Entrepreneurs have no such thing as a comfort zone. By inclination and temperament, they are itchy and anxious. They don’t like routine and may pursue risk just to break the mold. They do different things, and they do them differently. This is an entrepreneurial age, the age of innovation. Society needs new solutions to old and new problems. It may be that getting out of your comfort zone is becoming the need of the hour.
Stressed or Stretched
Everyone feels pressured by work, politics, economy, health, and more. People are stressed and uncomfortable, and they don’t know where to turn. Too often, too many stay put. As Chuck Blakeman, writing for Inc.com, says, “When we live safe, secure, and stable lives, where every day looks the same, all we ensure is that nothing remarkable happens. When we live stretched out (not stressed out) lives, things that otherwise might seem like a big deal are much more within our grasp. People who live stressed-out lives are always reacting to what others want them to do. People who live stretched-out lives will react quickly when it fits their goals.” The stretch might be simple.
Perhaps, you vacation someplace else this year. Maybe you try a new coffee or switch your brand of beer. You could volunteer at the local library or become a Big Brother or Sister. Or, you could do something physical like gear up for a marathon or learn to ski. It breaks things up, changes the pattern, and cuts into the monotony. It raises the hurdles and challenges your strength and creativity. As you do something new, you change and enlarge yourself. You create new horizons and gain confidence that you can jump higher and farther.
Growth Happens Outside the Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is only an analogy that helps you imagine a place that is safe, steady, and predictable. It’s a place you can feel safe and survive without fear or threat. So, why leave?
- Build a better you: When you challenge yourself, you must step up to win. That raises the peak of your performance. Comfort, of its nature, does not challenge and only fattens you as you stay still in the zone.
- Develop your creativity: Anything creative is a risk. The creative is unique and different, well outside the comfort zone. Creativity makes you vulnerable to criticism and rejection. It’s daring and confrontational.
- Process your failure: Failure is the only real fear. Even if stepping out only means doing something crazy or silly, failure is not that big of a deal. You learn through trying and failing. That’s what makes accomplishment valuable.
- Take risks: Leaving your comfort zone means taking the risk that your actions will succeed or fail. That uncertainty scares you, but it also strengthens you when you take the risk.
How to get out of your comfort zone
- Take a gamble: When you decide to act outside your zone, do it because you want to. It’s a gamble and has all the fears and thrills of gambling. If you do not focus on the result, you can better enjoy the process.
- Make it good: You must accept that leaving your comfort zone is a good thing to do. It takes a self-affirmation that you know what you want to do and that you know there is danger in doing it. It’s your objective to make the risk work.
- Embrace the adventure: If you let resistance or fear win, that will become your experience and habit into the future. You must burst through the zone’s borders without looking back and rush toward the risk. With enough experience, you can better fit an employer hiring needs, such as those monitored at ClayHR’s Hiring Automation & Smart Candidate Tracking.
- Take the first step: Entrepreneurs can fall victim to planning too much. Used to calling their own shots, they over plan, and that smothers the spontaneity. The idea is to move into a future that could hurt and crush but also elevate and change.
- Roll with the punch: When you take risks, fear is a measure, not a result. Feelings of fear and concern are signs of growth and development. You don’t have to be afraid of fear if you turn it to your advantage.
- Win and debrief: When you succeed with your risk, you should celebrate the achievement. But, win or lose, you must give some serious thought to the attempt. Look at what went right and what did not and at what that says about your ability, skills, and character.
Stepping into new skills outside your comfort zone
The business world says there is a shortage of talent. It’s hard to locate local talent, and the talent in pipelines lacks the skills they need. In the words of Natalie Bounassar writing for Entrepreneur.com, “Complacency is dangerous. People must constantly work to challenge themselves, acquire new skills, meet new people and say yes to new experiences.”
Here are five skills you’ll need to work in the future
- Design new realities: Industry needs people who can draw augmented and virtual worlds. But, as important, business needs the skills that can create universally accessible education and development.
- 360° thinking: New careers expect workers to approach problems holistically. They need the patience and openness to see things from 30,000-feet above and to collaborate on problem-solving and sustainable solutions.
- Resilient and responsive: Workers must stretch physically and mentally, ready to change as a job duty. They must be psychologically prepared for work that will change out of necessity. These are the skills archived in systems like ClayHR’s Skill Matrix.
- Independent and accountable: Work will be more independent. Workers will perform without tight management and in collaborative units that work without direct oversight. Skills in relationship-building, self-motivation, and self-direction will be vital.
- Science fiction: It’s a world where humans and machines interact intimately. Machines will extend human capability, and people will direct and energize machine outcomes. And, the data analytics that design work will define futures more decisively than traditional values.
So, if you are wondering how getting out of comfort zone is becoming a need of the hour, think of the words of Margie Warrell, a contributor to Forbes.com: “Throughout our careers we must continually assess whether we are letting our fear of failure or losing face keep us from taking the actions and engaging in the conversations, that will move us forward and make the impact we want.”