5 tips for getting outside your comfort zone at work!

October 5, 2023

We instinctively know that the most successful people, whether that’s in business, politics, sport or the arts, get there by pushing boundaries. The reality of stepping outside of our comfort zone however, can prove daunting. The potential risk of failure, possibility of looking foolish, difficult conversations and uncertain outcomes…. I mean who wants that?

Yet outside our comfort zone is where growth, learning, and adventure lie. As Neil Donald Walsch said “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” So while the comfort zone might feel secure it also means accepting you will do very little that inspires or challenges you.

So, how can you start to push your boundaries?

If we accept that it’s only by stepping into the uncomfortable that we’ll have the chance to achieve our potential then we need to take active steps to push our boundaries. But where to start? Here are five tips for challenging yourself to do more in work, and in life more generally:

  1. Embrace a Growth Mindset: Adopting a growth mindset is crucial for pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Understand that skills and abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and improve rather than seeing them as threats to your self-worth. Recognise that setbacks are a natural part of the learning process and view them as stepping stones to success.
  2. Set Specific Goals: Identify clear and achievable goals that lie outside your comfort zone. Break these goals down into smaller, manageable steps to make them less intimidating. Each step you take towards your objective will boost your confidence and make it easier to tackle the next challenge. By setting specific goals, you’ll have a roadmap for your growth journey.
  3. Take Calculated Risks: Pushing your boundaries often involves taking risks. While you shouldn’t recklessly jump into unknown territory, don’t be afraid to take calculated risks that align with your growth objectives. Evaluate the potential outcomes, consider the resources at your disposal, and weigh the benefits against the potential downsides. Be open to stepping outside your comfort zone in a thoughtful and strategic manner.
  4. Seek Feedback and Support: Seek feedback from colleagues, mentors, or supervisors who can provide valuable insights into your strengths and areas for improvement. Constructive feedback helps you identify blind spots and areas where you can grow. Additionally, having a supportive network can provide encouragement and motivation when you face challenges. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and are willing to help you grow.
  5. Learn from Failures: Failure is a natural part of pushing your boundaries. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn and improve. When things don’t go as planned, take time to analyse what went wrong and identify lessons to apply in the future. Embracing failures as learning experiences will help you develop resilience and make it easier to tackle new challenges.

Remember, pushing outside your comfort zone is a gradual process, and it’s essential to be patient and kind to yourself throughout the journey. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and keep pushing forward with determination and a positive mindset. Over time, you’ll find that your comfort zone expands, and you’ll be capable of achieving things you once thought were impossible.

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