Three Reasons Why You MUST Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
by Laura E. Knights
So, after reflecting on my speaking engagement last week, I came up with these three reasons why I will continue to push myself out of my comfort zone, and you should too.
1. It exposes you to new opportunities and a new vision of what’s possible.
Sometimes our natural inclination is to only think in the scope of what we’ve done before or what we have already been exposed to. I know you might be saying, “If you don’t know the opportunity exists, how can you go after it?” Consciously seeking out different experiences (or being open-minded when they find you) can yield a whole slew of new horizons for you to explore and conquer. One of my current favorite songs on repeat these days is “Walking Shoes” by Mali Music. The chorus is:
Yeah I believe, I believe
But its a dream that I ain’t seen yet
Chasing a dream that I ain’t dreamed yet
But I’mma meet it halfway if I keep on walking, walking, walking
If I keep on walking, yeah I know it
when I see it walking, walking when I see it walking
Always waiting for something good to find you
But if it don’t come what are you gone do
And that’s why I’m walking, walking
Gotta keep on walking, walking
My take away from this is you’ve got to put yourself out there! And while you are putting yourself out there, you have to have your eyes open for new ways and opportunities to apply what you have to offer. For example…Job seekers, is there a new field to which your transferable skills can be applied?
Entrepreneurs, is there a new market or client population that your service offerings and expertise can be applied to? (that’s what I did with applying my program development expertise to entrepreneurs looking to package their expertise for profit AND with this recent speaking gig).
It sharpens your skills
When your comfort zone activities get a little monotonous, it’s easy to get comfortable or…lazy. For example, I paid a little extra attention when preparing the part of my talk that referenced research and statistics on mindset. Although, I always make sure whatever I’m sharing is accurate, talking to a group of RESEARCHERS pushed me to do a little more legwork in this area than I normally do. New people, environments, responsibilities, tasks, and challenges push you to stay on top of your craft. I think part of this can be attributed to trying to prove to yourself that you are capable of the new challenge, and another part is trying to prove to others that you know what you’re talking about.
It builds your character
Getting out of your comfort zone requires you to be vulnerable, which means you will expose yourself to fears, potential failure, and criticism. Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite fellow social workers, eloquently talks about this in her most recent book, Daring Greatly. She shares that often times we live fear-based lives because we are afraid of exposing ourselves and showing who we really are (human beings who make mistakes). Getting out of your comfort zone forces you to stare this reality straight in the face, work with your strengths, and acknowledge your areas of improvement. Fear can only be conquered with action.
So, take the leap and put yourself out there in your business, career, relationship, etc. You might fail, but you will definitely learn something to use on the next try. HOWEVER, there’s a real chance that you might succeed, too, and possibly expand the borders of your comfort zone! 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, too. Where do you need to push the limits on your comfort zone? Have you recently stepped out of your comfort zone? If so, how did it go?
Laura E. Knights, LCSW is an author, speaker, and coach that has worked with hundreds of people through her M-Powered Workshop Series, training modules, mastermind groups, and popular coaching programs. Laura teaches people how to create a life of meaning and purpose that transforms their self-identity, work, and relationships to help them break through to higher levels of happiness and success. She also provides powerful advice, breakthrough techniques, and other resources to her many subscribers via her M-Powered Living! e-newsletter. You can join the M-Powered Community and sign up to receive a FREE gift and a subscription to her e-newsletter at www.lauraeknights.com