One of the things I love about coaching and mentoring is that I learn things too. Yesterday I was listening to a very wise and successful woman as she talked about stepping out of her comfort zone and into her power as part of her business plan. She said “I’ve realised that it’s OK to stop, even if it’s working, if it’s not getting you where you need to be”
In that moment I realised it was a message I needed to hear, we all needed to hear.
Are you stuck in a comfort zone?
For most of us, when we find a formula that works for us, we stick to it. Why wouldn’t we? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and all that.
But what if that leads us into a place of complacency? Where we are happily going along feeling, and being, successful but in reality, we’ve stopped pushing ourselves. What if we’re stuck in our comfort zone?
What does your comfort zone look and feel like?
How will you know if you are in your comfort zone? What does it look like? How does it feel?
When we push through our comfort zone initially and take action towards or maybe even reach the goal we’ve set, it feels scary. We might feel that relief of finally doing something but it still might feel hard. It might feel like we need to constantly tweak our product/service/action/career etc. and so in those moments, we feel like we’re still pushing. (We might be procrastinating or avoiding). Alternatively, of course, we might want to kick back and enjoy the hard work we’ve put in and that’s fine. In fact, it’s more than fine. We should always make time to celebrate and enjoy our successes.
It’s OK to stop, even if it’s working
But since this blog is about getting caught up in our comfort zone that’s where I’ll focus.
I think we know when it’s working but we need to move on. But then comes the fear:
- What if it doesn’t work as well as it does now?
- How can I make time to work on something else?
- What about all the hard work I’ve put in already, it’ll be wasted?
- Won’t it confuse people?
- Why fix it if it ain’t broke?
And so on. Our thoughts can fall into the what-if cycle and mostly we stop thinking about it. We might feel guilty, we might feel scared. But what if we believed it was OK to stop, even if it’s working? What difference would that make?
Look at companies/individuals who sell their business at its peak or move roles even though their current role is going well. They are striving for more. They are open to and see new opportunities, grabbing them and consciously moving out of their comfort zone.
How will you know when to move out of your comfort zone?
You’ll know when you’re ready to move out of your comfort zone because you might feel bored, resentful, ready for a change. You’ll likely not know where to start, you might avoid it because you’re scared. You might rush towards it quickly! It’s all normal. It might take you months of wondering about your next steps or saying you’re going to take action before you actually do anything. Again, completely normal. You might feel really comfortable and feel like you’re not growing personally or professionally.
How to move towards your goals
When I work with clients on this I recommend the following:
- Have a plan. You need to know where you’re heading in order to make decisions that will keep you on track. The plan can change if it’s not working but be really clear. Book half a day to focus on this; it’s the foundation and it’s important. Check-in regularly with the plan. Are you on track? Why are you doing what you’re doing? If you don’t know…stop.
- Take some time to tune into your intuition. Our subconscious often knows before our conscious does! Ask yourself:
- What are you avoiding? Are you procrastinating?
- Are you pretending to be busy to stay in your comfort zone?
- What are you proud of?
- Where have you been successful?
- Are you ready to take some risk?
- Are you feeling comfortable?
- What does growth look like for you?
- Take action. Talk about your thoughts and plans, do some research, take a baby step, take a big step; you choose. Move one step closer towards your goal.
Remember that as we push the boundaries of our comfort zone it gets easier to do it the next time. We don’t always need to be pushed out of it, we can choose to move, consciously, on our own terms, even when it’s working.