Get Out of Your Comfort Zone to Get Ahead

We all have our comfort zone: a world where we are at ease in our routine surroundings, job, community, and relationships. We know these routines like the back of our hand and feel comfortable in knowing that things will rarely change. But here’s the problem with that: the world is always changing. Nothing ever stays the same. If you always stay inside your comfort zone – especially when it comes to your career – you will find yourself stuck, or worse, left behind.

Not sure what we mean? Take a look at the way we consume music, as an example. Depending on your age, you might have listened to music on records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and now on your phone. If musicians who once distributed their music only on 8-tracks tried doing that today because they were “comfortable” with that format, their sales would seriously flop.

The point is this: our world is always changing and, as professionals, we have to be ready and anticipate those changes. More than that, we should invite those changes into our lives. The most successful people are the ones who know that change is inevitable and adapt to those changes faster than others. So staying in your comfort zone simply won’t cut it.

To help you be as successful as possible, consider engaging in some simple habits that can prepare you to think and live outside your comfort zone – even if it’s just a little bit at a time.

For starters, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What would you do if you could do anything?
  2. What would you like to learn about?
  3. What small changes would you like to make to your life?

We oftentimes get stuck in our comfort zones because of the routines we adapt to, often without intention. While routines and schedules can be helpful, they can also keep us stuck. Be open to trying new things every once in a while. Consider changing up your routine by doing one of the following:

  1. At Home:
    1. Think of a way to reward yourself for the new habit you WANT to build.
    2. Try a new restaurant or eat radically different food items.
    3. Eliminate TV after dinner and find new activities.

  2. At Work:
    1. Make a point to notice positive efforts daily and compliment people.
    2. Invite a colleague to lunch who you don’t know well.
    3. Do a favor for a coworker.

  3. Explore Your Community:
    1. Visit a museum, art store, antique mall, etc.
    2. See a play.
    3. Go to a friend’s kid’s soccer, baseball, or hockey game (even if you have your own kids’ games).
    4. Walk, run or ride on a new trail.

These simple and fun adventures allow you to see opportunities you are missing and help you to stretch out of your comfort zone. As you exchange stale routines for fresh and healthy new ones; you’ll likely find you have increased energy, better attitudes, more friends and optimism for the future. It doesn’t take much to shake things up and elevate your opportunities for career advancement and life enjoyment.

Another way you can break out of your comfort zone without leaving the comfort of your chair is by joining online community groups of like-minded professionals. If you’re looking to shake things up professionally, consider joining our free Facebook group. This group is designed to help talented, ambitious professionals and motivated leaders develop the Presence, Power and Persuasion they need to make a positive impact, advance their careers and be successful in executive roles. Click here to request to join.

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