Each of us has a comfort zone in recovery, which is the psychological, emotional or behavioral routines we construct for ourselves. Our comfort zones are built as a means of decreasing discomfort, but some take it a step further by replacing stress or discomfort with pleasure. Many seek this pleasure from drugs, alcohol, overeating or other addictive activities.1 When you’re in addiction recovery, your comfort zone can be a minefield of relapse possibilities, so getting out of it is important.
Going outside your comfort zone in recovery means taking calculated risks. If you go outside your comfort zone in healthy ways, it will help you to grow and transform in a positive fashion.2 Here are five strategies on how to go out of your comfort zone:
1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone on a Regular Basis
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable by stepping out of your comfort zone regularly. The more comfortable you become with attempting new things, the less you’re going to avoid it. Also, as you get used to going out of your comfort zone in recovery, you’ll take on more new challenges.
2. Start Small
You don’t have to radically change your whole routine to go out of your comfort zone in recovery. Try taking small steps, such as eating a new food you’ve never tried before. At home, switch some of your furniture around to different parts of the room. These changes can help you get comfortable with the uneasiness that comes from trying something new.
3. Re-frame Your Fear
Overcome your fear of trying something new by reinterpreting feelings of fear as feelings of excitement and opportunity. When you view these feelings in a positive light, the “nervous stomach” feelings will quickly be seen as friendly rather than something to avoid.
4. Take on a Challenge
When you take on a challenge, you’ll gain a fresh perspective and allow yourself to take on changes. By tackling something challenging, you’ll experience a rush of endorphins that can recharge your energy.
5. Learn from Your Failures
The road to success is paved with failures. A failure is not the final result; it’s one step along the road to success. Many people won’t leave their comfort zones because they’re scared of failure. It’s key to change your view of failure if you want success.
Stop viewing failure as defeat and a sign to give up. Instead, see it as a teaching tool. What you learn from your experiences and how this information can help you become better should be your focus. Fear of failure can hinder the chances you have of improvement, but when you choose to view it as a learning experience, your comfort zone in recovery won’t have the ability to limit you any longer.
It’s Okay to Go Back to Your Comfort Zone in Recovery—For a Little While
Staying in your comfort zone occasionally is healthy; however, don’t linger there. If you do, you’ll forego many opportunities to improve yourself. You’ll also miss out on finding new things you enjoy. Take the risk and get out of your comfort zone today. Begin the process by learning what’s outside of your comfort zone, gaining insights from failure, taking baby steps and having fun.