Outside the Comfort Zoneby Jake Smolarek
We all love having a routine. From our morning coffee and favourite breakfast, to when we eat lunch, where we go for a run, or how we always watch our favourite TV show in the evening. We love the comfort of greeting the day in the same way and ending it just like we did yesterday. There's nothing wrong with routine. My question for you - is your routine actually helping you? Does your routine incorporate healthy habits that allow you to achieve your goals?
There's definitely stability in that kind of lifestyle. Welcome to the 'comfort zone'- it starts out feeling familiar and comforting, but, in the end, it'll suffocate your dreams of growth and success. Why? Because the comfort zone doesn't like change.
It's a state without any challenge or ambition to it. When it comes to business, everyone's comfort zone is different. What someone considers taking a risk, like reaching out to a potential, big client, someone else can consider part of their comfort zone. However, that same person might find delegating tasks and letting go of control intimidating, while for someone else, that's pretty standard.
The point is, if each person stays within their comfort zone, they will never reach their full potential. Each person is being held back in a way that is unique to them. Your comfort zone is perhaps the biggest enemy of ambition. If things aren't changing, growing, even becoming uncertain at times, then there's no gain. One of the few things that genuinely make us happy is progress.
If you do what you always have, you'll only get what you always had
Taking those risks, those leaps of faith is challenging. It's nerve-racking. Terrifying, even! But you have to weigh the possibilities of success outgrowing any risks. You can't gain a sizeable amount if you don't reach out and risk things. Stepping outside of the comfort zone and taking those risks might not always work out. That's why successful individuals continuously step outside of their comfort zone. The risk is worth the rewards, and even if it doesn't work out the first time around, the lesson is worth more than doing nothing.
But how can you step outside your comfort zone?
First things first, you've got to remember to challenge yourself. This doesn't have to be something radical and never done before. You can start with something new to you, something you've never tried. Perhaps you already know something that makes your palms a little sweaty just thinking about it. A small step outside your comfort zone is a small step in the right direction.
Next, define your idea of success. Is it earning 80k per year? Or is it having a turnover of a million for your business? Consider what you want it to look like - is it starting your own business or finding a dream job? With a clear goal in mind, stepping outside your comfort zone becomes part of a plan, rather than fear of the unknown.
One you know your goal, you need to think about how you're going to get there. Consider the steps it will take to get there and define a path with some real plans. Is it going to be reaching out to more clients? Working on your brand identity? Or increasing your online presence? Whatever it might be, it should be a challenge. You need to push yourself, step outside your comfort zone heading in the direction of success. If you've already made a clear path of where you are going, stepping outside your comfort zone will be rewarded with success and growth.
The only thing that grows in your comfort zone is your fear of stepping outside it. You can only achieve real change and growth by taking that leap. You have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable!
If you continuously challenge yourself, you'll find your comfort zone will expand and grow. What was previously terrifying has become part of your routine. When you step outside your comfort zone, you'll see how much you can achieve when you aren't limited and controlled by fear.
Constant challenges create steady growth. Steady growth will reward you with financial freedom and success, and it all starts with that first step. Results come from taking risks, and you'll never be able to take risks if you stick to the same old routine. You need to break out and break free. Think of a baby bird leaving its nest for the first time. Sure, the nest is comfy and warm, but the bird will never fly if it stays in its nest all day. The baby bird will only fly if it spreads its wings. You need to do the same.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
Remember – your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. Take the risk and spread your wings.