Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” —Brian TracyComfort

When is the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?

If you are a new leader you may be answering, “every day.” For those who are more seasoned, you may have to stop and think about the last time that you felt “awkward” or “uncomfortable.”

When it comes to leadership, I think it’s good to push ourselves past the point of known and familiar to unknown and unfamiliar. Make ourselves a bit vulnerable. There have been many instances throughout my career where I have done this. In each one, I have grown the most. I’m not saying it is easy. In fact, particularly if you like control, this can be very difficult. I think the trick is to recognize the challenge for what it is, make a conscious decision, and learn from whatever path you have chosen (despite the outcome).

It is also important to encourage those around us to push beyond their comfort zone. It’s easier to stay still…it feels safer…you’re less exposed. But innovation and change come from the push. Learning and growth come from the push.

Next time you’re considering whether to take the step (or leap) and move outside your comfort zone, consider the following questions:

1. What really excites me about this?
2. What are my biggest concerns?
3. What is stopping me?
4. What am I afraid of?
5. What is the risk if I move forward (i.e., move outside my comfort zone)?
6. What is the risk if I don’t?
7. How would I have to change my thinking in order to do that?
8. What is it that I’m resisting about this situation?
9. What assumptions am I making? To what extent are they true? How can I reframe them?
10. What strengths and skills will I bring to this situation (thereby increasing the chance of success)?

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