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Think about your biggest accomplishment, the last time you did something really hard or an event that pushed you to the next level. There is a good chance that doing any of those things forced you to leave your comfort zone.

What does that mean? Every one of us has a comfort zone. It’s that place where we feel safe; where there’s no risk, where things don’t change. As creatures of habit, we like when things are predicable.

Here’s the problem. Creativity, innovation, and new ideas generally come when we step out of our comfort zone—and doing that can be messy and uncomfortable. So many times, stepping out of our comfort zone goes directly against our instincts that shout out, “No! Keep things the way they are!” Most of our reluctance to leave our comfort zone is rooted in fear: fear of failure, fear of loss, or fear of embarrassing ourselves if things don’t go exactly right. But think about it: How often do those fears really come to pass? How bad does it actually get if you take a chance and try something new? The chances are it’s far worse in your mind, but we let that thinking—that garbage of fear—stop us from taking action.

So how do you interrupt that cycle and teach yourself how to get out of your comfort zone? First, keep asking yourself what you want, who you want to be, and what goal you want to accomplish. That gives you something to aim for, which can be very motivating.

Then, you engage your belief system, that part of you that absolutely believes that you can accomplish that goal or get to the finish line. You’ve been doing that your whole life. Whether it was about sports or something with school or a promotion at work, you said to yourself, “I can do that.” And you did. That’s your belief system at work. That’s what you engage to kick you out of your comfort zone and get you moving.

Finally, get your head in the game. Whatever it takes to muster the courage to get into action, you do it. A note on your bathroom mirror. A pep talk from a friend. An inspirational video or motivational blog—any ritual that helps you see the where your boundaries are and push through them. Because here’s the great thing: the moment you break through them and realize, “Hey. That’s not so bad,” you’ve just expanded your comfort zone. That means the next time you need to step out there, it won’t be quite as hard.

So take a chance. Get control of your comfort zone. Don't let the garbage get the upper hand, because when you do, you can make great things happen for yourself.

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