The really important stuff happens outside your comfort zone. If that’s true, how can you maximize these trips outside your comfort zone? Michael Hyatt suggests seven ways:
Acknowledge the value. Reality is that we move toward what we esteem. The first step is simply to confess that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing. Say it out loud if you need to: “Getting out of my comfort zone is good for me!” Remember, unless you do so, you won’t experience the growth you want, the solution you need, or the fulfillment you desire.
Lean into the experience. So many people shrink back whenever they experience pain. The problem is that this can become a habit—or worse—a way of life. Instead, embrace the discomfort. Move toward it. This is an important step in accomplishing anything significant. You have to go through the realm of discomfort to get what you want in life.
Notice your fear. If you feel anxiety or fear, that’s normal. But—and this is critical—you don’t have to be controlled by it. Yes, it can be an indication of danger. It can also be an indication that you are on the right path and about to experience a break-through. Just notice the anxiety or fear but keep moving forward. Often, the ability to push through fear is the only thing that separates those who succeed from those who fail.
Don’t over-think it. This is a big temptation. Wanting to know the entire path. Want a map to the destination. Alas, rarely getting one. But that’s okay. All you really need is clarity for the next step. When you get it, take the next step in faith, believing you will be given the light you need to take the next one.
Play full out. It’s easy to get timid when you move outside your comfort zone. You think maybe you can just ease into it, kind of like sliding into a cold swimming pool. Not so much. Better to jump in with both feet. It’s not usually as bad as you think. You have a better chance of success if you give it your all.
Celebrate the victory. Historically, Michael says he has not been very good at this. As soon as he accomplishes something, he checks it off and moves on. But he is learning the importance of marking the moment, recognizing the achievement, and expressing his appreciation to those who helped make it happen. It’s important for you and for them.
It’s also important to take a little time to process your experience. What did you do well? What would you do differently next time? What life principles can you distill from the experience that will help you in your next challenge? It’s worth jotting a few notes in your journal or, if this was a team effort, scheduling a time to debrief.
If you are out to accomplish significant things in your life, you are going to be spending a lot of time outside your comfort zone. You might as well get the most out of it!