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10 Ways To (Gently) Get Your Clients Outside Their Comfort Zones

I need you to do something for me. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and try to think about how amazing that piece of flesh is that sits in your skull. I’m talking about that beautiful brain of yours, by the way. 

From exploring the depths of the seven seas to placing a man on the moon, the human brain continues to surprise… well, itself.

10 Ways To (Gently) Get Your Clients Outside Their Comfort Zones Comfort Zones

However, these magnificent tasks were never undertaken while being confined to one’s comfort zone.

Simply put, your comfort zone is the state where your anxiety and risk-taking levels are all low. It is where you follow a set pattern to deliver steady performance. In order to help others succeed, you must help them get out of their comfort zones. Today, I’ll be taking you through a comprehensive guide to doing just that. 

So, if you’d like to:

  • Fully understand the importance of getting your clients out of their comfort zone
  • Learn how to detect the barriers that come in the way when you push them to make new changes
  • Equip yourself with some killer tips on how to get your clients outside their comfort zone

Then, you’ll love what I have planned for today!

I’ll start things off by taking you through the importance of getting out of the comfort zone and the difficulties associated with it. We’ll then look at some great tips to help you do that.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

In Brief : 10 Ways To (Gently) Get Your Clients Outside Their Comfort Zones

Why is it Important for Clients to Get Out of Their Comfort Zones?

Self-actualization is a term that was coined by our good friend, Abraham Maslow back in 1943. He basically gave a name to the phenomena of a person achieving their true potential. Basically, becoming the best version of themselves. 

The thing is, we’re so stuck up on chasing after our basic needs (since they exist within our comfort zones), that we forget that there is an entire world of psychological needs up there. These are needs that will not only help your clients grow personally but also offer them a sense of fulfillment. 

While the state of self-actualization is subjective, it is entirely within the grasp of us all. All we need to do is to reach out towards the upper rungs of the ladder of needs, or pyramid, as he calls it. If self-fulfillment isn’t cutting it for you, here is a related article that talks a bit more about some other potential benefits of getting out of one’s comfort zone. These range from developing a growth mindset to being more resilient to change.

Even if the importance of leaving the comfort zone becomes common knowledge, there are some issues that your clients will face when trying to take that first step. The most important of these issues is the seeming attractiveness of this zone.

You see, the comfort zone is like your home pitch. It is where YOU are in control. This feeling of familiarity is what fulfills one’s need for certainty. Oh, by the way, don’t you dare think that such a need is a weakness. 

Certainty is one of the six basic human needs, the opposite of which is fear and anxiety. So, it’s okay if your client is a bit reluctant to get out of their comfort zone. 

What’s important is that you do not rush them. Rather, do it the right way by taking one of the following steps to  nudge them towards leaving their comfort zones.

Ways to Help Your Client Step Out of Their Comfort Zones

Here are ten amazing tips on helping your client step out of their comfort zone:

1. Develop Curiosity and Eagerness

Curiosity is the first step towards gaining exposure. This exposure can be in the form of anything. Literature, meeting new people, trying out new things. What’s important is that you ask them to keep an open mind and relentlessly ask questions and seek answers.

You see, when a person is constantly on the search to learn more and improve, they’ll start incorporating healthy habits into their routine automatically and will be ready to enter and play in unknown fields that are outside of their comfort zones.

2. Inquire About Untold Personal Topics

Heartfelt conversations that are full of personal topics hold the power to create bonds that may just last a lifetime. When a client feels a connection with you, they’ll be more open to trying out things that are outside of their comfort zone.

You must understand that some people are more open to sharing personal stuff about themselves than others. Regardless, the way to go is to share a bit about yourself with your client. This can be a personal or client story. 

Then, you can leave the floor open for them to share their stories. Always remember, you must never force them to do so. Take things slow and give it some time.

3. Encourage Open-Mindedness and Less Judgmental Thoughts

Like I previously said, in order to cultivate curiosity, you must encourage an open mind among your clients that is accessible to new experiences. While encouraging them to ask questions is a great way to go about this, there is another tip here as well.

And, that is to develop a sense of intellectual humility among your clients. It is not in human nature to be all-knowing and it’s okay if you don’t know something. Here is a detailed guide on how you can promote intellectual humility.

4. Implore Influential, Motivating Questions

The type of questions that you ask your client must be influential. In simple words, it must have a purpose and be open-ended. The latter aspect will not limit the response to it and help them learn more. Talking about learning, you must also utilize follow-up questions and cross-questioning techniques.

5. Assist Them to Take Small, Substantial Steps

Another thing that you must do is break down the action items for your client into small and achievable tasks. This has two benefits. Firstly, it will be less overwhelming for them. Secondly, it’ll also enable your clients to see quick results of their actions which will further motivate them. 

6. Be Measurable and Realistic

When you set the tasks for your client, make sure that they are realistic and match their personality. If it’s your first time with them, try asking questions to get a better understanding of their task ethic and capacity.

These tasks must also have a measurable deliverable to them. You can do this by making them more specific or time-bound. Measurable goals will help both you and your client when it comes to performance assessment.

7. Give Reminders of Their Accomplishments

Validation is extremely important when dealing with clients. We’re all going through one thing or the other at all times. A simple good job or well done will go a long way in boosting their confidence. At times when their motivation is dismally low, try reminding them of their past achievements.

8. Talk Through Their Past Actions, Feelings, and Outcomes

Talking about past achievements, you must also encourage your clients to recall all the times that they managed to step outside of their comfy zone and ask them how it felt. This will not only reinforce the fact that getting out of the comfort zone is possible for them but also empower them to do it again. 

9. Make Subtle Changes to Their Daily Routine

You can ask your client to do one random thing every day or meditate for just 15 minutes in the morning. Making small changes like these to your client’s daily routine that do not disturb them too much should be the way to go when developing an open mind. 

10. Urge Them to Take Challenges and Risks

Stepping out of the comfort zone is a risk on its own. However, you must go a step ahead and encourage your clients to take on new challenges outside their comfort walls. The way to go here is to create a safe environment for risk-taking.

This means that if your client fails, you must not punish them. Rather, you should try to understand what went wrong and teach them how to adapt. Failures that end up teaching you something useful are called smart failures and these should be rewarded.

I hope that these ten tips prove useful to you in your coaching journey. You might not face the need to use them all but it doesn’t hurt to have some extra knowledge, right?

What are the Consequences of Not Getting Out of Your Comfort Zones?

Remember when I said how certainty is one of the carnal human needs? Well, interestingly, another basic human need is the need to grow. So, being in the same old loop where you see no growth or development may cause feelings of confinement. 

Let’s also not forget that you lose your chance at getting to meet your best version. The consequences of not stepping out of your comfort zone are talked about in more detail in this interesting article. 

Now that you know all about the importance of helping your clients step out of their comfort zones and the consequences of not doing so, let’s roll the curtains on this article by taking you through some ways of helping your clients slowly, but surely, add healthy habits to their daily routines, shall we?

How Can You Help Your Clients to Healthily Include New Changes to Their Existing Ones?

People often say that change is tough. However, change in itself isn’t hard. Rather, it’s how you accommodate that change into your life that determines its difficulty level. 

So, you must never ask your clients to include a massive overarching change into their lifestyle but break down those changes into smaller ones that jointly align an individual towards the desired change. 

For example, asking your client to eat healthily is way too vague and broad. So, you should streamline it by gradually adding and removing items from their diet and assigning them some exercise goals. 

This might take some time (and relapses), but trust me, with a little bit of patience, accountability, and acknowledgments, you can help your client revolutionize their life.

Thank you for reading this guide.

 See you in the comments section!


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