New year, new me! How many times have we told ourselves that over the years? Starting on January 1st, I will (insert something we never actually do). Or, my personal favorite, I’m most productive on Monday, so I’ll start then. Y’all, real talk? It’s great to have big plans and great goals, but you’ve got to ask yourself, why do you always make them and then break them? Is it because you’re a little too comfortable in your comfort zone?
Ah, yes, the comfort zone. Something we’re all familiar with, regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. Like a bad job you know you should leave, but don’t for years, because the thought of doing something new is terrifying. Or maybe something you’ve always wanted to do but have never really worked up the gumption. We could go on and on about what it looks like to live inside your comfort zone. But what if we looked at life inside your growth zone instead?
Your Comfort Zone Versus Growth Zone
Comfort zones are where most of us live our daily lives. I mean, after all, who doesn’t want stability, consistency, and well comfort? But the decision to stay in your comfort zone might be hurting more than it is helping.
So what comes next? You decide to step out of your comfort zone and into what? Welcome to the growth zone, my friends. This is the place where you learn to pivot, adjust, and see how resilient you really are. According to MindTools.com, “The growth zone is an opportunity for adventure. Here you allow yourself to be curious, ask questions, and take calculated risks.”
Sounds fun and exciting, right? Well, for those of us who err on the side of caution or are especially anxious and unsettled by change, never fear. There are safeguards you can put in place during your journey. This way, you stay in the growth zone and stay away from reaching the panic zone. And yes, that is absolutely a thing.
Identify Your Fears
First things first, you’ve got to understand what it is that you’re afraid of in the first place. What are you afraid of that is holding you back? Is it the fear of failure? If so, learning to pivot and adjust will be your best friend.
Pivot and Adjust
Making a plan to try something new or learning a different skill might not always go according to plan. So when you run into that circumstance, it’s essential to pivot and adjust. Because yes, you absolutely will run into issues during your growth journey. Choosing to not work through them and stay where you’re at, well, that’s what keeps you in your comfort zone.
Lean Into Your Resiliency
There is no way you won’t run into challenges during your growth journey. Literally, part of your growth journey is challenging yourself to try new things and test your limit. So, it’s crucial to give yourself space to fail. When you do this, you’ll find yourself leaning on your ability to be resilient. Living through the past two years has absolutely proven we’re all more resilient than we thought.
Ways to Stay in Your Growth Zone
As you continue your way through your growth zone, you’ll master new skills, which will fall back into your comfort zone. So to keep you on track to continue growing, here are a few things you should do every day to keep challenging you.
Take A Different Approach to Everyday Tasks
We all have a system and a comfortable way of doing things. But what if we challenged ourselves to step outside the box? Maybe instead of creating a virtual to-do list, grab a pen and paper and jot it down. Spark your creativity.
Did you know creativity encourages you to step outside your comfort zone? Creative minds are always looking for a unique angle or a new take on whatever project they’re working on. To create is to constantly challenge yourself. Whether it be with your words, crafting, audio, or visual works of art, being creative will keep you moving through a growth zone.
Challenge your beliefs
Do you believe in yourself? Do you think you can do it? What you believe is what will be. You know what they say — if you tell yourself you can, or that you can’t, either way, you’re right.
So this year, with a little more hope, joy, and certainty, take a step outside your comfort zone. Challenging yourself, trying new things, and believing in yourself can make a world of difference. When you push through the fear zone into your growth zone, the opportunities are endless. You deserve all of that and nothing less.
This year, make a habit of asking yourself: why not me?
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