We just hit mild turbulence seven miles above the Atlantic Ocean. My wife Kelli and I are flying to Oman for a two month house sit.
I barely noticed the bumps.
Seven years ago I could not make the same boast.
Even barely detectable shakes set off a subtle but palpable fear in my being. Would the tiny bump become a big dip? Would my stomach soon be in my throat?
I fly with confidence now because I left my comfort zone again and again during 120 plus flights over many years. I could never have become a full time blogger who enjoys a life of travel unless I made the bold, clear and uncomfortable choice seven years ago to step onto a plane for the first time.
Your dreams sit outside of your comfort zone, well beyond deep fears.
Follow these tips to nudge outside of your comfort zone regularly.
1: Accept the Illusory Nature of Fear
Fear is not real.
Only love is real.
Fear occurs in your mind. But fear is not real because fear sprouts from bizarre concepts like separation, endings, finality, judgment and division. All these ideas are lies because we are all One, infinite beings having a human experience.
Embrace this idea. Leave your comfort zone, feel fear and see how it is simply something your mind creates to keep you comfortable and unhappy.
Accepting fear’s illusory nature makes you quite fearless in a world of people who deeply believe in the illusion of fear.
2: Baby Step or Quantum Leap
Fear is not a middle of the road partner.
Either you nudge into fears to exit your comfort zone one baby step at a time or you take a fear quantum leap to dissolve a decent chunk of fear in one fell swoop.
I booked my first flight from JFK in Queens, NYC to Bali, Indonesia. I knew the total flight time would be 23 hours. I also knew most flights after this epic journey would feel short, simple and quite easy, in comparison.
I see this five hour flight from Newark, NJ to Iceland to be short. One huge step outside of my comfort zone made most future flights pretty comfortable and easy to handle.
Embrace other fears one baby step at a time to gracefully leave your comfort zone. If you cling to a terrifying fear of cockroaches I do not suggest facing the fear by diving into a tub of roaches unless you plan to suffer a heart attack. Consider sitting in a room with one roach dancing around in the opposite corner. Acclimate yourself to some fears gradually to leave your comfort zone persistently.
3: Accept that Some Fears Will Feel Super Scary
I have a strong fear of heights.
During a recent trip to the South Island of New Zealand I quickly realized the place is the Land of the Swing Bridges. Walking across a bridge that bounces while a few hundred feet above terra firm scared the hell out of me. I did a return trip on that bridge and skipped the two other swing bridges at Mount Cook.
I never would have left my comfort zone unless I realized how facing a particularly terrifying fear would make me feel a bit queasy, and terribly impatient with slow-moving tourists causing a traffic jam in the middle of the bridge.
Be prepared to feel highly unpleasant emotions as you nudge into strong fears. Suffering through some discomfort beats being jailed inside the mental prison of fear.
Follow these tips to wade through your fears.
Engineer a fun, freeing life by making the blanket decision to leave your comfort zone regularly.
Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise.
Image courtesy of Stephen Cook.