A comfort zone challenge is to continuously put yourself in a situation that triggers social fear with the purpose of making you more socially confident.
Why does it work
The working principle is called systematic desensitization. When a situation that triggers anxiety is repeated, your brain gets numb to it, and the anxiety diminishes and eventually vanish completely. It is a widely used principle in therapy and is a central part of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Some requirements need to be met in order for a comfort zone challenge to be effective:
- The situations must be chosen deliberately, not forced upon.
- Done step-by-step. Slowly increasing difficulty level when you are ready.
- Done in a persistent way.
What Are Examples Of Comfort Zone Challenges
- Smile to five persons that you meet in the street.
- Lay down in the street for 30 seconds.
- Ask a stranger to have lunch with you.
- Pretend that you recognize someone, but realize that you are mistaking.
- Fall in a place where people can see you.
- Walk down the street singing.
- Pretend to mistake someone for your blind date.
- Change your mind about buying something in the last second.
- Compliment a stranger about his/her clothes.
- Ask someone for a hug.
What Can It Accomplish
When doing challenges that make you let loose and goofing out a bit, one often realize that people don’t care as much as you thought. It is a very relieving insight that lets you be more relaxed and worry-less in your social life. You start to express more of your personality.
Improved social skills
When you are faced with new and challenging social situations you get new reference experiences. You learn from these and get a better social calibration.
Better handling of fear
Learning to handle fear is a skill that can be trained. A lot of opportunities can be harnessed if you can be less hesitant.
Happiness and meaning
When you are in the process of growing yourself, it rewards you with an amazing feeling. Working on yourself gives a sense of meaning which is an important part of being a happy human being.
When you are scared of doing something, you muster the courage and do it, you feel like a super human. A rush flows thru your body and you feel excited.
Leave your everyday pattern
A lot of our days have a very similar pattern. Doing a comfort zone challenge takes you out of your everyday auto pilot and let fun and unexpected things happen.
How To Get Started