Your social comfort zone establishes the boundaries for your life. Most people take the same route to work every day, eat the same food, shop at the same stores, and visit with the same friends. We are creatures of habit, and we tend to repeat behavior—unless something forces us to make a change.
Is your social comfort zone a prison or a playground? Do you feel locked and limited, or free to explore and expand? Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The boundaries of one’s social comfort zone are established in childhood. An individual who is equipped with an excellent education and a wide range of experiences is best prepared to handle life with confidence, ease, and grace. A person who is impoverished socially will experience diminished self-esteem; he or she will withdraw from new experiences that others eagerly embrace and thus be limited.
Here are four ways you can expand your social comfort zone and increase your opportunities in life.
- Gain Knowledge – There are endless opportunities to learn anything you desire. The world of knowledge is only a Google search away; books, videos, podcasts, and teaching tools abound. Here is an example of what not to do on a date.
- Take Classes – While books and research are great ways to gather information, social skills are best developed in a group setting with someone who can guide you through the process. Try a cooking class, a speech class, or an etiquette class.
- New Experiences – Search out new opportunities and experiences beyond your comfort zone; it is in these situations that we discover our strengths and weaknesses. Try a restaurant you have never been to, or attend a networking event.
- Practice – Daily practice and repetition are keys to mastery. Don’t wait to use your new skills until you are faced with a challenging situation. Remember, the time to study is not when you are taking the test! Introduce yourself to a new person every day.
Eighty-five percent of success in life is based on strong social skills. What if you simply improved your skills slightly? Is it possible, then, that the quality of your life at home, in the community, and in the workplace might also improve? Over the years, I have worked with thousands of individuals who decided to expand their social comfort zone. Without exception, every person was so happy they finally set aside the time and took action. They found their new level of polish and confidence opened doors of opportunity that had previously been closed to them.
©2013 What Would Mrs King Do? If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog, you may do so. Please include our credit information: Written by Deborah King, What Would Mrs King Do? © Copyright 2013. I would also appreciate it if you would send us a copy for our files to [email protected].