Your knees buckle and butterflies begin to wobble in your tummy when you are required to do something you do not like. It could be a public speaking act or doing a task you’ve never attempted before in your life.
Swallowing your nails when your maths teacher picks you up in class to come to the whiteboard to solve a problem or when your boss gives you an assignment at 5 PM to be finished before 8 PM is unpleasant — if you are not prepared.
Breaking out of your comfort zone is very important to learn and experience things you are not interested in. People get lazy when they are comfortable. They do not realize how procrastination gradually destroys their life. People prefer to stay in their comfort zone because they are afraid of trying and learning new things, and experiences and taking on new challenges.
By limiting yourself to the things you are comfortable with makes you lose many opportunities in your personal and professional life. This affects your growth too.
How often do we see an employee being loyal to a company and working with them for many years in the same position and same salary? They are content with themselves because they are afraid to break out of their comfort zone in order to learn new skills and demand a raise in salary or ask for a promotion. Such people are afraid, they may lose their job if they even ask for a pay raise or a promotion and do not break out of their comfort zone to progress in their careers.
What can be done to break the comfort zone?
The first and foremost thing one needs to realize is one needs to ask themselves what are they comfortable with and what one does not like.
You need to write all the things you are comfortable with and also write down things you are not comfortable with. This will reveal your shortcomings and give you a preliminary point to start addressing your shortcomings gradually.
You can not work towards things you don’t like without breaking out of your comfort zone. Nobody has gained anything in life without taking the pain. Sleepless nights and late-night headaches are just a part of the process in an attempt to go for something big.
Initially, you will not like breaking your routine but when you begin to understand the essence of the task you were once uncomfortable with, you will get better at it and begin to feel comfortable.
We are afraid and prefer staying in our comfort zone because we do not know anything. This could be a lack of experience, a skill, or even a strange relationship.
Honesty is the best policy
Be honest with yourself. Are you missing out on new opportunities just because you do not deserve them or you do not have the substance to go for them?
There is a huge difference between the two. Thinking every time the grapes are sour does not do you any good. Facing reality and most importantly giving yourself a reality check is very important in order to mentally prepare yourself for a new challenge in life.
Set a goal
No one has achieved anything in life without proper goal-setting. If we look at the success footprints of all successful people, we see — they were determined to achieve something in life irrespective of their pace.
Mark Zuckerberg was a millionaire in the ’20s and Warren Buffett became a millionaire in 60. Barack Obama retired as the US president before 60 while Trump just started after age 70.
Set a goal for yourself, and ask yourself, where you want to be in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.
You can only become successful if you are up for a challenge and willing to take the pain and face unforeseen circumstances.
Remember, you are as big as you challenge yourself.