We’ve all got our own comfort zones – in our mind, they’re warm, friendly places and we tend to like to stay inside them.
But sometimes there are occasions when we need to step out of our comfort zone and that can happen at work, where other people are often in control of what we’re supposed to be doing.
Some circumstances are unavoidable but there are ways you can prepare yourself for those by pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone on your own volition. Because the boundaries aren’t elastic – they don’t snap back as soon as you leave the unfamiliar territory, they move permanently. Maybe not all the way but definitely at least some of it.
Ask for something unfamiliar
There are lots of reasons for this but you’ll probably know what they are in your particular circumstances.
Ask your boss to give you something new that’s related to what you’re currently doing but is outside the area you normally work in.
It could be stepping in for someone who’s on holiday, it could be something that is a bit of an experiment or it might normally be above your pay grade.
Ask – you’ll probably get!
Then do whatever it is you’ve volunteered to do. Who knows. maybe you’ll even like doing it.
Work out what you’re worried about
Your comfort zone is usually a nice place to be. And the areas outside it can seem scary and intimidating. The kind of place an ancient map might have said “here be dragons” to warn you away from going there.
Do your best to work out why the area outside your comfort zone doesn’t appear to be comfortable.
Ask yourself “why” a few times until you get to the root cause. Your first few answers to the seemingly simple question “why” will likely skirt round the issues. But persevere until you get down to the base of the problem.
Once you’ve done that, you can work on changing parts of that zone from uncomfortable to (ideally) comfortable. Or at least bearable.
Go the extra mile
Often at work there are various levels in what you’re expected to do.
Hopefully you’re already doing more than the bare minimum your job requires but whatever level you’re currently working at, do your best to up your game.
That might mean working slightly longer hours. Or it could mean learning new skills, even if they’re not totally required for the job. So maybe figuring out how to do the more complicated things in programs like Excel, Word and PowerPoint by watching a few YouTube videos in your spare time.
You should know where you need to brush up your skills.
Maybe even get them up to the next level so that you’re the “go to” person in your office when someone needs help with them. Even if the “office” is virtual because everyone’s working from home.
Being flexible can push us out of our comfort zone quite easily.
Humans seem purpose built to get stuck in a rut and follow the same path at work and at play.
If you’re almost as predictable as clockwork, you fall into that category.
Challenge yourself to be more flexible at work – doing things that could be done but you’ve always managed to avoid, that kind of thing.
Improve what you’re already doing
There’s always room for improvement as we evolve as people.
You probably won’t be able to achieve a 50% saving in a part of your operation but you never know. Years ago, a worker in the local match factory did just that – they suggested only putting the gritted paper where the matches were struck on one side of the box, not two. Likewise, the person who sold the shampoo companies the word “repeat” almost doubled their sales. But even small improvements mount up.
Work out ways that you can improve what you’re doing so that your productivity increases. Even if some of those ways initially seem unfamiliar and a bit scary.
Get help from hypnosis
Often our comfort zones are kept by our subconscious mind. Partly because we’d struggle to juggle all the different components in them.
Hypnosis can help your subconscious to adapt and stop your comfort zone from limiting you.
This collection of hypnosis tracks will help you do get out of your comfort zone without it being too uncomfortable while you do that.