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The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should)

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https://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-breaking-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-w-656426705

lifehacker.com

The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should)
You've seen inspirational quotes that encourage you to get out and do something strange-something you wouldn't normally do-but getting out of your routine just takes so much work. There's actually a lot of science that explains why it's so hard to break out of your comfort zone, and why it's good for you when you do it.

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The Science of Your "Comfort Zone"

Your comfort zone is a behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. That provides a state of mental security. 

Yo...

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Optimal Anxiety

A state of relative comfort created a steady level of performance. In order to maximize performance, a state of relative anxiety is needed—a space where our stress levels are slightly higher...

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Making Sense Of Your Comfort Zone

  • Your comfort zone is neither a good or bad thing. It's a natural state that most people trend towards. 
  • Leaving it means increased risk and anxiety, which can have p...

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Comfort Kills Productivity

Without the sense of unease that comes from having deadlines and expectations, we tend to do the minimum required to get by. 

We also fall into the "work trap," where we feign "busy" as ...

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Taking Risks In A Controlled Fashion

By challenging yourself to things you normally wouldn't do, you can experience some of that uncertainty in a controlled, manageable environment. 

Learning to live outside your comfort zo...

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Productive Discomfort

As you challenge yourself, your comfort zone adjusts, so what was difficult and anxiety-inducing becomes easier as you repeat it.

"Productive discomfort" becomes more normal to you, and you'r...

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Putting Things Into Perspective

Even in the short term, a positively uncomfortable experience can help us brainstorm, see old problems in a new light, and tackle the challenges we face with new energy.

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Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

  • Do everyday things differently. Make a change (large or small) in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis.
  • Take your time making decisions. Making educated decisions ...

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Returning To Your Comfort Zone

Going back to your comfort zone from time to time will help you process your experiences.

The last thing you want is for the new and interesting to quickly become commonplace and boring.

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Hedonic adaptation

It is our natural tendency to be impressed by new things, only to have the incredible become ordinary after a short time.

It's why we can have access to so much information instantly a...

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Vulnerability and confirmation bias

Vulnerability and confirmation bias

Vulnerability challenges your confirmation bias.

It is uncomfortable to ask questions, express your opinion, or open up about your emotions with people. You expose yourself to their cr...

Breaking out of your comfort zone

Breaking out of your comfort zone makes you feel vulnerable, but that feeling works in your favor because it improves your performance and boosts your growth. A  constant state of comfort equals steady performance.

Too much anxiety, however, will make you too stressed to be productive. 

Set realistic goals to hedge your anxiety

In most cases, once you do something scary, you realize it’s not as bad as you thought—it was just the anticipation that frightened you more than anything.

Setting a goal can help you get past that anticipation and feel in control of your vulnerability.

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Beginner's Luck

Beginner's luck does not actually exist. Most of the time the beginner has a similar skill that aids them. Or the novice could be new to the task, but have tried it before and failed repeatedly.

Anything Is Possible

To the beginner, anything Is possible. They are not encumbered by experience and are willing to try out many possibilities and solve problems creatively.

The expert has narrowed down the possibilities and can become too comfortable with their own perspectives.

Experts Choke Under Pressure

When you are good at something, you're under pressure to perform at your level. This can put you under pressure.

A novice doesn't care particularly how they perform and don't feel any pressure to perform.

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Overthinking

It  means overanalyzing something that happened, regretting an action, or worrying about the future of something. 

It's when you can't think about anything else, and it'...

Overthinking and action

If you're overthinking an idea you can actually do something about, the best thing you can do is take action now.

This doesn't mean you have to suddenly run off to make something, it just means you start taking a step forward. We tend to overthink because we fear failure, but if we just start working, that dissipates quickly

Break the circle of overthinking:

  • Relabel the ideas you're overthinking ("self-doubt," "anxiety," etc)
  • Reframe your experience and identify your thinking errors
  • Refocus your attention on the part that matters
  • Revalue your brain's messages with the new information