How do you get out of your comfort zone and most importantly, why should you? Life is wonderful in the comfort zone.
That is until you realize that everyone is advancing and moving on while you don’t. This is when you start thinking that it’s time to step out of your comfort zone.
How about trying some of these in order to get out of your comfort zone and be more successful:
1. Speak in Public
Having a large number of eyes and ears all waiting to hear what you’ll say next, you can’t help but feel uncomfortable – even if you’ve done it hundreds of times. You start feeling self-conscious and your mind can’t keep track of everything.
But public speaking is one of the best ways to get noticed.
So, in order to beat the awkwardness – to a degree – you should first prepare well, so nothing can distract you, dress in clothes that make you look and feel good and fake it. So many people do it – they are still scared but they fake confidence and eloquence.
2. Wake up Early
Waking up early is not so much uncomfortable as it is too hard sometimes. However, it can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone – gently. Because here’s the deal – successful people don’t sleep in. They are always up early, always on time.
This gives them a day full of possibilities and chances at every corner – not to mention a healthy head start. You don’t get that if you wake up at noon, you just lose a large portion of your day.
So, set your alarm to ring at 5 am sharp and wake up. After a few days, you’ll just have to go to bed earlier and waking up will get easier.
3. Take a Compliment
Does this sound familiar – someone gives you a compliment, you blush, start babbling and say something self-deprecating? If yes, then cut it out, immediately. Being uncomfortable about someone giving you a compliment is normal but it’s all about how you react to it.
The mentioned response only makes you look like you have zero self-confidence. Instead, try a different approach. So, someone gives you a compliment, you listen to it and then you smile and say thank you. Then just move on.
4. Take and Give Criticism
Taking and giving criticism are both very difficult things to do. So, for one, learn to take criticism. Some people get mad, some cry, some just stand there, some makeup excuses and so on. However, none of these responses is an appropriate one – at least not in public.
Try being graceful about it. For example, offer a few solutions, smile, apologize (if it’s your boss) and move on.
Giving criticism can be easy if you are angry at someone. But to do it without anger, it can be a bit intimidating. However, stick to it, tell that person what they did wrong and how they need to fix it. Be polite as well, no need to yell.
5. Disagree With Your Boss
Disagreeing with your boss is probably really scary. You never know what will happen. But, the first thing you should realize is that your boss is human. Second, he is probably tired of people sucking up to him and saying he’s right all the time.
This doesn’t mean that they will like you more or that you should constantly disagree, but if you have a solid argument and don’t think that they are right – say it. Constructive conflict is good for your company because that’s where solutions and new ideas happen.
Don’t be afraid to speak up.
6. Remain Strong through Conflict
Conflict is a very difficult thing and people in the office usually give up and resent each other or come up with an unsatisfying solution for both parties. Giving up and gossiping later is comfortable. So is compromised.
However, standing your ground is not. But that’s exactly what you should do to step out of your comfort zone – in a smart way.
Consider your side – are you really right? If yes, remain strong. Put yourself in their shoes – from their standpoint, are you right or wrong in some way? Is there a chance that both of you are right?
Talk to the other person – or people – and come to an agreement that’s equally satisfying for you both.
7. Admit a Mistake
Some people admit their mistakes easily – maybe even too easily – while some stay headstrong even without a valid argument. This is a mistake and a good way to make people resent you. Be flexible, consider everything and if you have truly made a mistake, gracefully admit it.
People will like you more and they will appreciate your ability to admit that you are the one who’s wrong.
This is quite uncomfortable, especially if you make a big deal out of you being right, only to realize that you are wrong later. But, it’s a good thing to try if you want to get out of your comfort zone and be successful – it’s one of the markers of a great leader and people will take notice.
8. Make Small Talk
Networking and events – even regular office life – is full of small talk. Everyone wants to chat with everyone in order to get better opportunities in their professional lives. Some people are simply naturally good at this. Some come up to you and start talking about the weather.
However, small talk is extremely useful because it helps you make connections with people and possibly build ways for you to advance in your career.
Create your own small-talk formula – for instance, open up with a casual “How’s work going?” – and take every opportunity given to dive deeper into the conversation. If someone asks you something, don’t give short, undescriptive answers.
Give elaborate answers and ask equally inquisitive questions.
9. Market Yourself
You are your own best advocate. While talking about ourselves can be extremely uncomfortable, you should definitely come up with a good way to do this. First, understand that not everything you do is that great or mention-worthy. However, some things are. Talking about them makes you a good communicator, not an attention junkie.
If you want some attention within your company, grab it. No one will give it to you.
10. Raise Your Hand
You know those projects or tasks that no one wants – raise your hand and take them. This is a way to get out of your comfort zone and to show just how good you are at your job. Meetings where no one dares to ask or speak – raise your hand.
Seminars, speeches, courses – raise your hand. Ask a question, make a notion, ask for an explanation and so on. This will put you in front of people and make them notice you.
Uncomfortable things are usually the only ones worth doing. They will advance you and make you more successful. No one ever did anything by just standing by quietly.