A very cliched phrase in our lives ‘moving out of the comfort zone’ is often used as if it is as easy as moving down a stair. Almost all of us have been advised to move out of our comfort zone at least once in life-- sometimes by our teachers, sometimes by our supervisors, sometimes even by our peers.
Every person operates within a certain bandwidth of his/her personality. Some people like to do what they are best at while others love to take up new challenges. Some people enjoy the company of a close-knitted group, others might be the heart and soul of all gatherings. The bottom line is, everyone is unique and different with their own personality traits and it will be foolish to check whether some traits are better than others. The same truth holds for our professional or educational interests. This inherent differences among us motivate some of us to pursue a financial career vs a creative one, a desk job vs a sales job. Such traits --personal or acquired-- slowly create a boundary around us -- the so-called invisible ‘comfort zone’. It is our haven, where we feel at ease, where we believe we deliver our best. However, being cocooned up in the comfort zone can at times be detrimental to a person.
The reason why one needs to come out of the comfort zone is simple-- one cannot simply achieve growth being comfortable all the time. Doing the same tasks over and over again or doing only things one is best at bars a person from learning new things. It keeps a person away from failures that teach valuable lessons over the course of time. As such, the necessity to move out of comfort zone arises, however, this is a huge step for any person no matter what their personality is. Humans are not caterpillars who turn into beautiful butterflies overnight. Moreover, this requires a huge change in a person's life and if there is anything the most rational creature on this planet fears-- it is ‘change’. Thus, to come out of one's comfort zone requires preparation and planning.
The very first step is to identify and acknowledge one's comfort zone. We can only overcome a barrier when we know it exists. Secondly, a person should do a mental mapping of how this step will help him/her further his career or personal life. Finally, it is advisable to take baby steps at a time to allow oneself to absorb the discomfort.
It is extremely important for one to be confident on his/her abilities. The bravest single mother fighting out there was once a housewife or the best orator in a room was once the shyest child--all it took for them to bloom is believing in themselves.
The writer graduated from Department of International Relegations of Bangladesh University of Professionals. He can be reached at email@example.com
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