Have you ever looked back on your life and started to realize that some of your biggest goals and dreams just vanished? Not because you didn’t care about them anymore, but because you never took that initial step to get started on pursuing them wholeheartedly. Life then just started to pass you by.
Everyone has a comfort zone, or level of risk, where they feel in control. The problem is that if you stay in that comfort zone for too long, you don’t learn and achieve new objectives.
Applying for jobs just out of college or grad school we think our ultimate goal is to find the perfect comfortable job that is a natural fit and have a long, fulfilling career there.
Forget all of that, comfort is the enemy. If things are easy, it’s time to shake up your career.
Remember when you were young, and you first attempted to ride a bicycle? Were you scared at first? Absolutely! Was the end result worth it? I’m betting it was.
Hopping into a new job or career path is indeed a lot like that first ride on a bike: a heart-pumping, adrenaline-inducing risk– and the payoffs can be as meaningful as the life-changing freedom of mastering two wheels.
It’s about time you stepped outside your safe zone. You have hesitated for far too long. The reward (and the lessons learned) will be, without question, worth the risk. You may be doing what everyone does–conforming to norms and everyday pressure around you but that’s not where you need to be.
No one likes to move beyond his or her comfort zone, but that’s really where the magic happens. It’s where you can grow, learn, and develop in a way that expands your horizon beyond your wildest dream.
Living life uncomfortably is the only way to live. It’s being uncomfortable that makes you better. It’s being uncomfortable that reminds you, you’re not where you want to be. It’s your road map for finding the finish line.
Everyone wants to be great. I can honestly say I have never met anyone who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves and feel as if they are successful in the game of life. Unfortunately, wanting to be successful and actually being successful are two completely different things and a great determining factor of success a majority of the time is if a person is paralyzed by comfort or conquering comfort.
Hence it very important to step out of our comfort zone and push our limits. It can be scary, but here are some reasons why it’s completely worth it:
- You’ll uncover new skills.
If you’ve been in your industry or your job for a long time, you’ve developed a specific set of skills you use often, and other strengths may be ignored. Exercising just one muscle won’t make you strong overall; it will make you imbalanced. Shaking things up in your career can help you find new areas of expertise you’ve never used before and strengthen them. Maybe while trying a new skill you might actually come across potential skills.
- You might find a new passion.
How can you know what you love if you’ve never tried it? There’s only one way to find out: Bite the bullet, summon up your bravery and dive in. You have more to gain by trying something new — even if you fail — than staying in a rut forever.
For Adam Fridman, founder and CEO of Mabbly, a digital-marketing agency, an assignment to optimize search terms at his old company uncovered a love of SEO that inspired him to found his new startup. “I had no idea when I picked up that one-off project that I would find something I loved and excelled at,” Fridman told me. “Now, it’s my whole life, and I couldn’t be happier.”
- You might fall back in love with your old job.
On the other side of the coin, trying a new job, industry or career might backfire: You might hate it and miss your old job. Whether or not you can go back to the way things were depends on many factors, but recommitting to your old industry or a similar position after trying something new can cause you to return a more committed, passionate person and eliminate the nagging “what ifs?” that were holding you back.
- Risk teaches you more about yourself
The more comfortable you are with exploring new abilities within yourself, the more aware you will become of just what you are capable of. You never know until you try.
Get out of your comfort zone, your success or breakthrough probably depends on it. If you do better outside your safe zone, you will most likely start thinking about how you can do it more often.
If it turns out bad, you would have learnt one more way that doesn’t work. Either way, it’s never a bad idea to do something that scares you a little bit; it’s taking that chance and seeing the outcome that may surprise you.