It’s only when you push past your limits and explore what is beyond that you realise your true potential. By Satyaki Sarkar
We are all creatures of habit and prefer to be ensconced in familiar, and therefore ‘safe’ situations and environments, whether at home or at work. Very often, while we may be chasing success, subconsciously we’re still returning to our comfort zones. And that’s more likely to do harm than good as we’re cutting off our chances of gaining new skills, knowledge, experience, and becoming complacent, which dampens our hunger for learning and growing. Here’s why you should embrace the risks and step outside the zone.
1. Makes you better at handling problems
Stepping out of your familiar world, helps you learn how to deal with change as well as challenging situations and think on the go. Your powers of analysis will improve, while the experiences will teach you new skills and valuable lessons that you will be able to apply to your daily life and your work, to achieve a competitive edge over others. Moving out of your comfort zone means having to adjust and acclimatise yourself to different, sometimes adverse, situations and think out of the box to come up with solutions to problems that you encounter. These skills also come in handy in your professional life, like when you’re thinking of easier, more efficient ways managing a crisis, dealing with a troublesome colleague, having to work with a demanding client, etc.
2. You will discover your true potential
We all set limits for ourselves, based on what we think we can or cannot do, and when we let ourselves become comfortable within those limits, not bothering to push past them and test ourselves, we lose out on achieving our true potential. A lot of times, when we push past those boundaries we come across new strengths, skills, and capabilities that we possess. These would have laid dormant if you hadn’t challenged yourself.
3. You start being open to taking risks
Ever heard that saying no gain without pain? That holds true for rewards as well. You need to take a few risks, deviate from the usual if you want to reap those big rewards. Don’t let your fear of the unknown stop you from taking a calculated risk. Once you step out of that restrictive bubble you’ll discover a new perspective on things, including the ‘dangers’ you face, and will find ways to handle them. Experience will help you identify risks that will eventually pay off, without being crippled by a debilitating fear of ‘what ifs’.”
4. It builds confidence
Staying within the known promote complacency and over time can make you lose confidence yourself, as you aren’t daring to explore beyond what you’re proficient in. Subconsciously you stop having the conviction and confidence needed to try your hand at new roles and responsibilities, because of which you become stagnant both in life and in your career. Stepping out of that comfort zone ensures you are on your feet, tackling new problems, facing different situations. And while you might not always succeed in all that you try your hand at, you’ll learn from the failures and add to your store of knowledge.
5. Your comfort zone itself keeps expanding
Our comfort zone is comprised of things that we are good at, and roles and responsibilities that we excel at. So once you start moving out of that restrictive zone and challenge yourself, you’re not only sharpening your skills and talents, you’re adding to these skills as well as increasing self-knowledge. These help you become better at these new roles, helping you excel in them, thereby building and expanding your comfort zone itself.