First, let’s define what a comfort zone is.
A general description would be all the actions we frequently do with confidence and no risk. In other words, those actions we master and feel confident in doing.
So, what’s wrong with feeling confident and comfortable in that at which we are experts? Nothing, as long as this does not become an obstacle for you to continue growing. Comfort zones are neither good nor bad in themselves. It is the fear of going outside of them that paralyzes growth.
An example I like to use often in my seminars is my daughter learning to ride her bicycle. The first day she sat on it, she was afraid of falling down. Her dad explained that he would be right behind, holding her.
After advancing a few yards and making sure, on several occasions, that her dad was holding her, she started to enjoy the ride. Two days later, she got on her bike enthusiastically, trusting her dad would be right there to hold her, except this time she was riding only with the training wheels.
Minutes later, her big smile became an expression of panic when she turned to see her dad and realized he was not holding the bicycle. She stopped abruptly and began to cry. My husband explained that she had to continue learning to ride her bike with the training wheels, and he would be walking right next to her, in case she got tired.
Several weeks went by before my daughter felt confident on her bicycle, and the day finally came when she said, “Dad, you can take the training wheels off my bicycle because I’m not afraid anymore”.
Learning new things often causes insecurity and fear. The knowledge and experience we obtain over the years are constructed as we allow changes and force ourselves out of our comfort zone.
When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
Remember, fear is the only thing that can paralyze your growth. Become aware of your comfort zone. Measure the risks, study, and plan the next step that will allow you to continue growing. Leaving your comfort zone does not mean jumping off an airplane without a parachute!
Success in business, as well as in our personal life, requires stepping out of our comfort zone. Accepting change and adapting to it is not an easy process. Yet, change in the different stages of life is inevitable.
Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone?
Many times, I’ve heard that “we are our own worst enemy”.
A few days ago, I was listening to one of Steve Jobs’ speeches. I was impressed by his phrase, “… be a beginner once again”.
By age 30, Steve Jobs was the creator of a company valuing 2 billion dollars with 4000 employees, and a man of great success after the launch of his star product, -The Macintosh. The most devastating moment in his life was when he had to give up Apple due to conflicts with John Scully, Chief Executive at the time. Giving up the company that had been the center of his life was a crushing blow; leading him to consider withdrawing completely from the business world.
Yet, Jobs made the radical decision of stepping out of his comfort zone…
“changing the weight of success for the lightness of becoming a beginner, again.”
Those 5 years after giving up Apple were the most creative years of his life. He had stepped out of his comfort zone to become a “beginner” again. He decided he was going to continue growing, creating, and revolutionizing the world.