Change Happens Outside Your Comfort Zone
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne
At some point in our lives, we do everything for the first time; therefore, accepting challenges and, at times, failures are a part of stepping out of our comfort zone. We all have a comfort zone, that space within which we feel safe and in control and where things come easy for us. Life seems good in the comfort zone because there is little to be afraid of or worried about, and there is a low risk of failure, rejection, or other unpleasant experiences. However, the problem with living in our comfort zone is that there is little room for growth and learning. Growth and learning come only from venturing beyond the comfort zone.
And yet, the vast majority of people are gripped by an icy fear and experience feelings of significant discomfort the moment they are faced with the proposition of change. Why is this, you may ask? Possibly it could be the fear of the unknown, fear of failing, or at other times, “What will people think if I fail?” All of the above could be just an assumption with no real truth to it, but it still stops people in their tracks. Most people would prefer a highly toxic situation and let sleeping dogs lie rather than rock the boat.
The infographics provided by Positive Psychology speak of different Zones where various behavior changes occur.
The red circle represents our comfort zone. It is the space in which we feel safe and in control. However, no Learning or Growth takes place here.
To learn and grow, we must leave the comfort zone and step into the fear zone (orange circle), which is far less comfortable. The fear zone is uncomfortable. We do not know what to expect and cannot build on our previous experiences.
If we can muster the courage to endure the fear zone, we come out on the other side, the learning zone. (Yellow Circle) , where we can begin to acquire new skills and learn to deal with challenges and problems.
When we stay long enough in the learning zone, we begin to experience that we can change and start to redefine ourselves in terms of what we can do, achieve, and feel comfortable with. The growth zone is the bigger picture, that which we have gained at a more fundamental, personal level. Entering the growth zone is the ultimate reward for enduring the fear zone.
Stepping out could well mean the difference between mediocre and excellent. If you are one of those who gravitate towards excellence, this is for you.
Consider a person with a fear of public speaking. Avoiding any and every opportunity to speak publicly allows this person to remain in his comfort zone and not face the fear of failing, not knowing, or unsatisfactory performance.
If, however, an unavoidable speaking event arises, such as being asked to speak at a work meeting, this person will be required to leave their comfort zone and step into the fear zone. Just before the meeting, this person may experience feelings of anxiety and self-doubt and a strong desire to run away. However, by enduring this fear and speaking at the gathering, he/she will enter the learning zone and begin to acquire new skills.
This growth and learning could not have occurred, had this person opted to stay within his comfort zone.
Five Benefits of Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone
Risk-taking ability. Taking risks helps us to grow. People who take calculated risks, again and again, develop renewed confidence. They are at extreme ease in new, unexpected situations.
Your ability to navigate your emotions will be phenomenal when you live a life of continuously stepping out of your comfort zone. You will be better equipped as a result of that failure.
You will begin to see yourself differently. Having crossed the Fear Zone and staying in the Learning Zone, you have gone through the “toughening up,” and your confidence will be at an all-time high.
Your skillset will grow. In other words, you might be considered an expert in your field, which will lead to more opportunities. You will, in essence, have established your credibility, & that’s a powerful place to operate from.
You will motivate others without lifting a finger. Your Survival Guide will script someone else’s success story.
And it all starts with a choice. Now, you are just one decision away from choosing a completely different life. Move Mountains, take risks, and step out of your comfort zone today. Your future self will thank you. I guarantee that!!
Sajid Ahamed is a “Certified trainer of NLP” and organizes John Grinder-approved training in India and the Middle East. He is one of the few ITA (International Training Academy) trainers in the world who are authorized to run New Code and Master Practitioner NLP Certifications in India, Africa and the Middle East. He has more than 1000 hours of coaching experience and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He is also certified and authorized to conduct Emotional intelligence Assessments by Six Seconds, international. He is a firm believer in high performance. He enjoys engaging in powerful conversations that lead to effective learning and results. Sajid empowers his clients to achieve their most significant potential and evolve into their personal best version through emotionally intelligent coaching.
He is presently pursuing his PhD in Alternative therapies and Integrative Medicines and completed studies in Psychotherapy from Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
He is also the Founder of Inner Peace Life Coaching Pvt. Ltd, India, which specializes in Coaching in variety of Modalities like NLP, EFT, EQ and Energy coaching.
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