A few weeks ago I wanted to surprise my girlfriend. How? With a nice set of sexy underwear!
I mean,… well you know :). So I headed to the lingerie store. And although it is filled with the stuff of dreams! It is scary as shit to go in!
As a friend stated: “I only go in, while tightly squeezing the hand of my girlfriend!” Hahaha!
Why? I don’t know! No time to analyze. But somehow that place filled with stockings and lace,… was waaaaaay out of my comfort zone.
After hesitating for 10 minutes, I mustered up all my courage and went for it. Because, heck,….I had to attire my GF in sexiness. As I approached the store, I felt like sinking into the ground. Then I just took a deep breath and went in,…..
It was awesome!!
The saleswomen were a lot of fun! We were bantering and making jokes. I was looking my eyes out while we were searching for the perfect set! Sure, they were nice because I was a customer, but we also had fun beyond that. I walked out totally excited with a nice gift for the misses.
So why did I have this gripping tension before entering? Why did I want to run away at first? Why did I feel like drowning in anxiety? But more importantly, why did I feel so excited afterward? Because it was outside my comfort zone.
I had the same crippling anxiety when I was still very shy. That pit in your stomach as you approach strangers. Or when you want to talk to your crush. You know that feeling? When you make excuses to stay at home to avoid meeting people. When you are afraid to look like a fool. Holding yourself back. Afraid of blunt rejection and awkwardness.
It can feel like an insurmountable wall of anxiety.
But by entering the underwear store, I relearned something. Not only can you overcome that anxiety barrier. It’s a mighty lot of fun on the other side!
You can meet new people, joke around, connect with classmates, colleagues, and strangers. Outside your comfort zone, you can find new long lasting friendships.
Still though, you have to cross that chasm of looming anxiety. But there are ways to make it easier. A few little tricks and some frameworks.
One thing that boosts confidence: Dressing well. Clothes make the man. That doesn’t mean a three piece suit. But wear what makes you look stylish in the way you like. Wear what makes you feel good. Totally at a loss? There are plenty of subs on Reddit that can help you with that! /r/malefashionadvice/ is a good one. For example, I wore a sports jacket on some jeans, to look classy and cool at the same time. Felt much better than to slouch in my slav smoking.
Another booster for leaping out of the comfort zone: Working out. Before you push yourself mentally, push yourself physically. Run 10k, lift heavy ass weights or go full on shake weight. Whatever releases a rush of dopamine and adrenaline. These feel good hormones will diminish much of your anxiety.
And,….! Adapt some confident body language. I know, it has been mentioned like a 1000 times. But it works! Walking upright, shoulder back, some cool swagger – it makes you feel good!
As you confront the edge of your comfort zone. Keep your goal in mind. I wanted to see my GF in some hot gear, that helped a lot, hahaha! But maybe you have a more noble goal. Maybe you want to make new friends or find a boy-/girlfriend. So visualize your goals – use that desire to push you over the edge.
Furthermore, imagine the absolute worst case scenario. What is at stake? What is the worst that can happen? And is that really so bad? Rationalize the shit out of your fears.
Your emotions might feel absolutely horrible. But view them from a rational perspective. Is it that bad some random stranger rejects you? Nope! Not at all.
It might feel bad, but there are no worldly consequences. Except you might learn something from your experience.
There is a fat chance you will screw up sometime when pushing your limits. But not trying is a guaranteed loss. Don’t take these failures too seriously. The process of going beyond yourself is what matters. So you can experience greater things.
As you overcome your self-imposed boundaries. You expand your capabilities. Consequently, new uncomfortable actions become easier. If only by sheer momentum.
So start taking little steps through your anxiety. Use these little tricks and see the bigger picture. Start small. The first week, say hi to 1 stranger a day. Second week to 2 a day. Next month talk to 2 strangers every day. And in three months you ask out that cute girl.
Consistently overcoming your limits and pushing the envelope of your comfort zone.
There is joy beyond the fear!
In the lingerie store, I was told how few men buy presents there (I live in a prude society :P). The women thought it was awesome. Going beyond your comfort distinguishes you in the world.
I ended up buying totally the wrong size bra for my GF, haha, but she was totally happy anyways. Besides, I had a fun story about the bra and panties store!
So now it’s your turn to go challenge your comfort zone. Have fun and create awesome stories!