Remember the last time you watched a baby learning to crawl or a toddler learning to walk? Or kids at a playground playing on new equipment? They are not just willing but anxious to explore anything new.
They follow the lead of other kids, try new tricks, and genuinely challenge themselves to do more, be more, and learn more.
That’s because kids operate outside their comfort zone all the time.
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines the word “comfortable” as: free from stress or tension; free from vexation or doubts.
It defines the word “uncomfortable” as: causing discomfort or annoyance; feeling discomfort; feeling uneasy.
The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary defines the term “comfort zone” as: the level at which one functions with ease and familiarity.
We can infer, then, that operating in an “un-comfort” zone would be the level at which we function with dis-ease and unfamiliarity.
That means our actions and our behaviors will feel awkward, foreign, clumsy, and inept. Each time we “step out” we’re going to feel like a child learning to walk.
My daughter and I talk about this all the time – that the first time you attempt something, no matter what it is, will always feel strange and scary.
She has come to know that the first time is always the most difficult and that things get easier after that, so just making it through the first attempt is a triumph to be celebrated.
You don’t have to be “good” at something the first time, you just have to get through it.
If you are doing that every single day – doing something new and unfamiliar – your success will likely come very quickly.
Do those feelings ever go away? Yes, and no.
If you operate in an un-comfort zone long enough it begins to feel comfortable. You expand the borders of what feels safe.
Successful people just keep expanding the limits of what feels uncomfortable.
Then, as your actions, behaviors, tasks, and systems begin to feel under your control, step out into a new one.
Keep the cycle of risk-taking active and alive.
The only time you or your business will truly grow is when you are taking risks. If your desire is to be uber-successful, get “comfortable” with operating in your un-comfort zone.