We all have a comfort zone, and we like it there. It’s true. Even naturally adventurous, risk-takers have a comfort zone and are susceptible to falling into familiar patterns. Why? Because it’s natural, normal, and sometimes necessary. What is a comfort zone anyway? Your personal comfort zone is a state of being that protects you from risk, stress, and anxiety through habit and familiarity. When we are in our comfort zone, we are most at ease. So, what’s wrong with that? After all, isn’t being stress-free a good thing? Yes, too much stress and anxiety can have sometimes extreme negative consequences like illness, reduced productivity, and anxiety. Staying in your comfort zone too often, however, can put you at risk for becoming complacent, unproductive, and unmotivated. Studies have shown that a small amount of stress, like the kind that comes from learning something new, setting a deadline, or doing something out of the ordinary, can boost productivity. We perform at our best when we allow ourselves to get just a little bit uncomfortable, and breaking away from our usual routines can have other benefits too.
Here’s why getting out of your comfort zone is good:
It Motivates You: Accepting an ambitious deadline or taking on a new job duty can help you get more done. There’s that healthy dose of extra pressure to deliver what you’ve promised, and there’s also the potential for reward if you succeed.
It Educates You: Trying new things can help you learn and grow by exposing you to new information and new approaches, while also adding to your skills and abilities.
Gets You Ahead: By taking on more responsibility or by speaking up to share ideas and propose solutions to problems, you can bring positive attention to yourself in the workplace, which can help you climb the corporate ladder faster.
Provides Inspiration: Doing uncomfortable things like meeting new people, trying new things, and taking risks can help to boost your creativity by changing your way of thinking and exposing you to new ideas and experiences.
Builds Confidence: When you get out of your comfort zone to try something new or take on a new responsibility, it can boost your confidence by helping you discover that you’re capable of more than you think you are.
Keeps You Flexible: Getting out of your comfort zone by facing new challenges can improve your problem-solving skills as well as your adaptability.
Here are some tips to help you get out of your comfort zone every day:
Give Yourself Permission to Be Imperfect: Fear of making a mistake, embarrassing ourselves, or looking foolish is one of the leading reasons we prefer to stay in our comfort zones. We get so caught up in appearances that we stop putting ourselves out there. Remind yourself that absolutely no one is perfect. It’s better to look a little bit silly than to never try at all.Tell yourself it’s okay to be human and see where opportunity leads you. Click To Tweet
Remember that a Little Stress is a Good Thing: It’s called a comfort zone for a reason: because stepping outside of it doesn’t always feel good. Accept that growth and learning are going to feel a little bit weird, and those experiences make cause a bit of unease or anxiety, but remember that small doses of anxiety can help you accomplish more and perform at your best.
Think the Worst: Getting out of your comfort zone is all about fear of the unknown. What if things go wrong? But what are those mysterious consequences? Instead of getting caught up in worry, force yourself to think of the worst possible outcome, and label it. Many times, the worst-case-scenario turns out to not really be that bad. Once you realize that you’ll survive, even if everything goes wrong, it makes the idea of taking that risk just a little bit easier.
Face a Fear: We all have things we’re afraid of, but when we let those fears keep us from accepting offers or trying new things, we risk missing out on some of the most exciting opportunities life brings. Decide that you are going to overcome one of your fears. Don’t try to conquer them all at once. Instead, choose one thing you’re afraid of, like public speaking, and decide that next time you’re offered a chance to speak in front of a crowd, you’ll take it. It will be a challenge, but you may be surprised by where the new experience takes you.
Take Pleasure in the Unknown: One of the biggest reasons people avoid getting out of their comfort zones is a fear of the unknown. Because we don’t know what might happen if we try something new, we simply don’t do it. But, what if you decide to think of the unknown as a surprise, an adventure, a gift? The beautiful thing about the unknown is that it’s limitless, and that means it can sometimes provide new and exciting opportunities we haven’t even imagined.
Start Small: Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t always require a huge leap of faith. There are little ways you can challenge yourself to get uncomfortable on a daily basis. Simple changes like trying an unfamiliar food, taking public transportation instead of driving, or introducing yourself to a stranger can help you get into the habit of disrupting your usual routine.
Make a Snap Decision: Staying in our comfort zones helps us feel in control, and that’s why making decisions can sometimes be such a lengthy, deliberative process. We think that if we spend enough time weighting the pros and cons of each choice, we can control the outcome. What but what would happen if you just quickly make a choice and stick with it? Try it and see what happens. The results may be a pleasant surprise.
Feel Free to Fail: Some of the greatest learning opportunities, innovations, and achievements have come from flat-out failures. Failing is sometimes the best way to force yourself to think differently and come up with new solutions. Stop running from and obsessing over the idea of failing, and start seeing it as just another route to success.
Getting out of our comfort zones is something we all must constantly work on. That’s because even people who tend to be more open to new experiences and challenges can find themselves slowing down and getting comfortable once the unfamiliar becomes routine. The more often you push yourself out of your comfort zone, however, the less afraid you’ll be of the process and the more likely you’ll be to develop a habit of doing so. There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to fall into a comfortable routine every occasionally, because it can give your mind a much-needed rest, and it can provide room for you to absorb the lessons of recent challenges you’ve faced. It’s when comfort turns into complacency, slowed growth, and low productivity that it’s time to shake things up and get uncomfortable.
We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, Calif. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.