Perhaps you are the person who isn’t afraid of taking chances outside your comfort zone. You’re bold, you face big decisions and jump in with both feet, aren’t afraid of change, etc. If I can be frank with you, that wasn’t me six months ago. Like many people, I like being in my safe bubble, also known as the comfort zone. Unfortunately, the harsh truth is that there is no room for growth in your comfort zone. What you learn along the way of stepping outside your comfort zone is immeasurable. Here’s the (somewhat) short version of my experience.
About six months ago I was asked to take on a new role and expand my responsibilities. Because this was out of my comfort zone, my brain went into overload and fear kicked in. What if I didn’t understand this client’s needs, what if I wasn’t available when needed, what if I send her to the wrong place at the wrong time, what if, what if, what if? The offer was taken away from me during that time. I was back in my comfort zone – YES! Fast forward to four months later and I’m approached with the same offer. Fear kicked in again, the what if’s returned but this time something clicked in my brain and told me to take a chance, WHAT IF I succeeded? I decided to jump in, fear and all. Let’s forward to the present day – I LOVE what I do – I want more!
Here are three things that happened from stepping outside of my comfort zone.
- I pretended to be confident and eventually became confident. The mind is a powerful tool, tell yourself positive affirmations daily! In becoming confident in my role, I realized that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was. I have grown professionally and that in itself feels amazing.
- I have learned new things along the way and learned that in order to grow, you must Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway as the book by Susan Jeffers, Ph. D. is titled. Will you mess up at some point? Of course! That’s a part of the learning process but the important thing is to accept that and keep moving forward.
- I realized that the comfort zone limits you. When you step outside of your comfortable bubble, possibilities become endless. You find it easier to push your boundaries. You almost become fearless.
As you read this, ask yourself, what opportunity is in front of you that is scaring you? Are you holding yourself back from becoming a greater version of you? Try starting slowly by making a few adjustments, then at some point boldly and confidently jump in with both feet. By the time you know it you are learning a new language, trying new foods, visiting new places, and asking your boss for more opportunities to grow. Great things are waiting for you, take the step and let me know how it goes.