All of us have comfort zones. A comfort zone is just a term used to describe the physical or psychological area in which we feel comfortable and at ease. When we move away from the familiar to the new and different, we are moving out of our comfort zone.
If the move is not something we choose to do or are not ready for, we feel anxiety and stress. If you have ever walked into the wrong rest room or been forced to speak in public, you certainly understand anxiety and stress! It didn’t take long for you to get back to where you knew you belonged.
For most of life, the higher your self-esteem, the broader your comfort zone – and the easier it is for you to deal with unfamiliar situations and new challenges. You see, when you raise your self-esteem, you automatically expand your comfort zone. It works the other way around, as well.
If you use techniques like affirmation and visualization to mentally take yourself out of your comfort zone safely, when it is time to deal with the real thing, instead of anxiety you will feel excitement – a good kind of stress – and you will be giving your self-esteem a boost. It’s a mindset shift to start looking at the future with optimism and confidence.
Most likely, you still won’t feel good about walking into the wrong rest room, and some of us may still want to get out of there as fast as possible! But, you will be able to handle change more easily and deal with new situations without becoming anxious, upset and negatively stressed.
So, for the next week, choose an upcoming situation or event that has you concerned. It can be personal, professional, whatever. Take a few quiet moments to close your eyes, a couple of times a day, and imagine what it will look like, feel like, even smell like in this situation. See yourself as poised and calm, and in charge. Rehearse in your mind what you will say to the people involved, maintaining that calm and in-charge feeling. See if this doesn’t reduce your anxiety.
You might even find yourself standing taller physically, because you’ve seen yourself standing taller in your mind.