Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force – we have all studied or heard this Newton’s law. Humans, by and large, tend to continue doing what they feel they are good at or what they feel is taking them along for the moment.
Given a choice, most of us may not want to explore newer avenues. We all wish to have a sense of familiarity to the work or task that we repeat. We also look for some predictability in the way we want to operate. This gives us a sense of comfort. So, what then is the problem if we are comfortable about something and it is making us happy? It is not always hunky-dory when we get comfortable with something for an extended period. The longer we stay within our comfort zone, the less happy we tend to be. Why then do we stay in a ‘comfort zone? It is because it takes energy to move something into action and we suspect if that energy leaves us exhausted and disturbs the routine.
All those innovations that the world has witnessed over the years would not have been possible if those inventors were comfortable with the status quo. This energy that we humans need is Motivation to move us from the slumber of comfort towards disruption called innovation.
This is one of the reasons why people often fear changing organizations or get into different roles. Unless they are adequately motivated, they are fine to live with some of the discomforts that the current situation offers than getting outside of this and explore newer grounds. The fear of the unknown lets us be in our comfort zone and without proper motivation, we are not ready to take that plunge.
Getting into cozy comforts deprives us of the essential growth that we aim for in life. It curtails our chances to get into untested waters. To keep growing, we need to conquer fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of non-acceptance.
If adaptability is a mantra for survival, the comfort zone is its nemesis. You get stagnated and may soon become redundant. When you wake up and look around, you see all others ahead in the race leaving you behind in your comfort cocoon.
It is never too late to get out of your comfort zone. The best trick to beat comfort is to always step out and try new things. Fear of failure is the first thing to discard. Look at growing continually and do not relax even for a minute. Challenge yourself with newer tasks and newer initiatives. Things that you probably considered impossible seem achievable targets.
As Brian Tracy said, ‘Eat that frog for Breakfast’. Do your worst task first and get over the fear. Get over the habit of procrastinating. Accomplish many small tasks that give you a mental high and motivates enough to take a giant leap forward towards bigger challenges.
If you are a manager and want to get your team out of their comfort zones, then please do not force them or try to push them out of their comfort zones. Try to gently encourage them to expand the horizon of their comfort zone. Encourage them to add a little bit more to their comfort zone. Keep adding this till they are convinced about the benefits that they could get, by coming out of their comfort zones. This way they will be more willing to expand their safe zones the next time you need them to grow.
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