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The benefits of being uncomfortable

Staying in “the comfort zone” can kill relationships, careers and businesses.

Because a comfort zone is really just another way of describing stagnation, boredom and plateauing.

Perhaps the most confounding part of this is that it’s often due to having enough. Enough customers. Enough money. Enough stuff.

The pleasure in our lives slightly outweighs the pain and so we do everything we can to keep the situation the same. We want to preserve the so-called status quo.

But as a business mentor of mine always used to say “you’re either growing or you’re shrinking, there is no status quo.”

A status quo mindset or comfort zone is much more tenuous than we realize and it can be catastrophic. We get lazy and become slow to react. We tell ourselves that mind, body or market changes aren’t happening.

We lose business, we lose jobs, and we lose relationships because we can’t imagine our comfort zones going away.

Whether we’re pushed or we go there willingly, we must step out of our comfort zones. As author Neale Donald Walsch writes, “Life begins at the end of one’s comfort zone.”

So, how do you escape your comfort zone?

Learning – the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.

Learning is uncomfortable. Learning can be embarrassing. Learning something new often makes us vulnerable.

Learning also expands thinking and spurs innovation. It’s the best way to prepare for the future, no what it brings. Here are some ideas for getting started:

  1. Recognize rationalizing. It’s easy to downplay the need for learning by telling yourself “I’m too old, it’s not necessary, it won’t do any good.” Get it over it.
  2. Plan for learning. Select times, modes and tools that work for you.
  3. Get a coach. Even the best plans and intentions require accountability. A helpful friend, colleague, or even a personal paid coach will keep you stay on track.

Getting outside of your comfort zone takes time, strategy and determination.

But with a solid plan in place and the courage to take it forward, the results can push you to new personal and professional heights.

Have a great week.

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