So another week has gone by and life is still pretty normal. It was just another week at the office where you sent out a couple emails to your regular clients. You shared a photo of your dog on Facebook and enjoyed your favourite movie at home over the weekend. If you have ever thought ‘there must be more to life than this’ or ‘why isn’t my business going anywhere?’, then you are probably knee-deep in a comfort zone.
“We need a place of productive discomfort,” said Daniel H. Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” (Riverhead, 2009). “If you’re too comfortable, you’re not productive. And if you’re too uncomfortable, you’re not productive. Like Goldilocks, we can’t be too hot or too cold.”
Here are a few things you can do to take a running jump out of this space in both your personal and professional life:
- Give Yourself a Wakeup Call. Make a list of things that you feel fall into your comfort zone and a list of things that you know you wouldn’t dream of doing because it makes you anxious and you can think of several reasons why you shouldn’t. You might just realise why you have been so stuck.
- Newer is Better. Write down a list of new things you are going to try this month and make sure that you give yourself a deadline. Without a deadline there is no sense of urgency.
- Get Curious. Scared to do something? Turn your fear into curiosity. Jot down a few reasons why it would be awesome to just do it.
- Phone a Friend. Know someone who is good at something or done it before? Phone them up for a couple pointers. They will more than likely inject you with enthusiasm.
- Be a Mentor. Help an employee, family member or friend out with something that they are anxious about. You might just be inspired by their courage.
- Kill the Mental Chatter. We pick up tons of excuses and fears during our lifetime. Look at the excuses that are holding you back from breaking out of the comfort zone and talk yourself through the reasons why they might be untrue. Ask a friend for their input too. It might just be a breath of fresh air.
- Be Your Own Biggest Fan. Give yourself a little pep talk if you feel like you need it. Nobody is watching.
- Baby Steps. You don’t have to conquer Everest in a week. Keep your new to-do list as manageable as you need it to be. As long as you keep moving forward you are winning.
- Just Google It. Sometimes being prepared is the best way to do something with confidence. Do some research and reading to clear your mind of any doubts or concerns.
- Just a Speed Bump. Trying something new and failing doesn’t mean that you should see it as a sign to give up. Now you have some real-life experience. Use it the next time round.
- Acceptance is Key. Yes, you are going to feel a bit uncomfortable. Accept it, feel the fear and do it anyway. It will be totally worth it