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So, we’re stuck in our comfort zone and can’t get out. We start to repeat the same patterns and actions in our daily lives. We fall into a seemingly hopeless position and slowly lose interest in challenges, new knowledge, and changes.
When I was looking for an expression to describe this state, the word inertia came to my mind. Cambridge Dictionary defines it like this:
inertia, noun [U]
- lack of activity or interest, or unwillingness to make an effort to do anything. Source: Cambridge Dictionary.
I recently found myself in a shorter period of comfort and inertia. If we stay in a state like this for too long, our self-confidence drops, and we can quickly become unmotivated to do anything new.
I was looking for ways to get out of this unenviable position. I am not a counselor, doctor, or psychologist. The advice is based on my experience.
So, how to get out of the state of inertia and inactivity?
1. Do something you’re afraid of
Discomfort is the key to change. For the most part, we go through life by walking on our own safe and well-trodden paths. This is generally wise, but when we get too comfortable, we have to face our fears and do something differently.
2. Do something uncomfortable
It’s not hard to guess that discomfort is the best medicine to get out of your comfort zone. The first and simplest thing we can do is taking a cold shower.
3. Do something nontypical of you
If you never bring food to a social event, bring it the next time. If you never bring gifts to the hosts, bring them a present when you visit. If you always look at the ground in the elevator, make an effort and talk to the person next to you.
It’s important to really make an effort and do something we’re not used to doing.
4. Check something off of your to-do list
Our brain releases dopamine when we check something off of our to-do list. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of pleasure and motivation. It motivates us to perform other tasks because we know we’ll feel good again after doing them!
When we experience success, even a small one, our brain releases dopamine, which is associated with feelings of satisfaction, learning, and motivation.Source: Trello
5. Do something by yourself
When we do something on our own, we usually learn the most from it. For example, we can drive somewhere alone. We can grab a drink and sit in a bar on our own if that makes us uncomfortable. We can go visit a new place on our own.
6. Do something for the first time
When we do something for the first time, we usually find it uncomfortable and difficult. We are not used to it. That’s a great opportunity for growth.
We’ll have to turn on our resourcefulness, curiosity, and habit-building processes. This is a great remedy for inertia. It can be something very simple, for example, washing a car in a hand car wash for the first time.
7. Learn something new
Talking to someone with an open mind and really listening to them is a great way to broaden our horizons. Ask them something about their past and their experiences. Take your time.
Start reading a book that will teach you how other people think and the way they live by. I found the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker super helpful. Read my article about the Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.
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8. Educate yourself
Never stop learning. If we dedicate one hour per day to a certain field of knowledge, we will very soon know about that field more than most of the population.
Read Brian Tracy’s article on how one hour a day can make all the difference.
“One hour of study per day will put you at the top of your field within three years. In five years you will be a National Authority, and in seven years, you will be one of the best in the world at what you do.”– Earl Nightingale
9. Start a project
It’s very important to have a goal to strive for. A project on which we work daily can help us a lot.
We will be motivated by our progress and we’ll learn something new every day. Projects usually force us to connect with others which is also a great step and takes us to our next point.
10. Connect with other people
When we get caught in our old ways of thinking, it’s best to connect with others and see how others view the world. It will be especially beneficial if we take the initiative for hanging out – especially if we usually don’t do it!
11. Reconnect with nature
When we get too comfortable in our home and start to feel lethargic, it’s best to get out of our house. It will benefit us most if we go into nature.
In 2015, a study was conducted in which two groups of people were compared: the one that walked for 90 minutes in an urban environment and the other who walked for 90 minutes in nature. Those who walked in nature had lower activity in the brain region which is active during our repetitive negative thoughts.Source: Harvard Health Publishing
What gets us back in balance? Is it water, rocks, green environment? It’s best to go into nature and reconnect with our element with all of our senses.
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