A personal comfort zone is something we all find ourselves in at one point in life. Whether it be fear of taking on a new challenge or change, our comfort zones provide us with predictability and control.
Additionally, while stability in any aspect of life brings us relief because there is less to worry about, being too comfortable can actually hinder success, especially in a business environment.
When comfortability dominates a position, it may hold us back from pursuing a promotion, taking on a big project, or even prevent us from providing thoughtful ideas during a meeting.
Moreover, while copious amounts of stress or fear aren’t good for anyone, a little bit of it here and there can push you to perform your best. A new challenge will make you go above and beyond to complete it, whereas, a familiar task may be fulfilled with little or average effort. When we become accustomed to things, we also become accustomed to performing a task at a certain pace and way.
Comfort zones also inhibit us from seeing change or a challenge in a positive manner. We only see the situation through one lens so to speak. However, when you slowly emerge out of your comfort zone, your perception of reality begins to change. That presentation you accomplished no longer seemed as scary as initially thought, and that idea you spoke up about caused your supervisor to reward you with a higher role. Every time you step a bit out of your comfort zone, more doors will open rather than stay shut.
Of course, this doesn’t mean to take a giant jump into something that makes you completely anxious and stressed. In fact, too much stress can also hinder success as well. Therefore, it’s valuable to find the balance between what you’re accustomed to and new tasks that can create personal growth.
If you’re afraid of taking the first step into a new challenge, ask yourself, why? Why is a new change to your pattern causing resistance or fear? Why are mental roadblocks preventing you from escaping the familiar?
Is this a daunting new responsibility? Are you afraid of failure? Whatever is holding you back, the first step to getting out of your personal comfort zone is to assess why you’re there in the first place. A second step would be to make a list of pros and cons about a new situation. This way you can confront your fears, but also see the positive aspects to the new opportunity. Let the “pros” be the motivating factor behind setting new goals.
It’s also important to remember that failure isn’t the be all, end all of everything either. If the fear of failure is holding you back, you can’t learn how to grow from your mistakes. Moreover, if fear of failure had influenced some of our greatest inventors to stay within their comfort zones, where would society be today?
Look around your space right now – are you surrounded by modern day technology? Electricity? Running water? All of the modern amenities we have integrated into our society were all created from failures. Inventors, entrepreneurs, and creatives have failed multiple times, yet without their failures and endless persistence we wouldn’t have the things we have today.
The fact of the matter is, you may fail, and it’s okay to fail.The best way to get out of your comfort zone is to accept failure and move towards improvement. You may fail at what you’ve aimed to achieve, however don’t use that failure as a set back, use it as motivation for personal growth and try again.
Failure will also help you to look at obstacles from a different perspective and challenge you to take a different approach to find a new solution. This is exactly how you can break free from the mental barriers of a personal comfort zone.
Moreover, when you live in your comfort zone your mind plateaus. Sure, it may be nice to not fall backwards, but it’s even worse when you can’t move forward. Why settle for the same thing each day, when you can be rewarded with new opportunities?
It may be scary now, but living in fear will only keep you in a stand still of “what ifs.” And, who knows, maybe you’ll innovate a new type of media in the insurance space.
When you set your sights high and push your familiarity aside, the skies are limitless.