Social Question

mary84's avatar

How do you step out of your comfort zone?

Asked by mary84 (570points) June 10th, 2010

I get ridiculously nervous whenever I do something that’s “outside my comfort zone”, e.g. making an unpleasant phone call, striking up a conversation with new people etc. How can I become more bold and stop being so nervous in new situations?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

@mary84 think everyone has a little anxiety with those things! The secret, i’ve found, is do it a lot. The more you do it, the easier it gets!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@BoBo1946 makes a good point.

When I step out of my comfort zone I try to do it in a pair of the highest heels I can muster. It gives me a leg up on the competition.

Barring that, remember to breathe and picture the people you are confronting as having constipation. It puts them in perspective as just as human as you are.

One last suggestion might be to join Toastmaster’s International. They teach public speaking, mastering the art of which gives indescribable feelings of world domination.

BoBo1946's avatar

@hawaii_jake great idea…Toastmaster’s International would be of great help for @mary84 !

partyparty's avatar

Try doing something new each day. Even putting your clothes on in a different order. Driving a new way to work, shopping at a different supermarket.
That way you will learn that new isn’t all that bad.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think the secret is to make your comfort zone as large as possible. Relax and get comfortable in your own skin first and then work outward from there. And don’t worry about what others think. They’re dealing with the same issues you are.

gemiwing's avatar

I try to remind myself that ‘this won’t last forever’ and soon I will be back inside my comfort zone.
It also helps me to make it a conscious choice instead of something that just ‘happens’. I try to remind myself that I can retreat whenever I want to- I’m choosing to grow. Makes me feel stronger.

CMaz's avatar

Comfort zone? What is that? :-)

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz loll..probably where you live!

CMaz's avatar

Hit me in the head with a rock. That altered state I will call a “comfort zone”.

The_Idler's avatar

Go on an adventure!

Fly somewhere. Japan? Thailand?
You’ll be forced to grow up and act independently. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway… õ.O

tranquilsea's avatar

What helps me are the following:

a) having a plan of what I’m going to start with or, in the example of talking to new people, questions I can ask

b) Don’t over think it

c) Just do it and do it often.

The uncomfortable phone calls are ones that hopefully won’t come up often but you can really practise talking to new people. If you’re in a lineup (and we so often are) strike up a conversation with someone just behind you. Ditto if you are in an aisle. You probably won’t see those people again, so messing up doesn’t have any consequence.

meagan's avatar

Oh I hate talking on the phone to “strangers”. I worked as a telemarketer once and always got in trouble for never hassling the customers enough. Once someone would say no, I’d say.. Alright! Have a good day!
(I actually made a lot of sales that way ;P)

Maybe you need to listen to some music that with hype you up. You can do anything! Climb the highest mountain! Who cares about what people think? They can’t do anything to you.

Thammuz's avatar

I’d say you need to have a better mental image of yourself.

I’m an presumptuous fucker, i’m really confident of my intelligence and skills and i estimate that they end up balacing out my lack of social skills, and since the day i started thinkingthat i stopped having problems in social contexts.

This is just my personal experience but it seems to be a constant that the more one values himself the easier it will get to make new aquaintances and such. It’s also harder not to appear a complete dick, though.

bob_'s avatar

Ask yourself “what’s the absolutely worst thing that could happen?”. You’ll see that most things won’t kill you, so as Nike says, “Just do it”.

If that doesn’t work, there’s always asking for help from my friends José and Johnnie.

Aster's avatar

I don’t mind making unpleasant phonecalls or chatting with a stranger but I Dread putting myself in a situation where I can’t leave. You think, “you can always leave” but not really. Examples: someone you’ve met ONCE picks you up in their car to take you for a group lunch twelve miles away. Another: you are invited to spend hours on someone’s barge and there’s no bathroom. Another: you are in the backseat of your brand new inlaw’s vehicle and she’s talking non-stop about depressing family affairs. It is 10 degrees outside , ice and snow everywhere. (shudder)

anartist's avatar

If I just have to do it, I do it. If I can avoid it, I avoid it. The more times I do it because I have to, the better I become.

Jeruba's avatar

How? Some people inch out. Some leap. Some go flying out only when given a good shove. And some just work on widening the boundaries of their comfort zone a little at a time.

There are a lot of ways to widen your boundaries safely and comfortably, and you can find them if you look for them. Press yourself to edge out in small, undramatic ways. Do it when you don’t have to. Do it when nothing is at stake. Do it when the threat level is low. Practice and gain muscle strength.

For example, if you dread giving presentations at work, don’t start with 40 people in a conference room and 80 more on dial-in. Start with four friendly people in the smallest conference room you can find.

If you don’t like trying to begin a conversation with an interesting stranger at a party, practice by making a casual remark to someone while waiting for an elevator or a printout, exactly as mentioned here.

Confidence breeds confidence.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mary84 footnote to my prior comment!

Being nervous is a good thing. That gives you an edge. Everyone that gives a speech etc. is nervous.

Also, have some “true grit” about you! Everyone in the audience has gone to the bathroom and stuck thier finger through the paper! They are just human beings…be a competitor and look the them in the black of their eyes and tell them how “the cow ate the cabbage!” Don’t let anyone intimidate you! The President of the USA puts his pants on “one leg at a time!” You should not even be intimidate by him. In other words, BRING IT ON FOLKS! I got game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christian95's avatar

I drink cofeine or I eat some sugar or anything that will make me think outside the box

BoBo1946's avatar

@Christian95 Hello my friend!

Val123's avatar

Pretend like I’m someone else.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther