Are you an adventure-loving soul full of wanderlust, or are you a total homebody? Do you thrive on public speaking or are you more content to be a wallflower during meetings? We all tend to fall into one of these categories – we’re loud, or we’re quiet, we’re bossy, or we’re meek, we want challenges, or we want the status quo. When it comes to our work lives, however, it’s always a good idea to shake things up and take risks, no matter what our true personalities are. Read on to find out the 8 reasons you need to step out of your comfort zone now.
1. You'll learn something
You may think that staying in your comfort zone means that you’ve figured out how to be productive, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Your comfort zone is just that – super comfortable. It’s like being wrapped up in a fluffy comforter eating pizza and watching sitcoms. According to experts, you’re not as productive as you might think when you stay in your comfort zone. That’s because your mind is better at educating itself when it’s experiencing “Optimal Anxiety”.
In layman’s terms, that means you basically learn nothing when you’re super comfortable, but you learn a ton when you’re not completely terrified but are a bit worried or concerned. So if you want to be more productive (and you should, right?) then try making some small tweaks to your work routine and your workspace. Stepping out of your comfort zone could mean starting super small and asking your boss for one public speaking experience a month. You could even just lead one meeting and see how you feel. By trying something new that’s not comfortable for you, you’ll learn way more than you would by just sitting on your butt in your office chair, browsing Facebook.
2. You'll know what you love and hate
How can you know that you dislike something if you’ve never tried it? Leaving your comfort zone will allow you to confirm what you like to do in your job and what you really don’t like. It’s never a waste of time to figure out what you don’t want. Think of moving out of your comfort zone and taking risks at work as going on tons of first dates with people that might not be your type.
Sure, you might have an awful time, but you might fall in love, too. At the very least, you’ll be able to back up your points when you tell your boss that no, you don’t want to organize the annual Christmas party because doing so last year stressed you out too much.
3. You'll stop being afraid to fail
How many of us don’t do something because we’re afraid of failing? That would be the majority of us. Fear is the worst when it comes to our career goals and dreams. We can’t go after our dream job if we’re scared. It’s a good idea to leave your comfort zone behind because that’s the only way to follow your dreams and get what you truly want out of your work life.
Yes, you will definitely experience some failure, but that’s only because we all do. It’s just a fact of life. Ask yourself what you’re so afraid of and the answer will probably be failure. But once you can get past that and try anyway, you’ll realize that leaving your comfort zone was the best thing you could have done for yourself and for your career.
4. You'll never be bored
Your comfort zone may be super comfy but that doesn’t mean it’s not boring. You have a routine that works for you, but it’s pretty stale and dull. So if you try new things and leave that comfortable place, what’s the worst that will happen? You’ll do something interesting? Sounds pretty terrible (not). Our minds get super engaged when we’re learning something new because it’s a very stimulating thing. So many of us spend our work days bored, and that’s no way to live or work. Don’t let that be you. Leave your comfort zone behind for some fascinating new experiences. Life is meant to be lived, after all.
5. You'll be open to change
If you live the same old life day after day, week after week, month after month, guess what will happen? You’ll hate the idea of change. You’ll resist it with every ounce of your being, and that’s not a good thing because business is full of change. Whatever industry you’re in has definitely gone through some huge changes every few years or so, and you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not open to change.
So if you step out of your comfort zone, you’re automatically making a massive change, and that will only benefit your career. Think about how much potential for change there is at work: your boss leaves and gets replaced, your coworker BFF gets fired, you get promoted and moved to a different floor altogether. And that’s not even counting the fact that your entire company could go under and you could be facing unemployment.
6. You'll be open to new experiences
We say no to something because it would mean leaving our comfort zone, and that means something different to each of us. If you step out of your comfort zone, you can say yes to whatever opportunities come your way, and you won’t believe what could happen. You’ll be more successful than you ever dreamed because you’re not turning anything down.
It’s just a fact that successful people say yes. That’s why so many entrepreneurs, actresses, lifestyle figures, etc. are involved in so many different businesses. An actress could act, sure, but also have a clothing line, a perfume line, a skincare line, a magazine, a website, a non-profit, and so on. Success comes from new experiences, not from inside your comfort zone. After all, you’ve been living there for a while, so you know how that goes. Why not try something new?
7. Your self-confidence will grow
It’s easy to feel boring when you lead a boring life. If you wake up every day, eat a healthy breakfast, go to work, come home and do the whole thing all over again tomorrow, it’s definitely time to shake things up. When you do change your routine and take on different responsibilities at work – maybe asking your boss to learn more about the marketing side of the company when you’re a writer – your self-confidence will grow in spades. You’ll surprise yourself by what you can accomplish. Confidence is linked to success – you will never see a successful person who isn’t confident.
8. You won't regret it
There’s a popular saying that you regret the chances you don’t take, not the ones that you do. If you trade your comfort zone for something risky yet fulfilling, regret will be the furthest thing from your mind as you bask in the glory of trying something new. You don’t want to wake up ten years from now and regret turning down something that could have benefitted your career. It’s all about thinking long-term, not just short-term. Leaving your comfort zone will always help you in the future, even if you can’t see it right now.
See Also: 10 Happy Reasons To Quit Your Job
Want to experience greater career success? Want to follow your dreams or tick off a few goals from your to-do list? The secret lies in leaving your comfort zone behind. It’ll be hard, but it’ll definitely be worth it. If you can take the risk and step out of your comfort zone, you won’t be afraid of failure, will never have any regrets, and will experience tons of new things. Sounds pretty awesome.