How to overcome fear and slowly step out of your comfort zone

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By guest blogger Johanna Cider

You’ve seen the pictures – the likes, the shares, the teams of other young people finding their way through life, forging new friendships, learning lifelong skills, and exploring beautiful landscapes out at sea and over mountains.

Hey there! Over here! We see you, and we want you to join in too.

Maybe you’ve shied away from Outward Bound – thinking we might ask you to do something you don’t want to do. Maybe you’re curious about what it’s all about, but you’re scared of being pushed too far outside your comfort zone.

We want you to know that you can fight those fears and master these adventures! When you join us, we’ll help you face things that make you uncomfortable, and you’ll gain amazing, positive personal growth. We give you the tools to build your confidence and bravery that is deep down inside you waiting to be discovered and nurtured.

If fear is stopping you from getting outside of your comfort zone to access that space of adventure, discomfort, and victory, here are some top tips to help. You’ll feel bold in no time!

Address what’s holding you back

You might be scared of failing, having no access to your phone, visiting new places, leaving your family and friends behind, or being rejected by people you’ve never met before.

Maybe you’re worried about missing your family, or not knowing how to solve a problem.
We understand you! With all the excitement of exploring brand new places and meeting a group of new people, Outward Bound can seem much scarier than it really is. We’ll give you the tools to solve problems, and you’ll have the support of your team along the way. With less screen time and more green time you’ll be able to soak in the beautiful fresh air and sights around you without being distracted.

Perhaps you’re really keen to join an adventure – but discouraging words from other people are holding you back. Maybe a close relative or friend told you the outdoors is dangerous, or commented that the people you’ll meet won’t be as friendly and welcoming as you hope. Or maybe somebody simply told you: “You can’t do it”.

A great reason to go Outward Bound is to overcome these very fears. Even if you remember what unsupportive people have said to you, don’t let their negative words limit your bravery. When a doubt or negative thought creeps into your head, mentally reply with “No, that’s not true, I can do this!” You are fully capable of learning great new skills and developing a positive, confident attitude.

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Start small…

If you’re struggling because you’re worried about making friends, remember that nearly everybody is thinking the same way! It usually takes much longer than a few nights to let go of your social fears. Even after you leave Outward Bound, you will have to keep reminding yourself of the confidence you learned and keep working on your new skills to reach your goals.

You don’t have to jump right in if you believe you aren’t ready yet. Small, easy-to-manage changes can help you build up to your big adventure. You can find easy ways to explore new activities and meet new people in your daily routine – for example, inviting new people to hang out with you at lunchtime, or finding a new after-school hobby. When you decide for yourself to extend your comfort zone and find out more about the world and other people, you’ll gain knowledge and become more compassionate to others – and yourself.

Or go all-in

Outward Bound has provided many young people just like you with a great first step to conquering deep-rooted fears. When you reach our centres, you’ll realise how spontaneous and brave you really are!

Are you tired of being afraid? We’re here to help you leap towards your fear, rather than away from it. When you join our adventures, you’ll see how capable you are of confronting the things that scare you, and in the process, you’ll learn how to tackle future challenges head on.

Find out more about our summer adventures.

Johanna went through an awkward, shy stage during her teenage years, but eventually found her voice through writing and hasn’t stopped since. She has previously collaborated with sites such as Omega. Discover more of Johanna’s published work here.