Last week was Small Business week in Queensland. For me, being involved in a committee…
Your Comfort Zone, Why You Don’t Need to Take a Huge Leap Out of It
This year I’ve challenged myself in a way I never thought I would.
I have started running, which is a huge leap out of my comfort zone. As I reached one of my milestones this morning I realized the way I achieved that milestone is the way I achieve everything I set my mind to. I did it in parts.
We hear a lot about the comfort zone and the discomfort zone. And as business owners or entrepreneurs, we tend to spend a great deal of time in the latter, especially if we are focusing on building our business.
Many business owners I meet do tend to prefer the comfort zone and its not until their results begin to suffer that they consider dipping their toe outside of it.
Then it’s more of a huge desperate leap in order to save the sinking ship, often in the wrong direction.
Even the phrase “Step out of your comfort zone” sounds scary for many and so they stay where they feel safe.
And that’s exactly how I felt with running. I had a memory of being told as a child that I looked silly when I ran and because of that had spent my whole life up to this point, avoiding running. Until not running became too painful, just like the sinking ship, and I decided it was time to make a move.
That’s where I identified my strategy and it’s the same strategy that works for me in business; I break things down into parts.
Tony Robbins says to, “Take massive action”, which implies taking a huge leap, and this works for some but not for everyone.
For some people, the thought of taking massive action fills them with anxiety and overwhelm, and stops them in their tracks. When we break things down into parts or chunks, it helps us have smaller milestones to aim for which means we feel more excited or comfortable about taking that first step.
It’s the shorter steps outside our comfort zone and taking these consistent smaller steps that builds momentum.
Have a clear target.
For me, I didn’t even think about how far I wanted to run initially, I just got clear on what I wanted to feel and that was my target. This was more about why I wanted to run, not about the running itself.
When you get clear on the reason why it gives you more motivation. So, if you want to increase business income for instance, also think about why you want to make that increase, what it will give you personally and how you will feel when you have it.
Break it down into parts and focus on the first step.
I started with just 60-second plods without even considering what I had to do next. If you break things down into smaller parts that feel more comfortable, it becomes easier to take those first steps.
If you go back to your business income, for example, break it down gradually until you have the smallest task that needs to be completed first, and just focus on that.
Find a strategy that feels the least uncomfortable.
That first step can often be the most challenging and once you are past that mark it gets easier. I made it easier for myself right from the start by choosing a place to run that felt the least uncomfortable.
This strategy can be used in anything. For example, increasing your income can be achieved by networking and if you have never done this before then you could choose an event that feels the least uncomfortable, or ease the discomfort by tagging along with someone you know.
“If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you always got.”
These days you get what you always got if you are lucky because everything is changing at such high speed.
This means it’s essential to our business growth that we find a way to make that discomfort of doing new things outside our comfort zone as comfortable as we can, so we feel it is possible to take that first step.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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