Understand your comfort zone.
The ‘comfort zone’ is a psychological state in which you feel familiar, at ease, are in control and experience only low levels of anxiety and stress. A comfort zone is a relaxed place, but nothing much ever happens there.
Put another way; your comfort zone is a behavioural space where your activities and behaviours fit a pattern that minimises stress and risk. It provides a state of mental security. You benefit in distinct ways, like more consistent happiness, low pressure, and reduce your stress.
What happens when you are in your comfort zone.
When you are in your comfort zone, a steady level of performance is possible. Stepping out of the comfort zone raises anxiety and generates a stress response. It results in an enhanced level of concentration and focus. If you maintain the status quo, you will never grow.
Back in 1908, psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson explained that a state of relative comfort created a steady level of performance. To maximise your performance, however, you need a state of relative anxiety. Space where your stress levels are slightly higher than average. This space is known as “Optimal Anxiety”, and it’s just outside your comfort zone. Too much anxiety and you become too stressed to be productive, and your performance drops off sharply.
Have you ever pushed yourself to achieve the next level of accomplishment? Those who have to know that when you challenge yourself, you can realise amazing results. However, pushing too hard can cause an adverse effect and reinforce that challenging yourself is a bad idea. It’s your natural tendency to return to an anxiety neutral, relaxed state.
You’ll never achieve much more than you are producing now, without moving a little further outside your comfort zone. Stay strong and never give up on what is important to you. Even if that means a scary big step out of your comfort zone. Once you take that big leap of faith, you will commit to adding value and learning new high-competency, high-capacity skills. Always do right, which will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Comfort zones are designed by and for the faint-hearted.
Most people want to remain in their comfort zone, and they want you to stay there with them. They believe they are stuck and want you to remain stuck with them. They resist and hate change. But you must not harbour any bitterness or resentment against those that try to hold you back. “They know not what they do”.
You have all heard of the comfort zone, a place where you can coast through life with little difficulty therefore never really growing as an individual.
The competitive nature of business has taught me never to get comfortable, and it involves every aspect of your life. I believe if you truly want to get the best out of yourself and your business, release yourself from the restraints of the comfort zones. Put yourself in a position that forces you to take more risks to succeed.
Of course, you need someone to support you, hold you accountable, and show you the way. Those who move beyond their comfort zone start to make real progress in their business, their relationships, and their lives. So, if you are feeling uncomfortable about your situation right now, know that this is a beginning, not an ending and seek help.
Breakthrough to the modern world.
The big wide, wonderful world exists beyond your comfort zone, and that is where you will find the breakthroughs. Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone and start to experience all the changes, disruptions, and dysfunction in the modern world. If your comfort zone is too small, you will not experience the intensifying competition of the global marketplace. Nor will you experience the new technologies that are behind it all.
Breakthrough is not a word used by people clinging to their comfort zone.
Start small and let the ideas take shape on their own. However, be prepared for those ideas to take you beyond your comfort zone, or don’t bother starting. New ideas begin with imperfections and less than ideal resources. If things go well, your thoughts will flourish and fall into place, if you let them.
You’ve seen inspirational quotes that encourage you to take action and do something you wouldn’t normally do. But, getting out of your routine takes a lot of hard work, when there is so much to do.
With a little understanding and a few adjustments, you can break away from your comfort zone. Start to do great things and be part of the emerging world where things are happening. When you push yourself to work beyond your comfort zone, be ready for new experiences and new opportunities you haven’t noticed before.
Reap the benefits of operating outside your comfort zone.
Increased performance can come about by even a tiny venture outside your comfort zone; you do more stuff.” What do you get when you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone? Once you start stepping out, it gets easier over time.
- You’ll be more productive in all areas of your life.
- You lose the drive and ambition to do more and learn new things.
- An uncomfortable experience can help you to see old problems in a new light, and tackle the challenges you face with new energy.
- You’ll have an easier time dealing with new and unexpected changes.
- Many things in your life become more relaxed as you repeatedly move beyond your comfort zone.
- You’ll find it easier to push your boundaries in the future.
- Your comfort zone can adjust to difficulties you will experience outside your comfort zone,
- Trying new things can make you think and reflect on your old ways and move further forward, faster.
- You’ll find it easier to become more creative, and innovation will become easier.
- Learning new skills and opening the door to new ideas and opportunities will motivate and inspire you.
- Learning outside your comfort zone can prepare for future disruptions.
- You’ll have much more fun and excitement in your life.
The benefits you get after stepping outside of your comfort zone can linger. There’s the overall self-improvement you get through the skills you’re learning and broadening your horizons. Everyone’s comfort zone is different, and what may expand your horizons may lead someone else into a state of ill health.
Change must be present if you want to move beyond your comfort zone.
It can take a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone. However, you get the same benefits whether you go in with both feet, or you start slowly. Just as some people thrive on snap decisions, others are more comfortable weighing all of the possible options several times over.
Develop a process for jumping out of your comfort zone and taking action. A simple method is to understand how you feel about what you are about to do. It will automatically change the way you think about the issues involved, which will cause you to act differently. The result will be different with better outcomes and a little less stress.
Let go of the past, start by looking at the way you feel about your future.
Make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis. Look for the perspective that comes from any change, even if it’s negative. Don’t be put off if things don’t work out the way you planned. The change you make can be big or small; either way, develop a process to move out of your comfort zone.
Old comfort zones cause frustrations and struggle.
You can’t live outside of your comfort zone all the time, and it can be important to return to them occasionally. You need to come back from time to time to process your experiences. The last thing you want is for the new and interesting to become commonplace and boring quickly. It is natural to be impressed by new things only to have them become ordinary over time.
You can fight the boredom and frustrations of your old comfort zone by trying new, smaller, easier to do things. Ordering something new at a restaurant where you get the same thing every visit can be eye-opening the same way visiting a new country can be. Both push you out of your comfort zone.
Diversify the challenges you embrace so you don’t just push your boundaries in the same direction while maintaining the struggle in the other. If you find yourself bored, switch gears to a completely different set of strategies and actions. If you’ve been selling the same old products and services for years, try challenging yourself by introducing some new lines, or expanding ranges. You still get the challenge, but you broaden your horizons differently.
Innovation is outside your comfort zone.
Innovation is one of the most important factors for success in any type of enterprise. As an innovator, your role is to move colleagues, customers, and other stakeholders out of their comfort zones to embrace new products and services and to improve your Business Model. You can’t hang your hopes on single one-off innovation projects. Your business will settle back into a state of stagnation, with everyone in their old comfort zones without innovation over time.
Without innovation in your business, it is likely to fall by the wayside. You need your people to be continually involved in a combination of new and old challenges, support, learning, delegation, outsourcing, praise, and reward. Look to create programs designed to shake up the status quo in your business. Focus your people on solving problems and growing their critical-thinking skills.
Entrepreneurship and comfort zones.
Isn’t it about time you assumed the position of an entrepreneur? Use the attributes of an entrepreneur to break out of your comfort zone. Big Data and Analytics are now playing a huge role in all sized organisations in helping to move people out of their comfort zones. Entrepreneurs tend not to be confined to their ‘offices’, But rather to getting out and interacting with the lifeblood of the business and customers.
Entrepreneurs are in a world full of great change to solve problems and move businesses forward. Those involved with information technology are at the core of change in most businesses. They’re at the forefront of figuring out how you reconfigure information, technology, and communications to effectively deliver new business models and take people out of their comfort zones.
Some of the best entrepreneurs make it their business to experiment, get creative and challenge traditional ways of doing business. They spend time joining up the dots between reality and where they want to end up, they take a little time to even reflect on their comfort zones.
Have you heard people say you need to get out of your comfort zone? “You need to stretch yourself. It’ll be good for you”. Everyone seems to agree with this idea, but what do you know about your comfort zone and your business? Before you take action to review the entrepreneurial characteristics, http://goo.gl/CV31Gu.
Sustainability will be difficult in an old comfort zone.
Travel broadens the mind, just as doing different things take you out of your comfort zone and sharpens your focus. Knowing the road leads to profitable growth and sustainability, is not as important as being curious about what you see along the way and becoming action orientated.
My wife once had a ‘gift shop’, and my role was to do the budgeting. My revelation came when I was introduced to electronic spreadsheets. I was taken out of my comfort zone when I saw a spreadsheet that took one hour to complete, compared to the days it took me before. It was a life-changing experience. Not only could I do a budget in a few hours, but I could also make changes and do ‘what-if’ scenarios, without having to redo the spreadsheet manually. The advent of the electronic spreadsheet has to be one of the most important tools that have taken smaller businesses out of their comfort zones.
Being your best doesn’t always require pushing to the extreme fringes outside your comfort zone. Many good businesses have arrived at their ideal size, and the owners focus their attention on simple improvements, not making breakthroughs. Instead of trying to be like others, they appreciate the situation in which they find their business. They focus on their work/life balance and enjoying their businesses and their life. They know they don’t have to be on the ‘cutting edge’ all the time. As a result, their business run well all day, every day and in a very sustainable way.
Staying inside your comfort zone
Staying inside your comfort zone doesn’t mean being stagnant. You can still try new things and evolve. Change is easier when it starts from within your comfort zone because that’s where you feel secure about who you are and what you want to do. Leave your comfort zone only because you want to. Too often you take on big changes because you’re trying to prove to other people that you can.
Start with minimal changes and see how you go. When you go too far outside your comfort zone, it’s hard to come back to the centre. Get comfortable, then try moving a little further, and sustainability will be more within your grasp. You can return right back to your comfort zone if something doesn’t work out.
Actions you can take.
Your comfort zone is not necessarily a good or bad thing. It’s a natural state which most people lean towards. Leaving it means increased risk and anxiety, which can have positive and negative results, but don’t let your comfort zone keep holding you back. You need that head-space where we’re least anxious and stressed so you can process the benefits you get when you leave your comfort zone. Here are some suggestions for action:
- Engage in a new and different conversation.
- Get out of your comfort zone by asking the right questions.
- Spend more time with people who think outside the square and about the modern world and what it means to get ahead.
- Regularly network with new people who will help you to overcome your fears.
- Learn about something you never thought you were capable of achieving.
- Make a conscious effort to read and learn about basic psychology and the things that motivate you.
- Face your fears. Break down your fears into small tasks and become action orientated.
It can be hard to achieve what you want when you stay in your comfort zone.
Trying new things is often difficult. If it weren’t, breaking out of your comfort zone would be easy, and we’d do it all the time. You will find it useful to understand how habits form and how to replace bad habits with good habits.
The good thing is when you conquer your fears and move outside your comfort zone; you start to believe anything is possible. Life begins to unfold for you as it should, and you will see more possibilities and opportunities than you ever imagined.
Your work fills a large part of your life, and the only way to be genuinely satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do and move outside your comfort zone, as quickly as possible. The sooner you start, the sooner you finish, so don’t let your comfort zone kill your ambition.
“Most people do not decide their future; they tend to create a comfort zone, which becomes their future. Peter Sergeant
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. Martin Luther King