Seeking a Broader Horizon
They give you a place that feels safe, because you have a very good idea of what to expect and, as such, you already have canned responses ready to go. However, this “comfort zone” does nothing to stretch your limits. This comfort zone does nothing to expand what is possible. If Einstein stuck with comfort, we would have never learned the theory of relativity. If Darwin stuck with comfort, he would have never seen the Galapagos.
Yes, by definition, stepping outside of your comfort zone could very easily result in some major discomfort. Say, for example, that you have a mortal fear of public speaking. If this is the case, it’s likely that you would not take on a position where you would be expected to make several sales presentations and speeches in front of large audiences. I don’t expect you to suddenly become the keynote speaker at every major conference, but it may be worthwhile to give a small speaking engagement a shot.
The Fear of Public Speaking
Speaking for myself, I never liked making group presentations in school. I was confident in what I knew, but I didn’t like making that presentation in front of the class. When I got a job at a movie theatre a couple years later, I was asked to go into the auditorium to give the “Front of House” announcement. This is when a staff member heads to the front and informs moviegoers of the emergency exit locations, any current concession specials, and the house rule of turning off their cell phones.
It was a scary experience, to be sure, but it helped to build up my confidence. It wasn’t long before I was very comfortable with the “Front of House” experience. When you take that chance, you have the opportunity to learn what is possible. You may even be surprised by what you can do. I drew upon my newfound skills and confidence in future speaking engagements that I had.
One Giant Leap for Mankind
It doesn’t matter nearly as much if you choose to take baby steps or giant leaps. What matters is that you are willing to take that first step and to keep moving forward. Take a chance. Jump off that pier.