Let’s talk about comfort zones, the place where dreams and goals go to die.
The only way to grow is to jump with two feet outside your comfort zone. The most significant issues we deal with today for individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits are a lack of execution. I have a belief that many people do not execute because they get bogged down being outside of their comfort zone. It’s scary and can be overwhelming but it is imperative that you push yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to grow as a human being.
I have worked with some people who are incredibly smart, talented, and could be considered visionaries, but they all lack one key component, execution. I don’t care how smart or talented you are as a person. You will not move out of your current state without committing to execution and living outside your comfort zone.
When applied to nonprofits or small businesses, this concept can help these organizations grow exponentially. Taking a risk and going all-in on something is better than sitting out and playing it safe. Today organizations can no longer sit on the sidelines and wait for the customer/donor/consumer to come to them. They need to be proactive in getting these individuals.
Here are some ways to get ahead and break out of your comfort zone.
One of the best ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone is by networking. Right now, write a list of three more successful people than you. Seriously, stop reading and write out three people who are more successful than you that you know.
These people do not need to be financially more successful but could succeed in family, health, wealth, business, etc.
Then set up a meeting with them over coffee or lunch and come prepared with some in-depth questions. Don’t simply ask, “how did you become successful in _____ area.” Instead, ask, “What are some daily practices that contribute to where you are today?” or “Who are some of your biggest influences and why?” Learn from these people and grow relationships with them. Who knows, some of them may become close friends or mentors. Go in humble and be ready to listen; do not waste someone else’s time thinking you know more than they do; you don’t.
If you’re having trouble thinking of people who are more successful than you in your area, using Social Media can be a great way to connect with people, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Another tip will be to join a local networking group. Networking groups are a great place to meet new people and to learn from experts in different industries. Your local chamber of commerce should also have events posted up, and these are great places to get out and meet new people in your city.
Educating yourself is another great way to push beyond your comfort zone. Start by learning a new skill or hobby. I like to use Udemy; they off a wide variety of courses that can help me learn new skills. Some other great sites to learn from are Coursera, Google, Kahn Academy, and LinkedIn Learning; I also recommend returning to school to get a certificate in something directly related to your career. Many online classes are available; go out and start learning about something new.
I love traveling and going on new adventures. I always said yes when asked to go on trips with friends or to a country outside the US. The reason is it helped me broaden my mind and to help me problem solve. Going to a foreign country and learning about a new culture or having new experiences is a great equalizer. This is probably the best way to break out of your comfort zone. There is nothing like being thrown into a new culture, with a new language, having to rely on your communication skills to get sometimes even the easiest of things to push you out of your comfort zone.
Check out volunteer opportunities in other countries and book that plane ticket to paradise. Not only will you learn about yourself, but you will also help others in the process.
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