Contrary to popular belief, knowing what to do next to jazz up your career isn’t the starting point to a more rewarding professional life. If you’d like to inject a bit of extra sparkle into your work, but are unsure how, here’s the first step and it’s a very important one…
I spend a lot of time helping people manage their careers, and the biggest problem I see that stops even the most dedicated professional moving forward, is a fear of stepping out of their comfort zone. And the biggest misconception is that your comfort zone is actually comfortable – not necessarily!
Your comfort zone is purely what you know well. It’s the job you do everyday that you’re used to – regardless of whether you like or loathe it. It’s also the relationship you’re in – good, bad or ugly, and it’s the weight you are, happy or not.
The important thing to recognise is that your comfort zone can actually be quite painful – it can grate on you every day, frustrate the hell out of you, and make you miserable. BUT, it’s what you know and sometimes doing what you don’t know can actually seem more painful.
So even if you’re in a job you hate, the prospect of figuring out ‘what next’ might seem so daunting that putting up with your current situation (your comfort zone) is the more appealing option.
So the all-important first step in moving your career forward, or any other area of your life, is to recognise what your comfort zone is …. and then step out of it. As the picture above illustrates (from Outshine’s Facebook page), this is where the magic happens.
You don’t need to take a big leap out of your comfort zone to move forward, and in fact baby steps are actually a better option as they are more manageable and sustainable in the long run. The important thing is to get moving… inch your way out of what you know, accept that you’re likely to feel nervous, and be disciplined in forcing yourself to do what your mind and body might want to avoid.
By taking on new challenges and trying new things you will start to master the fear of the unknown, and in turn realise a new level of development that your career hasn’t experienced so far.
What have you done to escape your comfort zone? What were the results? Post a comment below and let me know…
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