Once you settle into a role at work, you naturally become accustomed to a daily routine. You have got used to your surroundings, you understand what your job entails and you know what is required to get the work done. People are often inclined to stick within their comfort zone and this can lead to boredom and frustration. You want a career that is stimulating, challenging and rewarding. It is important to remind yourself that although the comfort zone can feel safe and secure, it is not the best place to drive a successful career.
Your comfort zone is a behavioural space where you activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimises stress and risk. It is human nature to stick to what is known and comfortable, as you benefit from low anxiety and general happiness. However, complacency can be a real obstacle in the road to success. When you refuse to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, you are not challenging yourself. When you fail to stretch your mind, you are limiting yourself from what is achievable. It is not constructive to be stagnant; you cannot change your circumstance by doing the same things, you must think and act outside of your normal routine in order to achieve a different result.
If you speak to anyone with a successful career, they will tell you that their accomplishments are the result of taking risks and facing challenges. By nature, taking risks and trying new things is scary, but it will also help you to expand your role and drive performance. By taking on challenges at work, you are giving yourself the perfect opportunity to enhance your skills and experience. If you feel a lack of motivation or inspiration, reassess how you can push yourself out of your comfort zone. This could mean expanding your current role, or it could mean changing your role completely.
By taking initiative and talking to your boss about your current responsibilities, you can achieve this. Do not be afraid to ask to take on new projects, or to reach out for advice or guidance on how to expand your skills. If you have an idea about how to change the way a process is run, discuss this with your manager or colleagues. Volunteer to lead projects or deliver presentations, even if it terrifies you. Whether the experience is positive or negative, the important thing is it is a learning curve, and therefore an opportunity to shape your professional image.
Thomas Edison once said, “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” One should be conscious of how this psychological construct influences and limits our behaviour and decisions. It may take courage, but innovation will only happen once we step outside of our comfort zone. Be open to new experiences and take steps to enforce even the smallest changes to your daily routine. All these changes add up to the bigger picture and help you to grow and ultimately, succeed.