That warm comfortable bubble that surrounds us all at times keeps us safe but where there is safety there is usually not much growth. Growth is one of the 6 core human needs and we all need to grow in some way to develop both personally and professionally. Some of us are drawn to growth, me being one of those people, I live to learn and love sharing what I learn with others.
Some of us avoid stepping out of our comfort zone and usually aren’t even consciously aware we do this.
So, how do you know where you currently sit?
Are there times you feel stagnant and in what I call “maintenance mode”?
When in this mode we are usually not consciously aware of it, it’s almost like we are on autopilot. So what would you be doing when in “maintenance mode”?
What does it look like for you? Think things such as routine tasks, for example, if you are in a leadership position you will most probably be doing things without having to really think about them, we call this unconscious competence. There is nothing wrong with this as it means you have mastered a skill or behaviour but we do need to layer onto our learnings through growing our skills, experiences and adding to what I call our tool kit of life.
When you are in “maintenance mode” it can be like sitting on a train with no set destination or stations to gauge where you are going. Where there is not a lot of change, there is usually very little stress or drive and usually a lack of motivation because you are going with the flow. Everything is maybe too easy? For some it can be a strategy to keep you safe as there is no risk of failure but what is it costing you, your team and ultimately the organisation or business you work for?
Being the visual I am I see the shift of getting out of your comforts zone or “maintenance mode” like the rings in a cross section timber. Once you are within a ring you become comfortable and once you try something new such as a change in career/role or taking on a new team you cross into the next ring. Being in this ring then takes you out of your comfort zone. There is new motivation and drive and before long that new ring you are in becomes a comfort zone and you need to challenge yourself to cross into the next ring so to speak.
So how do you make this shift? We need to go into what I call our “progressive mode” where we are doing things that propel us forward.
It’s a bit like having a clean house, which can feel great; we all love a clean house but imagine getting that renovation done. The clean house fits into “maintenance mode” as it is cleaned every week whereas the renovation has added value and space to the property and therefore puts you into “progressive mode”.
Wouldn’t you rather challenge yourself to grow and be in what I call the “progressive” mode” where things are not the same as they were yesterday?
If you feel you want to get outside your comfort zone here are a few ideas:
- Think of something you have been putting off and do it!
- What skill do you want to dial the needle up on?
- Who could you forge a better relationship with at work?
- Run a team workshop on providing feedback to each other in an open forum?
- Change the who and what goes on in a team meeting
- Challenge yourself to coach individuals and set a schedule for this
- Be strategic in your relationships at work
- Study and learn something new, for you!
- Go to work a different way and see things with fresh eyes
- Do something you have never done before!
It’s all about embracing uncertainty and remember, everything outside of “I know” is growth.
Enjoy the challenge, rewards and growth this will bring!