How to Expand Your Comfort Zone to Achieve Your Goals

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.”

—John Milton


How to Expand Your Comfort Zone to Achieve Your Goals

In this blog I am going to explain what a comfort zone is and why it is incredibly important to expand your comfort zone to achieve your goals. Learning how to step out of your comfort zone will enable you to develop new skills, experience new things and fulfil your true potential. 

What is a Comfort Zone?

The term “comfort zone” was originally coined by Alasdair White, a Business Management Theorist, in 2009. Popular definitions of what a comfort zone is often go something like this:

A comfort zone is a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person, and they are at ease, and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress. In this zone, a steady level of performance is possible.

People feel safe and comfortable in their comfort zone. There is less risk, relatively less stress, and few nasty surprises. Sounds good right. However, there is also extraordinarily little personal growth in your comfort zone, which is why any life coach will tell you it is not a place you want to stay. People who stay in their comfort zone will stay the same and will never develop new skills, experience new things, or fulfil their true potential.
Sure, outside of your comfort zone is the unknown. True, you never know what will happen. However, outcomes may not be certain, but personal growth is. People who venture into this unknown, frightening, and uncomfortable land will most certainly change themselves for the better.

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People who venture outside of your comfort zone their will most certainly change themselves for the better.

Why is it Difficult to Leave Your Comfort Zone?

Because leaving your comfort zone is uncomfortable! Getting out of your comfort zone is difficult because the brain doesn’t like change; it craves routine and is actually hard-wired to keep you safe. Unfortunately, it is also programmed to expect the worst-case scenario and acts to protect you, which is why we think the worst thoughts and the inner voice tries to talk us out of it when we do try to push our comfort zone.
However, following the same routine every day of your life even if you are not entirely happy maybe a recipe for steady performance but doesn’t lead to growth or maximum performance.  Another factor is that we like to minimise the risk of failure. Outside the comfort zone, the likelihood of failure is obviously increased as we do things we’re unfamiliar with. Many of us would rather succeed without personal growth than go through the negative feelings failure presents, but failure always leads to growth.  

The brain is also lazy. The brain also burns lots of the body’s energy. While the brain represents just 2% of a person’s total body weight, it accounts for 20% of the body’s energy use and – your brain (and body) is going to want to conserve energy where it can, and therefore it looks for the easiest route. The brain does not want extra things to do. Therefore it is easier for the brain to rely on habits and routine to get you through life. Makes sense but the problem is, the brain also does not know the difference between a good new habit and a bad old habit, so it tries to get you to do what you have always done, by encouraging you to stay inside your comfort zone. 

Explore Your Growth Zone

In recent years psychologists have expanded on the concept of the comfort zone and something called Yerkes “Optimal Anxiety” theory. The brain learns best when stress levels are slightly higher than normal – a space called Optimal Anxiety, which falls somewhere between our comfort zone and the point of total freakout. Although some degree of anxiety can improve our performance on a range of tasks, severe anxiety can have the opposite effect and hinder our performance. Thus, whereas a confident and talented actor may perform optimally in front of a live audience, a novice may develop stage-fright and freeze.

Whilst it is important to explore the world outside your comfort zone, it is also necessary to do this in a way that doesn’t cause excessive anxiety and still look after your physical and mental health! You need to know what growth looks like for you. Your growth zone exists outside of your comfort zone but is not a place of stress, on the flipside, it’s a space of opportunity. To expand your comfort zone, increase the quality of your life, and enhance your self-confidence, you must keep on pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone, so it expands bit by bit. We have to venture into the unknown, to make it known.

How to Push your Comfort Zone into the Growth Zone

Stepping out of your comfort zone and into your growth zone means identifying the opportunity and doing things that you do not normally feel comfortable with doing. Think of the long-term benefits of trying something different rather than the short-term nervousness anxiety that it will provoke. Fight through the initial aversiveness of venturing outside, and what was once uncomfortable will slowly become incorporated into your comfort zone.

Pushing your comfort zone does NOT have to be extreme, actually it shouldn’t be. You don’t have to wake up tomorrow and do a sky dive. Push yourself in unfamiliar places, eat different foods, meet different people, and do other simple things that you would not normally do. Yes, you may feel anxious and you will not know what will happen. However, as you step out your comfort zone and explore your growth zone you will experience new things, learn more and see things in a different light.

Alice Dartnell Life Success Coach visits Peru

Trekking along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu pushed me out of my comfort zone

Pushing out of my Comfort Zone – Trekking in Peru

When people ask me what my favourite holiday is, it is a tough one for me to find just one. Travel is a passion of mine, and I blessed to have the craziest of parents who started my travel bug with trips to exotic places like Thailand as a little girl and didn’t think anything of doing things like an unplanned “day trip” to France. But one holiday that certainly sticks out is my 2017 adventure to Peru. Not just because it was an amazing trip of culture, pisco sour cocktails and exploring the Amazon rain-forest, but because I really pushed my comfort zone.

From zip lining over canyons, to trying the local delicacy of alpaca and guinea pig (I don’t recommend eating either of those by the way), every day was a comfort pushing escapade! And of course, there was my five-day trek on the “Salkantay” route to Machu Picchu, which is considered the hardest of the treks to the world heritage site. Combine that with me being seriously ill with ‘food poisoning’ (turned out it was a parasite!), I seriously doubted myself on the start of that journey. But I did it and I felt invincible after. My comfort zone had been stretched and now I was on the next level! I had a taste of what I could achieve when I put my mind to it, and I liked it.

 Keep Pushing your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is like a muscle – keep growing and stretching it! Once you have created this new reality, you need to push yourself beyond your new comfort zone so that your never-ending cycle of personal growth continues.

Yes, I know it can be scary, and it feels comforting to do the things we have always done, however following the same routine every day of your life does not lead to growth and self-development!

Are you frightened of failing? Read my article Why Failure is Actually a Good Thing to see why failure is an essential part of your self-development.  As Sara Blakely, multi-millionaire founder and CEO of SPANX said, “Go ahead, make mistakes. The worst that can happen is you become memorable!

If you are looking to grow your comfort zone and want to do this in a way that is supported, get in touch via to see how my 121 coaching packages might be perfect for you!

Find Out More about How to Expand Your Comfort Zone

I am not naturally one of those people who want to venture out of their comfort zone. However, as I understood more about personal development and create my life-by-design, I learnt everything is on the other side of your fear and comfort zone.  Listen to my Facebook Live for 7 essential tips how to push yourself out of your comfort zone!

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Listen to my Facebook Live for 7 essential tips

how to push yourself out of your comfort zone!


Further Reading to Help You  Expand Your Comfort Zone

Visualising  success has been used by phenomenally successful people all over the world, from athletes and entrepreneurs alike. This is something I was first introduced when I started read books like Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and John Assaraf’s The Answer.

It is not difficult to do and can transform your thinking. See my fascinating blog on Harnessing the power of visualisation to create success for you can use visualisation as a powerful technique to create success.

Vision boards are a powerful ways to keep you focused. In my article, Vision Board — A Powerful Tool to Achieve Your Goals, I explore the science behind how to construct a vision board and find out how using a vision board will keep you focused, motivated, and help you fulfil your goals.


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Join the epic three-month GOALS MASTERMIND 2021 programme 

Book Your Complimentary Goal Setting Check Up

Exciting news! After the success of running the “Miracle Morning Check Ups”, I have a new check up exclusively for you! Goal setting check ups!

This is the perfect mini-coaching call for you if you want to set and smash your goals! Let’s end 2020 in a positive mindset and start 2021 strong!

In this mini coaching call of just 15 minutes, we’ll look at any aspect of your goals that you might be struggling with or wanting an improvement on. It may be that you haven’t even set your goals and you want some support and advice on that!

This isn’t just about motivation, so I will give you some easy-to-implement solutions to get going with your goals!

These start today but are available for only a few weeks!

Book your COMPLIMENTARY Goal Setting check up

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Success Box Personal Development Book Club

Success Box is your revolutionary monthly membership book club combining the learning and community you expect from a book club with the empowerment and growth you gain in a group coaching environment. All through the effortlessness of a monthly subscription box.  You can find out more about Success Box by clicking HERE.

📚 Take inspired action from reading personal development books (not just reading them for the sake of it)  

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Working From Home

Have you ever wondered what does it take to successfully work from home? My latest book, How To Work From Home : Whilst Staying Productive, Healthy and Sane, is a hands-on guide for everyone working at home. It will show you in easy to read tips how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane. In informative, easy to read chapters, you will learn how to set up your own dedicated workspace, select the right office equipment and tips for video calling and conferencing. You will also learn the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries inside the home, managing distractions, avoiding procrastination and learn how to establish a routine that suits your lifestyle.

As one reader wrote:
Alice has written an amazing, practical, thought provoking read. It is like she is talking and coaching you through each tip and piece of advice that she has masterfully constructed into a brilliant e-book. I have read many personal development books on this topic, but many authors write lengthy chapters. Alice, however, has put these tips together in a short, snappy and easy to dip in and out of style such that you feel you are improving yourself and moving forward with each one. I fully encourage fellow entrepreneurs and those adjusting to a new normal of working from home to purchase and apply these tips to turbo charge their business.

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Book Your Complimentary Miracle Morning Check Up

Exciting news! After the success of running the “Productivity Check Ups”, I have a new check up exclusively for you! Miracle Morning check ups!

This is the perfect complimentary coaching call for you if you want to own your time, your day and your goals, by setting up your day strong. Creating a Miracle Morning will empower you to take control of your day because either you run the day, or the day runs you.

When looking into the success habits of any successful person in their field, from athletes to entrepreneurs, you will discover that they have a strong morning routine.

A Miracle Morning is going to empower you to:
• Start the day strong, feeling energised and stress-free
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• Have a sense of control

These start today but are available for only a few weeks!

Book your COMPLIMENTARY Miracle Morning check up

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Let’s Work Together

If you are serious about wanting to make life-long changes and positively transform your life, then I would love to hear from you to see how I can support you.

I have helped a range of people on a huge variety of goals – from suffering with confidence loss, to publishing a book, to enabling a change of direction in life, to small business owners struggling with staff – but my main focus is to support the busy professional who is trying to juggle it all.

I can help YOU through  my 1-2-1 coaching, group coaching and my bespoke but life changing courses.  Let’s Work Together.  Sounds good? Take a look at my website to find out more!

Lets work together!

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Other Blog Articles on My Web Site

Below are links to other blog articles that you might be interested to read.

Alice Dartnell Life Success Coach Consultation London Pomodoro Technique Alarm Clock and tomato. Italian word for tomatoWhy Pomodoro Technique Increases Your Productivity

 The Pomodoro technique divides the working day into easy to manage segments – think of these as elephant bit-sizing chunks. All tasks, big and small, are broken down into small manageable activities that can be tackled one-step at a time.  Find out why it will help you be more productive especially if you are working from home.



Harnessing the Power of Visualisation to Create Success

Thought is the most powerful force in the universe.  As Einstein’s relativity revolution revealed, everything is made of energy. Our thoughts are the controlling factor in what we manifest and create in our lives. Find out how you can use visualisation as a powerful technique to create success. 


Alice Dartnell Life Success Coach London UK visits Okinawa Japan working on her laptop in Japan #Aliceinbusinessland Your guide to getting the work-life balance you deserve

If you asked me what was one of the things I was most proud about in my corporate career, apart from moving up the ladder fairly quickly, it would also probably be my work-life balance.



Alice Dartnell Life Success Coach London UK working on her lap top developing her blog at Naha Airport, Okinawa, JapanWhy ‘SMART’ goals  are stupid (How to improve Goal Setting)

When it comes to goal setting, you’ll have heard about SMART goals.  But if SMART goals are the way to do it, then why do so many of us not achieve our goals?  Here is why SMART goals are stupid and some top tips how you can improve your goal setting!




The real secret to success (and it isn’t what you think it is)

The way to achieve success and get your goal isn’t to do with what you might think. It has nothing to do with willpower, determination or how many degrees you’ve got. It is about the daily discipline of habits. 



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This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.

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