Challenging Your Comfort Zone

June 7, 2017 ·

“The only way to change your future is to step off the path and step into the forest.” Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak

Comfort zones. We all have them. It’s how we make ourselves feel safe and secure. “For each one of us that zone of comfort is different, but whether we are aware of it or not, all of us—rich or poor, low or high on the totem pole, male or female—make decisions based on the confines of that comfortable space,” wrote Susan Jeffers in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

While comfort zones, by their very definition, are comfortable. “Most of us operate within a zone that feels right, outside of which we are uncomfortable. For example, we might be willing to initiate friendships with people at the office who are at our level in the company, but would be uncomfortable doing so with one of the higher-ups. We might go to the local deli when eating alone, but would feel really uncomfortable in a luxurious restaurant all by ourselves. We might ask for a $5,000 raise, but $7,000 would make us cringe. We may charge $30 an hour for our services, but we don’t feel that we are worth $35. And so on.”

Staying in our comfort zones means taking no risks and meeting no challenges. It means that what you have today will be it. Comfort zones feels secure, but the security is really a false comfort.

You have a decent job for a good company and you can see it going on this way for years. But what if the market collapses, or funding dries up, or management decides to go in a new direction, or the company goes bankrupt? Then that “security” you were relying on is not so sheltering as you thought it would be.

So what if you kept yourself prepared by constantly enlarging your comfort zone? What if you stepped off the safety of the path and headed into the uncharted? Who knows? Great things are waiting for you if you leave the protection of your comfort zone. There might also be some scary things there too. But unless you branch out, you will never know!

Tags: Confidence · Overcome Fear

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