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Why You MUST Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Posted by | July 21, 2015 | Career, Career Planning Process

Via CareerHMO : I remember the day that I was thrown out of my comfort zone: a comfortable but otherwise unfulfilling job had abruptly ended, leaving me out in the cold.

Like many people (see “How ‘Golden Handcuffs’ Affect Your Career” ) I had been unhappy at work, but, because I valued comfort and security over self-development, I stayed.

Michelangelo once said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and failing, but in aiming too low and succeeding. And then we settle.”

I had settled. Looking back, the price I paid was far too high: stagnation and wasted years.

There are some who say that life is best lived if we stay within our comfort zone.

Maybe this was once true, but the fact is that things are changing so quickly now that, if we don’t keep learning new things and acquiring new skills, we will soon become irrelevant.

So, the question is, do you want to make the choice to occasionally venture outside your comfort zone, or do you want to leave the choice to someone else?

Even though most of us probably agree that it’s important to occasionally go outside our comfort zone, many of us fail to spend as much time out there as we should.

What’s holding us back?

Negativity

When we’re making our first attempts to do something that’s uncomfortable for us, we can easily be shot down by people who are threatened or otherwise negative. As Toba Beta said, “…even your pure intention might disturb the comfort zone of others.”

Avoid people who pull you back. Instead, find people who pull you forward and who are like the person you want to become. Isaiah Hankel gives this advice for dealing with negative people.

Impatience & lack of discipline

It’s tempting to think that a few trips outside our comfort zone will dramatically change our lives, but that’s not the way it works. Repeated and regular trips are required if we’re going to make any real change in our lives. Be persistent and consistent.

Fear of phoniness

Most of us aren’t willing to give up our authenticity, being who we really are, as we change, but some initial discomfort is inevitable. Amy Cuddy’s advice is, “Fake it until you become it.” She tells the most moving story I’ve ever heard about this at 15:35 into her TED talk.

Fear of failure

Avoiding the possibility of failure also means avoiding the opportunity to learn anything from having failed. Think of your past successes and achievements—you didn’t fail then, and you probably won’t fail now. But even if you do, you’ll learn something.

The bottom line is that, in today’s world, there is no longer such a thing as a permanent comfort zone. If you don’t occasionally make trips outside to remain competitive, someone else will make that decision for you.

A parting thought:

You can either grow or degenerate. Either of these is happening all around you, all the time. There is nothing called a “safe comfort zone”. This is a convenient name depicting the process of degeneration.

― Manoj Arora, Happiness Unlimited: How to be happy always

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