Everyone feels fear. It’s something we all face. Some fears that businesses or brands face to stay relevant in the time are the fear of evolving technology, rebranding or starting anew, and the fear of failing or disappointing their audience. Confronting these fears and moving past your comfort zones is vital in your personal and business growth and the first step of moving past them is through understanding. Here are the stages of leaving the comfort zone and getting to a growth mindset.
The Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is a “safe place” that you retreat to when you’re faced with an anxiety-provoking situation. This space is where we all start and if you stay in this place you will never grow. There are many reasons to leave this zone, the main reason being to always be growing and striving to be a better version of you.
This is only the second stage and it’s already the scariest and most difficult part. It’s tough to get outside of your comfort zone because it’s psychologically engraved in us to want to stay safe especially if you have a history of failure from specific discomforts. However, humans are also wired to want to overcome fears.
“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Once you face your fear, you enter the learning zone. In this zone, you will be able to extend your previous comfort zone, deal with challenges, and will be able to acquire new skills that you weren’t able to access before. It’s a raw and magical place to be because you will begin to understand a new side of you that is brave, courageous, and capable.
Finally after you’ve obtained the new knowledge, you will be able to grow from it and begin to find purpose in yourself. You will be able to realize aspirations and live out the dreams you had when you were just starting out in the safety of your comfort zone.
“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
Some specific ways we can get past the biggest hurdle (getting out of your comfort zone):
- Do things differently – Challenge your daily habits and shake things up a bit to challenge your comfort zones. Stepping into the unknown and being familiar with it helps to make it less intimidating.
- Get creative – Using your left brain is a good way to loosen those muscles and allow your mind to think in different ways.
- Small steps – Every small step is a step forward. Progress is still progress, no matter how small. And one day, you’ll be able to look back on it and realize you accomplished a lot and that fear that could’ve held you back wasn’t so scary afterall.
- Keep a list of goals – Writing these down on paper will make it more real and obtainable.