Sarah Boyd


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation

Why Your Brain Resists Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone, & How To Overcome It Forever

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There are so many beautiful motivational quotes about stepping out of your comfort zone:

“All progress begins the moment you step out of your comfort zone.”

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.”

These quotes evoke inspirational ideas about what it will be like when we take the courage to step out of our comfort zone & do something we’ve never done before, & face our fears.

But in the reality of daily life of leading others, stepping out of our comfort zone doesn’t feel inspiring, encouraging or aspirational.

If anything, we’re normally overcome with fear, anxiety & thoughts to self-sabotage like “I’m not good enough” or “maybe this isn’t even worth it”.

The truth is the reason there’s so much resistance when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone is because your own brain is resisting you.

So in todays episode we’re going to be talking about why your brain resists stepping out of your comfort zone, & how to overcome it forever.

There is a natural process that occurs psychologically when we step out of our comfort zone – when we do something we haven’t done before; something we’re scared of; or have insecurity about.

But if we don’t understand what this natural process is, we misinterpret these feelings.

It’s easy to compare what it might look like others are experiencing when they step out of their comfort zone – exciting, adventurous, inspirational.

While we’re having the opposite¬†experience of fear, sabotage & anxiety.

But the truth is, what you’re experiencing is a natural, normal part of your psychology adjusting to the change you’re making.




1 Uncertainty

Uncertainty is a normal part of doing something new. But your brain interprets uncertainty as a threat (the same as if it saw a snake or lion running towards you) & activates your stress response.

Depending on the level of uncertainty you’re experiencing in the situation, will determine what level of stress response you will experience physiologically.

2 High Emotions

It is normal when you step out of our comfort zone for it to trigger insecurities, fear or anxiety. (There is usually a reason you haven’t taken that action previously!).

But your brain struggles to cope with this high degree of emotionality.

3 New Situations

The routines and automatic actions in your life are run by one part of our brain (the basal ganglia) & it doesn’t require much energy to do what it needs to do.

But anything new, is run by a different part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) that requires a huge amount of energy to work optimally.

This is why when you’re doing anything new, you’re often more fatigued than normal; mentally fuzzy – you can’t think straight; and you forget things you would normally remember.

This is your brain trying to adjust to a new normal.



Despite these reasons that your brain resists you moving towards growth and progress, it is possible to overcome your own psychology.



1 Awareness

You need to be aware that this process of resistance is occurring.

2 Interpret the experience correctly

What you’re feeling is not a sign that you shouldn’t step forward or you’re not good enough. It is a natural psychological process that’s occurring because you’re pushing your internal limits.

3 Create space

Your psychology needs mental & emotional space in order to adjust to progress & change. If you are pushing yourself internally & going against fears, you need to make sure you’re also giving yourself recovery time.

4 Work like a pro

Even though your own brain may be resisting you, you still need to work like a pro & go for it. Keep pushing outside of your internal limits so that you can make a difference in other peoples lives.


In the comments below I’d love to hear from you:

What strategies do you find helpful to support you stepping out of your comfort zone?


1 comment
    Suzanne Very clear, straight forward and helpful. I will be using these concepts with my clients.

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The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation.