Most of us aim to hit our comfort zone eventually. It’s not a bad place to be after years of struggling through higher education, moving out on our own, and the difficulties that come hand in hand with being adults. But the perks of being in your comfort zone slowly disappear if you stay in it too long.
While you’re staying in one place, the world continues to move on and evolve. In your comfort zone, you can use the skills and expertise that you currently have in order to boost your reputation and build a solid standing in your field. If you’re not pushing yourself, though, those stellar skills that were once top of the line are going to become obsolete while you’re relaxing. Not only that, but you’ll probably find that staying in your comfort zone is boring you. Before you let yourself get complacent, consider ways that you could push yourself outside of the box and improve your career aspirations.
Why Staying in Your Comfort Zone is Dangerous
There are some experts that say the most dangerous place to be is in your comfort zone. If you think about it, it does make sense. When you’re out of your comfort zone, you’re struggling to find your footing. Survival is crucial, whether it’s trying to put a roof over your head, feed your family, or get a job.
Once you land in your comfort zone, that sure footing is tempting. You remember what it was like to struggle, either mentally or physically, and you don’t want to do that again. This fear could be conscious or subconscious, but either way, you’ve hit your glass ceiling. Breaking through it could be painful, but what’s on the other side?
Being in your comfort zone keeps you from wanting to improve and make the goals and achievements you’re capable of. You know this deep down, and eventually, you’re going to feel unhappy because you’re not growing.
The Benefits of Stepping Outside This Zone
If thinking about stepping outside your comfort zone fills you with dread, that’s a perfectly common reaction. The opposite of dread is excitement, and you’re probably feeling that, too, but it’s hidden behind curtains of fear.
So many benefits come with pushing aside this dread and anxiety. When you make an action plan and start the process of pushing forward, you’re going to notice a lot of changes in yourself. You’ll begin to be more confident as you take steps towards becoming the person you’ve aspired to be but didn’t think you could. You’ll be happier as you make progress toward your goals. Things that once seemed too risky now are viable options with a little bit of effort and, possibly, some sacrificing. The same things that once scared you are now leaving that cloak of fear behind and becoming exciting.
When you’re ready to swap dread for the anticipation and thrill that comes with leaving your comfort zone behind, you might need some suggestions to help you climb the mountain.
Tips to Push Yourself Harder With Your Career
Making the decision to better yourself is the first step, but knowing how to do this is another matter entirely. To push yourself harder and aspire for those once out-of-reach career goals, try these tips:
● Expand your industry knowledge. Study the most innovative magazines, blogs, and articles in your field and those that weave into it. The more you know, the more valuable you become.
● Learn about other industries, too. When all you know exists are blue cars, you only think you can have a blue car. The more you learn about the world around you, and other careers and industries, the more goals you can set to increase your education and work toward other fields.
● Research other cultures and religions. One of the best ways to learn how to get along with anyone is to get to know the nuances and traditions behind different cultures and religions. You begin to see that there are a lot of similarities between groups, and when you meet and work with others, you see them for those commonalities rather than the surface differences.
● Increase your network connections. Invite people from your industry and others to lunch or dinner and ask them for their best career and life advice. You can learn something from everyone you meet if you are willing to stop and listen instead of speak.
These career tips will push you outside of your comfort zone as you meet and surround yourself with like-minded, ambitious people.