesn’t have to be something you’re particularly interested in – but learning it will make you see things differently.
Here are four easy ways to learn something new and start thinking beyond your comfort zone.
1. Read something new.
You can completely disrupt your thinking patterns by reading in a genre you’re unfamiliar with. Every genre has its own patterns and its authors have their own way of writing and thinking about their topics. So if you always read historical fiction, try reading something contemporary. If you’re more into science fiction, read a self-help book or something historical instead.
2. Tackle a new subject
What are you curious about? A great way to move beyond your comfort zone is to study a subject you’re curious about. Read a book or watch some online videos about something you’re interested in and would like to learn more about.
3. Ask a child for help
If you want to see creative thinking at its best, ask a child to help you solve a problem. Children don’t have near the limitations we put on ourselves as adults. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn from watching and listening to a child as they figure things out.
4. Draw, color, or learn a craft
Drawing, coloring, and other crafts use whole parts of your brain that you probably don’t use often enough. You don’t have to create the next Mona Lisa, but doing something visual can help you move past boundaries you might not even realize you set for yourself.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your thinking, especially when you’re in business. You get used to doing things in structured and routine ways, and unless something unexpected happens you might not even realize that your routines and your thoughts have gotten stale.
When you think outside your comfort zone you allow yourself to solve problems in unconventional ways. If you’re running your own business, thinking creatively can set you apart from your competition simply because you are doing things differently.
Amazing things can happen when you move beyond your comfort zone. Think of it as landing in another universe where all things – including success – are possible beyond your wildest dreams.
Thinking beyond your comfort zone lets you use an unconventional approach to problem solving. It helps you leave your typical way of thinking behind and opens your mind up to seeing things from a new perspective.
Going beyond what you know and what you’ve always done may take some effort and planning, but when you escape the obvious and embrace the unconventional, it can take you down paths you never dreamed you could travel.
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