Get this: Being in your comfort zone is not a good or bad thing, it is a natural state that we all strive towards or want to be in. But once you get in that zone, don’t get too cosy in there for too long!
Flatlay from Shay Cochrane
Most of us want something, or something else once we get that first something. It’s human nature to want more. It could be bigger financial success, better health, or as simple as learning something new or achieving your personal goals. Either way, the reality is you have to do something you never done before to get there.
For a fitness goal, this means you have to change the way you eat and the way you exercise. Financially, it could mean cutting back on costs, or increasing expenses in sales or marketing to get more business.
For a creative boss, it could be networking to get business, doing new business ventures or channels, selling yourself, improving your skills or services, learning new technology, or presenting in front of a large group of people!
Whether you like it or not, you have to get out of your comfort zone in order to reach for something greater and better for yourself.
Why You Need To Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Being out of your comfort zone makes you, well, uncomfortable! It’s the feeling of anxiety you get, or nervousness, butterflies in your stomach, or even adrenaline or excitement. And, it is also the only way to grow.
It’s called the state of optimal anxiety. Too much anxiety and we get stressed, unable to perform as well as we want too and too little anxiety means we lack the motivation to succeed. We need that state of relative anxiety, enough to push us to do something or form a new habit.
More importantly, if your business relies on your creativity like mine, then you have to make sure you are constantly pushing your limits, learning something new, struggling, seeing new places and doing different things to keep fresh ideas coming.
How Do You Get Our Of Your Comfort Zone?
Bit by bit, every day. I don’t recommend you change your life all 360 degrees and throw your normal routine out the window, nor am I talking about randomly going out skydiving, but in a creative business sense, things that will push you beyond your comfort limits. Make sure your motives are right. It doesn’t take a radical move like skydiving to get you out of your comfort zone, but perhaps selling yourself to your potential clients is radical enough for you? I know I struggle with that. Make sure this is something you are genuinely interested in and know how it will benefit you to get out there and do it.
“We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.”
It Can Be Made Into A Habit
Some people find it extremely stressful to move. For me, moving is so easy as I’ve already moved houses about twenty times and moved between different cities as well. It is a stark contrast to my husband, who had lived in the same house for almost 20 years before leaving for Australia, and his parents still lives in the same house today. He certainly found it stressful to pack up and relocate, while it’s a breeze for me. He was completely out of his comfort zone, and on the other side, it was pretty normal to me.
In other words, moving is a habit for me, I do it so often I have a checklist ready in my head, and I don’t feel uncomfortable with the process.
In order to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, you need to step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. Successful people work out of their comfort zone.
“The more comfortable you get with trying new things, the less you’re going to avoid it and the more you’re going to say yes to new challenges.”
Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, therapist and author of Better Than Perfect
Give Yourself Permission To Screw Up
Fear of failure is often the biggest thing stopping you from getting out of your comfort zone. Making mistakes are scary, and you have to take responsibility for them as well.
Food for thought: If you are about to embark on a new path, are you focused on being good at it, or getting better at it? This great article by 99U breaks it down to two mindsets: Be-Good, or Get-Better. If you understand that this is a journey and that you will make mistakes along the way, you won’t be as stressed when the mistakes do happen, and can continue to stay motivated and soldier on. That is how you can develop your abilities. Who hasn’t fallen off a bicycle before and scraped their knee while learning how to cycle?
“Studies show that when you feel you are allowed to make mistakes, you are significantly less likely to actually make them!”
It’s OK To Stay In Your Comfort Zone. If Only For A Short While.
You settle into your comfort zone normally after a breakthrough or achievement, so it’s ok to bask in the glory and warmth of your achievements, taking a break to enjoy some ‘time-off’. But as they say, don’t rest on your laurels!
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