Working Outside Your Comfort Zone
July 6, 2011
I’d like to discuss an unpleasant subject, one that can put loads of money in your pocket and dramatically change your life. That concept is Working Outside Your Comfort Zone. When you stay within the boundaries of your soft and cushy comfort zone, you stay comfortable but you don’t progress and your business stagnates at best. The big money – and personal progress – is made when you leave that comfort zone and venture out to unknown environments.
If that is where the big money is, let’s take some time today to look close at this concept and determine how we can make this idea a bit more palatable and work for us. Like an athlete, you have to work at it. When you go to the gym, real progress is made when you are in a big burn and you push yourself to the limit. When that is going on, it is not much fun, at least it isn’t for me, but that is where the progress is made.
If you stopped every time things got a bit unpleasant, you would never get the results you desire. We all admired Michael Jordan for winning six championship rings and dominating the basketball world. He was honored, loved and admired for his incredible accomplishments. What we didn’t see under the radar was his years of working out in the gym, practicing his skills for hours on end in order to become the tremendous athlete he became.
How did he do it and what drove him to such high standards? How can we learn from successful people like him to do the same sort of disciplined hard work that lies outside our comfort zone? I know that this issue looms so large in the lives of entrepreneurs and also in the lives of everyday people. In coaching business owners, time and time again, business owners tell me that they will go out next week and visit clients and do cold calls but when the next week arrives, they tell me that they didn’t do very much because it was too scary and they couldn’t get themselves to do it. Obviously, the successful ones are the ones that feel the fear and do it anyways and let’s take a look at how you can do the same.
FirstSet time aside to do the tasks that are outside your comfort zone. Put them on your schedule and when the time arrives to do them, suck it up and take the first step and go for it. If you do not put it on your schedule, you will always find the time to do the safe things and never the ones outside your comfort zone.
SecondReward yourself when you do accomplish those difficult tasks. Did you know that when you accomplish tasks, it releases endorphins in your brain and you get a natural high? Folks that get things done love the thrill of finishing tasks and they are rewarded with natural highs that make them feel good. Rather than feeling guilty because you did not do what was needed to be done, try doing it and getting a blast of endorphins!
ThirdAs you do these unpleasant, outside-your-comfort-zone-tasks, over time, they become easier and easier to do and can eventually be part of your comfort zone and still be big money makers. In my case, I was initially frightened to go to realtor events to network with realtors to grow my carpet cleaning business.
Now, 10 years later and hundreds, if not thousands, of realtor events later, I love going to the events and they are totally fun and not scary whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I am now the MC for many realtor events and I have lots of fun. Over time you can expand your comfort zone to include activities that once were far from it.
FourthMany times you can delegate your work to others that you find disagreeable. In my business, I cannot stand working the numbers and the books so I have someone else do them. When my business was small, I did the books because I had to and, even now, I still have weekly sessions with my bookkeeper because I know that I have to in order to keep a pulse on the business.
My personality does not gravitate towards certain tasks such as bookwork, so I try to work within areas that I like such as sales and marketing. Learn what your personality type is and try to work within your strengths and delegate your weak areas to others.
FifthWhen facing tasks you don’t particularly care for, do the ones you dislike first and get them over with. That way you are not dreading them all day long, spreading out your pain over the whole day. Do them and get them over with and move on.
Last But Not LeastGrow to anticipate and actually thrive on living outside your comfort zone. Once more, I think of the gym and some of those folks who are in there every day lifting all kinds of weights and grunting on those machines; they seem to be enjoying themselves. That activity has become a lifestyle for them and they would be lost without going to the gym. They look great, too.
Simply make the decision that you will be that disciplined person who faces up to the unlikable tasks and takes them on, head-on and without fear, and relishes knowing that once these deeds are done, great rewards await!