“You have to leave your comfort zone to advance professionally and, by extension, to meet your professional and personal aspirations.”

This is a popular statement in talent management and professional development. A statement that encourages you to break out from a fictional sense of security and monotony, hindering you from setting truly motivating and far-reaching goals. 

The comfort zone, according to psychology, is a state of mind in which a person stays inactive in the face of life’s challenges and finds relief in a predictable routine. Basically, taken to the professional field, it might be the position you’ve been in long enough to know and anticipate just about every aspect of your job.

 

 Is well-being, by extension, something that plays against growth in the workplace?  

Your mindset (and well-being) can be a powerful tool for behaviour change. The growth mindset is thinking that we can develop our talents further. Our abilities can “grow” through goal orientated development, willingness to learn, and the acceptance of constructive criticism. A growth mindset drives achievement and behaviour change. This same approach can help you achieve your personal wellness goals, such as improving your sleep habits, eating healthier, or increasing your energy. Well-being and growth are not mutually exclusive.

 

Does being in the ‘comfort zone’ have a negative impact? 

The term comfort has come to be identified as procrastination or inertia, a tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged, and has been used against workers. Being stuck in a hypothetical comfort zone isn’t necessarily bad, but it could be restricting. It diverts your attention away from another area where you might be learning, growing, or developing, and where curiosity is necessary to gain new knowledge.  

Business psychology experts claim a positive understanding of the idea, in which that area is where you are motivated rather than where you are comfortable. It is the place where you have reasons to do what you do, and you feel good, not comfortable, or demoralised. Therefore, it is the employee and manager’s responsibility to define contexts and objectives together where people feel satisfied, and a balance is achieved between a fair level of anxiety and efficient and profitable organisational performance because an excessive amount of stress brought on by the uncertainty by a drastic change can have a negative effect on achieving goals and development. 

  

Being able to adapt to change  

Getting out of your comfort zone appears simple. But, choosing to break out of your comfort zone entails making some changes that can seem complicated and sometimes scary. Those willing to introduce novelties and changes into their daily routines may find it easier to adjust to a constantly changing reality. Companies today merge, disappear, and evolve… You are compelled by the circumstances. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt a progressive mindset to approach these changes in a positive way. 

Whether the comfort zone is viewed as a barrier to growth or as a source of incentive, moving out of it requires nothing more than acquiring new skills or knowledge. Leaving is a transition, as a professional must undertake changes or reinvent themselves. They move from one environment to another where they must be productive again, and it’s a shift from one level of comfort to another.  

That sense of well-being does not go; it grows. When you become aware of and overcome the thoughts that limit you, that very limitation turns into greater confidence, and you feel empowered to do more things while being comfortable. The benefit of stepping out of your comfort zone is that you expand it. For example, someone who was only comfortable giving internal presentations has worked up to being comfortable giving external speeches. That person has left their comfort zone to expand it, and now they can choose from a greater number of possibilities. The challenge is what enables you to grow as a person.  

 

5 Ways to get out of your comfort zone at work

 

  1. Make a list of your current restrictions or fears: It can be beneficial, particularly if you write out your professional worries (real or imagined) that have kept you from accomplishing something at work. Being able to envision your anxieties will help you come up with a plan to overcome them.

 

  1. Try to start a conversation with co-workers you don’t know well: Another way to get out of that work comfort zone is to interact with co-workers you might not know as well, to expand your understanding and knowledge.

 

  1. Offer to help with a different project: Seek opportunities to broaden your experience either with a different client, project, or presentation, even if you don’t feel naturally comfortable, try and get involved. Take a risk and try something different.

 

  1. Speak out and share your thoughts on any topic. You will discover that you have the essential skills to do something you were frightened to do. Remember to trust your potential.

 

  1. Keep an open mind: Don’t be hesitant to accept changes like new responsibilities or tasks that work in favour of your development. It may be the key to growth in your career or lead you to a different role that may not only be better suited to your skills, but more enjoyable.