Transition from the Comfort Zone to the Growth Zone
One of the most used expressions in the corporate wold these days is “Comfort Zone”. They call it ‘Comfort Zone’ for a reason: It’s ‘comfortable’ and ‘safe’. However, our comfort zone can also turn into a place of stagnation. I have seen professionals getting stuck into their trap for years. One that keeps them away from seizing opportunities for growth, just because it involves something unfamiliar.
In our comfort zone, we don’t necessarily feel challenged by our work. We take it easy, complete our tasks leisurely, and we don’t feel the need to challenge ourselves or change our routine because we don’t want the extra headache or the pain of having to learn new things. In the growth zone, we face the opposite.
In order to start getting out of the comfort zone and pushing forward, let’s have a look at these 5 steps to get from where we are to where we want to be:
1. Modify Routine
Begin by altering your usual routine. Challenge yourself to build new one that is focused on change and success. You need to build a daily routine to succeed, but not just any old routine, one that is geared to keep you ahead. By changing things up and experimenting things in a different way can keep your efficiency and productivity high that will give you access to that elusive work-life balance.
As well as that you’ll get to see things from a different perspective that will help you move in different ways, ways that aren’t exactly comfortable all the time. Comfort is a big part of having a routine, so changing it up can bring about new ideas and a new mindset. Altering small things like how long you get ready or making big changes like putting away social media for most of the day can help you be more deliberate with your actions and decisions and even discover new ideas or goals.
2. Challenge Belief System
We must learn how to diversify. Be it a circle we operate in or our own belief system. Let’s stay open to experiment newer things in life. Try and interact with newer people from different walks of life who can help us bring in new perspectives and learning opportunities. Our network isn’t limited to people either, there are plenty of ways to tap into mentors and other’s points of view through expanding what we read and what we watch and what we follow on social media.
This will lead to a paradigm shift. So, shaking our beliefs up can be a great way to see what sticks and what you can shed for new and more empowering ones. Constantly telling myself from a young age that I am uncapable of pushing past a certain point can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Refuting it just once won’t change that either, we need to keep the pressure up and prove ourselves wrong, so let’s not give up on it after just a few attempts, give that growth zone another push.
3. Grow Skillset
How about trying out a new skill, or developing one we already have but feel we can be better at can be the first step to full-time growth? Baby steps are important so let’s make our action steps achievable and realistic as we up-skill ourselves and find new things we can master to move us out of our comfort zone.
Skills we work on relating to business or otherwise i.e., speaking in front of a large gathering, more eloquently, writing an article or even working on soft skills or playing a music instrument in personal time or writing an article. Not only growing our skillset will bring about good change, but that will also boost our confidence and resilience to accomplish a larger variety of tasks.
4. Shakeup Ramps Up
When everything is hunky-dory, our brain doesn’t want anything to change. Our needs are met, we have zero stress, and our brain recognises that the body is surviving. It’s a recipe for stagnation. we know deep down, we’re capable of more and we can deliver much better. In order to maximise performance, we need to be up against it from time to time.
Trust me, feeling comfortable does nothing to our growth. If we’re cozy in our ways, we’ll do the bare minimum. To make progress, we need to feel a little pressure. Whether it’s a project deadline, or a personal goal, a low level surge of uneasiness may be just what we need to take it to the next level. In the typical workplace, people aren’t short on these swells of panic, and we should be aware of that, too.
5. Mistakes are Beneficial
So, we calculated a risk, identified some positive outcomes and some negative ones, and went for it. And the bad thing happened. We chalk the whole endeavor up as a mistake. In the grand scheme, everything is fine, but we’re bummed. We were hoping for it to go the other way.
Failures are okay. Every leader and successful individual’s biography highlights failed plans, pointing out that mistakes don’t define you. Actually, mistakes need to be celebrated as high points in the learning process. There are exceptions. If we’re nice to people, mistakes are not only permitted but accepted as well.
To embrace a growth mindset, we need to be prepared to face risk and fear as well as agree to learning even more in order to move forward. Staying small is fine if someone is happy, but if not, what we’re going to do about it? It’s not just going to happen to us by itself, so we need to put in the hard-work. In business, we also have a comfort zone we need to move out of it in order to reach the growth zone and become even more successful.
In order to emerge into the growth zone, we need concrete, actionable strategies that can help overcome our reluctance. Actionable steps are more than just vague motivational jargons to dig deeper or understand your purpose, these are tangible steps to take and go in a specific direction. Even though we may struggle to wrap our head around new challenges, getting through these trials is what makes the growth zone work. It is necessary that we face new challenges head-on rather than avoid change in order to learn and grow as a person and as a business owner.
About the Author
Muhammad Sajwani is the Founder and Managing Director of Evolve HR which aims at transforming, enriching and evolving Human Capital of Pakistan, Evolve HR thrives in challenging assumptions that hinder organisational aspirations, by creating innovative solutions that yield maximum impact, scalability & benefit to a wider base of stakeholders. As a Business Coach and Organisational Consultant, Sajwani knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.