Real Growth Requires You To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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Want to create your own Bucket List? Sign up for my 14-day challenge here.

Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year again when we create lofty goals and abandon them a few weeks later. This year will be different though, right? Of course it will. But in order to stick to your goals and be successful, you need to do something different.

Can you think back on a time of real growth, be it in business, in your personal life, or anywhere else? More than likely, you had to step out of your comfort zone for that growth to happen. Yes, we can make progress by doing what we’ve always done. Create a goal, break it into steps, make a to-do list and check it twice. Rinse and repeat. By staying within your comfort zone, you are limiting your potential growth. It’s when we step out of that zone, try something new, take a bit of a risk, and allow for personal and professional growth that we start to see big changes for the better.

Leave your zone

Let’s say your goal is to grow your reach and get out in front of a larger audience. What you’ve done so far, and what feels comfortable is writing a blog post a week and then sharing it on social media. Yes, some readers will find you. Yes, if you double or triple your efforts, publishing more posts per week and sharing more often across all your social media accounts, you will see some growth and engagement. But you’re staying in your comfort zone. What’s the solution?

What if instead, you sat down and recorded a fun and informational video that you can then share on YouTube, imbed in a blog post, and of course share via your favorite social media outlets. Do you hate video? Good — it’s time to stretch yourself. You won’t know if a new medium will work unless you try it. Personally, I’m not a fan of seeing (or hearing) myself on video, but I’m going to push myself this year to do more tutorials and Instagram stories. If those things are new to you, that may seem like a pretty scary proposition. But getting uncomfortable and doing it anyway can have some huge rewards.

Recording a series of videos gives you the opportunity to reach a completely different subset of your target audience. There are plenty of people who prefer video content to written posts and articles. There are people who spend hours each day watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts who would never stumble across you and your blog otherwise.

There’s something else I want to mention, just in case I haven’t convinced you yet that getting out of your comfort zone is something you should be doing regularly. You won’t stay uncomfortable for very long. After recording those first few videos or submitting a couple of blog posts, you start to get comfortable with the processes. Before you know it, they become second nature and yet another tool in your virtual tool belt. Once that happens, you know it’s time to explore some other marketing strategies and ideas.

A new way to tackle your resolutions

It’s easy to set goals for ourselves – mostly because we tend to set goals we know are achievable. Yes, I know, a key part of S.M.A.R.T. goals is that they be (A)chievable. But here’s the thing. Achievable goals don’t have to be necessarily “easy”. Sure, I wouldn’t suggest climbing Mount Everest if you’ve never put on hiking gear. That would be silly. If you are an avid runner, and have completed a number of 5k races, maybe this year you set your sites on the city marathon. It should be something you have the possibility of doing, but it might not be an easy road. That is what we want. That is where we want to get.

Here’s something new you can do this year. Why not have someone else give you one of your New Years resolutions? Pick a business partner, close friend or family member who has known you for a while and knows your spirit. They should know your passions, your dreams, your drives. Things that you’ve talked about but maybe haven’t had the courage to do.

Have them create a resolution for you and you can offer to do the same for them. Why will this work? In part – accountability. You won’t want to let this person down if you don’t complete the goal they’ve given you. Secondly, they may give you something you wouldn’t necessarily think of. It’s always easy to give advice and see situations from the outside looking in. So they might have insight to a situation in your life that you might need to dig deeper on.

Give this a try this year and let me know how it goes.

Need some inspiration?

Check out Andy Polinky’s podcast: “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone“, where he talks to thought leaders about how they step out of their comfort zone and build confidence.

Also, check out this TED talk radio hour: Comfort Zone – where you can hear how Tim Ferriss likes to step out of his comfort zone – like way out. The things Tim does may be a bit much for most people, but this is designed to help you think outside the box.

It’s time to experience life. Not just live it.

Try this challenge

In addition to (or in lieu of) resolutions, create a bucket list. Here’s a 14-day challenge to help you think of some ideas and get your toes wet. Then, create some short term goals (that can be completed within a calendar year) and some long term goals. You can check out my ongoing list here: My Complete Bucket List: 1825

Want to create your own Bucket List? Sign up for my 14-day challenge here.

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