Greatness is found beyond our comfort zone. We know this and yet we find it difficult to take the step. It’s not easy, we want to feel ready before we do it, but this works as a contradiction. It’s like not wanting to exercise until you have strong muscles; what you need to do is exercise to make your muscles strong.
The analogy works for stepping out of our comfort zone. We are waiting to have the strength to take action, but it’s taking action that builds our strength. At the same time, we want to make the process as painless as possible by reducing anxiety and taking small calculated risks. Here are the three easy steps to successfully get out of our comfort zone.
1. Rediscover your motivation. We all have a grand vision of who we want to be and what we want to achieve. It is this vision that pushes us forward, gives us courage to take risks, and makes us strong during difficult times.
The motivation we get from our vision has taken us this far, but the feeling lost some of its strength in the way. We became comfortable and settled for whats good instead of pushing for greatness.
We need our vision to be strong again. Go ahead, dream once more, revisit your grand vision, remember the person you want to be, the things you want to achieve, and the people you want to be around. By going back to your vision you’ll find the drive and passion to take the first step out of your comfort zone.
2. Manage risk. We resist leaving our comfort zone because there are risks involved. Things might go wrong and we are afraid of the negative “what ifs”. To overcome this fear and minimize potential problems we are going to identify and manage these risks.
First, find out what are the real risks. What are the worst case scenarios of taking a small step out of your comfort zone? Once you know this, spend some time thinking of ways you could minimize them. Many times we can take some preventive measure that would significantly reduce our risk. Finally, prepare a contingency plan in case the worst case scenarios indeed happen. In other words, have an action plan in case things do go wrong.
This three step risk management strategy -Identify, minimize, prepare- will help you reduce the anxiety of taking action.
3. Start small and correct as you go. There is magic in taking the first step, even if it’s a small step. It’s time you stop thinking about leaving your comfort zone and start doing it.
We tend to wait until we are certain before we take action. Some of us fall into the category of Eternal planners, we won’t make a move until we have thought out every possibility. It’s very unlikely that we will ever finish this perfect plan so we end up never making a move.
You don’t need to know every detail, you can always course correct after you’ve taken action. It is more valuable to be in motion, pushing forward, making mistakes and then course correcting than to stand in the sidelines motionless. This is what high achiever do, they get started even if they aren’t entirely prepared and make corrections as they go. What they don’t accept is not trying.
Every time we chose safety we reinforce fear and make it harder to leave our comfort zone. But if we do take those small calculated risks and succeed, it becomes easier to keep doing it. One success leads to another. Take that small first step then, don’t worry, we already identified the risks and prepared for the worst case scenario. Go ahead, greatness awaits…
Extra step to keep venturing beyond your comfort zone
A little every day is better than a lot one day. The best way to get in the habit of taking action is to do a little every day instead of a lot in one day.
Take consistent small steps out of your comfort zone and gradually expand it. I know it can feel scary but the discomfort lasts very little, you’ll be amazed of how fast you can adapt to your newly conquered territory.
Nic Velasquez is the founder of Unlimited Mastery. Want to learn a sport, play an instrument, or develop a skill for work? Unlimited Mastery is dedicated to help you learn anything in life. Here you’ll find the principles, strategies, and mindsets to learn and master any skill. www.unlimitedmastery.com