Face your fears by doing something that scares you and watch your career soar.
Sleeping, resting, chilling, cruising: we all yearn for a calm and easy life. We believe that being comfortable is good for us.
However, most successful people greatly disagree. Their experience has taught them that being uncomfortable is exactly the place where their potential thrives. Testing your limits, defying your boundaries, trying new things, putting yourself out there… that’s what takes you to the next level.
But people are usually afraid of failing and making mistakes and therefore opt to stick to exercises and activities that have known outcomes with little to no risk of embarrassment.
Read: Improve your confidence
But that’s the surest way to stay stuck.
“I know this tastes lekker so I’m always going to order it.”
But there could be something even better in the menu if only you’d spread your wings.
“I know I do this well so I’m always going to do it. It’s better than falling on my face by trying something else.”
But what if you are better at the something else too?
The danger in always sticking with what is most comfortable is that you’ll always only know what you know. You'll always experience what you've experienced before. No new opinions, no new memories, no new feelings, no new accomplishments, and no new nothing. This is especially true in your career, for example:
• Passing on the opportunity to do a presentation (thanks to your glossophobia) means your colleague will always get credit for work you can do too. That's a missed opportunity.
• Saying no to extra work (because you think you're incapable) means it’ll be passed to someone else that gets to grow their skill set instead of you. That's a missed opportunity.
• Not sharing a new idea you have (do you think you’re too young/too new or that the idea will never work?) means that your superiors will continue overlooking your potential. You're missing out on new opportunities.
In addition, because your manager knows that you are unable to confront your fears, they'll stop offering you new opportunities all together. Have you ever noticed that there's usually only one person in the office that seems to get offered all the new opportunities? It's probably because they take the chances you're too scared to take.
So, Scaredy Pants, here’s why Neale Donald Walsch’s "life begins at the end of your comfort zone" quote is so popular:
Growth is at the end of your comfort zone
• You learn something new
With each new experience, you'll be able to see something in a way you've never seen it before.
• You’ll find out more about your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes.
With each new experience, you'll know why it worked, what will make it work better next time, and if you'd enjoy a career that enables you to experience that regularly.
Read: How to answer 'What is your weakness?' in an interview
• You’ll feel more confident.
Achievement, pride and the realisation that you didn't die after completing an anxiety filled task, will make you believe in yourself so much more.
• You will get noticed.
If you put yourself out there, others will see you out there.
• You’ll begin inspiring people around you.
People will look at YOU and say: If she can do it then so can I.
It's true that people generally do not like to roam outside their comfort zone. And that's why most people aren't successful. Outside is where we grow, learn, and develop in a way that expands our horizons beyond what we ever thought we were capable of doing. Don't worry, you can fake it 'till you make it.
Take the first step out of your comfort zone by growing your skill set, applying for that promotion, climbing the corporate ladder, leaving the job you hate, and by finding better opportunities at a different company.