Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
“I’m the creative one and you are the stickler for process!”
We carry our labels with such pride! As it turned out, my creativity was great, but my presentation could have been better. This, despite the fact, that I planned and choreographed and practiced. What was missing was process. My own self-labelling did not work well for me.
We label ourselves (as if there aren’t enough people doing that to us already!). That label is then used to operate within a comfort zone.
As it is, in life, there isn’t any one perfect or right way to do things. There are always circumstances, people or situations that create shades of grey. One process does not work all the time. Sometimes we need a bit of something else, or we need to change completely and try things differently. Or to just stop restricting ourselves with our self-made labels
We use these labels to explain why we stay in a comfort zone… “that’s not my style”.
A recent article talked about people changing jobs and careers in a quest for new experiences. If we label ourselves and stay within our comfort zones, the only thing that will change is the boss, the team, the brand and the office. Our experiences may change marginally. Probably because the reactions of people may differ.
If we are to really create new experiences for ourselves, look beyond the label you have set for yourself. “I’m free flowing”, “I need structure”, “I am a loner”, “I’m a people’s person”, “I work best under pressure”, “I work only when I have freedom” and so on.
Stepping out of the comfort zone can be strenuous. It can also be liberating. Time and practice help FREE you from self-restricting labels. Give yourself the freedom of choice!
Frame the outcome you want. Ask yourself why you are doing this. It could be to get better results, or to learn a new way, or to become more collaborative, or to remain relevant. It could simply be to get out of your comfort zone.
Repetition helps. Practice, practice, practice. Be it new styles, new skills, new attitudes, new processes, new methods. First time is admittedly difficult, even uncomfortable. This feeling passes. With practice.
Empathize with yourself. We tend to be angry with ourselves for not doing as well as we hope. Often forgetting that it takes time and practice to get there. Sometimes we get angry with ourselves for looking vulnerable or clumsy or unprofessional. Be kind and patient with yourself.
Engage. Get involved in the change, understand it, be open to what it may give you, embrace it, own it. One you have mastered it, you have given yourself the freedom to choose. By staying in the same comfort zone or label we restrict the choices we can make.