I am going to give you the bad news upfront: if you want more success than you have today in life or in your business, you will have to leave your comfort zone. Period.
Okay, are you ready for the good news?
If you want more success than you have today, you will have to leave your comfort zone!
Here is the paradox: Most of us strive to get our lifestyles comfortable. And then eventually, and inevitably, “…we connect with our own deeper truth and begin searching for a bit broader comfort zone that offers some degree of challenge, growth, and opportunity for meaningful service, and purpose in life – for a deeper connection with life and our work!” – Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul and a Life at Work.
It’s not that we describe ourselves as unhappy, but there is a chronically reoccurring, and uneasy feeling that we have yet to hit our full potential.
Comfort zones feel safe and the illusion is we buy into being in control while taking up residence. Life appears, in our comfort zone, relatively familiar, stable, secure and contradictory to an environment of growth.
One of my favorite books is Dr. Seuss’ Oh! The Places You’ll Go! A must-have for every adult over 35 years of age, this book is suggestive of leaving one’s comfort zone, albeit from a child’s perspective. Its pearls of wisdom and encouragement come from stretching ourselves, and continuously consciously embracing change.
When I awoke in my life versus running on automatic pilot, somewhere in my mid to late 30’s, I began happily to experiment with the risk of rejection, failure, disappointment, criticism, being ignored, looking foolish, and trying new things.
To this day, I remain committed to the process of developing the courage to rise above the ordinary.
What would be my advice for those just stepping out of their comfort zones?
Here it is: my “Three Quick Tips on how-to comfortably, safely and joyously leave, expand and stretch your comfort zone.”
- Get a small and quick win upfront! I often suggest taking a small and highly do-able project and complete it within the next day or two. Go de-clutter some room, closet, or drawer at home. Not only do you build confidence in accomplishing this quick and relatively easy goal so that you can go on to a bigger one, I can guarantee clearing space will allow for something new to come in.
- Get your hair cut, trimmed, or jut part it on a different side. Buy a blouse or shirt in a new and bright color, or pattern, that you usually don’t wear. Point is this: do one thing different on the outside that is going to make you feel “new and exciting, if not a tad bit uncomfortable on the inside.” Change or transformation can begin in either direction. Why not pick something on you to begin to change now?
- Get support or the appropriate resources to motivate and inspire you to move forward. Attend a workshop, lecture, read a book, see a movie, take a person who already left their comfort zone to lunch, or hire a coach whose job it is to help you sharpen your vision and develop confidence that will catapult you to the next higher threshold of your life or business.