When asking for advice on how to progress your career, you’ll often hear people say “step outside of your comfort zone”, something that is far easier said than done.
The comfort zone is an individual’s anxiety-neutral state in which steady performance is delivered using a limited set of behaviours without any sense of risk. By cruising along in this manner, the likelihood of high success and progression is low, and that’s why we hear the aforementioned advice delivered so regularly.
Here are 4 ways that stepping outside your comfort zone will benefit your career and you as an individual:
- You’ll inspire others
Your day-to-day actions are observed by those around you. Whether you recognise that this is happening is another matter, but know that it is. By challenging yourself, taking risks, pushing for the best and delivering positive results, you are in turn inspiring those around you to do the same. This applies not only within the workplace, but in the sporting arena too. At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a person who has motivated us to go further than we believed we could; by stepping outside of our comfort zone, we can be that person for other blossoming sports industry professionals.
- You’ll gain personal control
Deviating off of the orthodox path gives you the opportunity to live and work on your own terms. It is likely that at some point you’ll be forced into action anyway, but why wait when you can be the initiator of new rules and change? This control over your lifestyle has been proven to increase performance, lower levels of stress and increase job satisfaction.
- Perfection will be a thing of the past
At some point in life you’ll realise that nobody is perfect, despite the quest to reach this ultimately impossible summit. Once you have accepted this, barriers will become small hurdles, confidence will rise and you’ll take more risks. Granted, risks carry a chance of failure, but your new mind-set will rather see the opportunity for great success. By embracing failure, we become wiser and take these experiences into future projects.
- Regret – what’s that?
The idea of bungee jumping seemed ludicrous to me – why would I want to jump off a structure from a potentially fatal height, supported by only elastic around the ankles? Watching people jump, survive (luckily) and describe the feeling made me wonder, however. Regret is generated when we wonder, but do not act. The feeling of individual success far outweighs the preluding fear and immediately eradicates any regret. Take this attitude into the workplace. Be bold, ambitious and take the plunge (quite literally, in my case).