Stepping out of your ‘comfort zone’ is something that we often hear we need to do, to progress or push on in life. It is in all self-development books, backed up by countless motivating quotes. But just how important is it to leave? And what exactly is it?
In some of the literature, the ‘comfort zone’ is described as a feeling of being ‘safe and in control’ so I will start by saying…it is nice to feel comfortable in our daily lives, whether this is in business or life. Leaving the comfort zone, on the other hand, can initiate that internal dialogue of what could go wrong, how we could be judged, and countless other feelings of ‘discomfort.’ (Which fundamentally stem from FEAR.)
So why are we constantly told to leave it? We would not purposely choose to buy an uncomfortable bed or sofa, or sit in uncomfortable clothes, so why should we choose to feel uncomfortable in our life pursuits? Well, the truth is we do not have to! I would argue that in most cases, nobody is holding a gun to your head to make you do anything! And if you do not want to leave your comfort zone… Well then don’t!
BUT… if you want do want to GROW on a personal level then we must be prepared to feel uncomfortable. Why? Because if we are feeling uncomfortable about a decision or action we must do, it is probably because it is going to test us in some way. This is a GOOD thing! It is probably going to help us IMPROVE our skills.
There are too many examples to list. However, by leaving your comfort zone it allows you to chase your dreams, to explore new things (hobbies and interests) to become the best version of you (in whatever industry) as well as many more positive outcomes.
It will feel scary. I still have moments where I get fearful of doing new things (quite often may I add). However, I am trying to get used to the feeling of “getting comfortable with the uncomfortable” as I know it is so important for my personal growth. I now try to set myself at least 1 x weekly ‘comfort zone breaker’ and I would challenge you to do the same.
The comfort zone is only trying to protect you from your fears, but on the other side could be the person you want to be. (A new career, top salesperson, a new Hobby… So many)
I feel pumped up writing this, I am almost reminding myself (And I still need to.), but I remember my first ever blog… Completely consumed by FEAR.
This the thing as well, once you have done something, it will get easier, and then we can look to set further challenges. I am still a WAY off where I want to be. I have a GROWTH mindset, and I am always looking to improve; we should always be looking to progress. But to do so we MUST leave that comfort zone.
To end on a nice quote and action point:
“You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracey
What is the one thing you are going to do today, this week, to take you outside of your comfort zone?