Being an entrepreneur is a distinctly uncomfortable career path. I can tell you from firsthand experience that putting yourself out there, marketing yourself, giving speeches and seminars, and writing books all sounds like a dream but there is something about striking out on that path that gets really, really uncomfortable.
Over time, that discomfort gets better but in the beginning, it’s rough. You have to wrestle with a lot of doubts, sleepless nights, and wondering if you really have what it takes to make this thing work.
What if I flop? What if this thing crashes and burns?
So much stress and anxiety goes into entrepreneurship that only the people closest to me ever see. And I’m a confident guy!
But here’s what I’ll tell you: no matter what career you’re in, what promotion you’re after, what product you’re trying to make, or business you want to make work, you have to understand that being uncomfortable is good.
3 Big Problems With Your Career Comfort Zone
1) It saps your energy and puts you in a rut.
When we stay in our comfort zone, it makes us complacent. We begin to get so comfortable with the familiar that we recoil from anything that would make us step outside of what we already know how to do. No risk, no unknowns, no pushing any boundaries or flexing any muscles. This makes for a lot of monotony.
The job becomes dull and predictable day after day.
It sets us in a rut because we do the same things we’ve always done, frustrates us because we have no forward momentum, and damages our chance to move forward because we simply don’t have the will or the energy to push beyond where we are.
2) It kills your confidence.
When we don’t step beyond our comfort zone—beyond what we already know—we’re going to eventually lose confidence in our ability to do things beyond our limits. If we retreat from opportunities and risks out of fear or out of a desire for safety from risk, we’re going to lose confidence. We will make ourselves feel weak and inferior by playing it safe over and over again.
It will kill our confidence in our own ability to learn new things, break down our own barriers, and achieve our goals.
3) It narrows your field of vision.
Our comfort zones insulate us from experiences, ideas, and information beyond what we already know. If we’re only working with what we already know and experience, we’re limiting ourselves and what we’re capable of not only professionally, but personally, too. We allow our world to shrink if we stay within our safe and comfortable boundaries.
3 Reasons Discomfort is Good for Your Career
1) It pushes you to increase your skill set.
When thrown into an uncomfortable situation in which we have little experience, we’re forced to learn new things. We have to pick up new skills and quickly in order to succeed. Learning on the job is always a nerve-wracking experience as it leaves a lot of room for error, but it also allows you to very quickly pick up and add new skills to your repertoire in a high applicable way.
You’ll learn how to work with different types of people and teams, how to handle different areas of expertise, and gain the knowledge necessary to advance in your career.
2) It fosters adaptability.
One of the key advantages of discomfort is that it forces you to becomes adaptable. Because you’re out of your comfort zone, anything can happen! Risk is right around the corner. You’re putting yourself out there. Things can change at the drop of a hat and you might not know how to handle it, but you have to handle it. Because of that, adaptability is a must if you want to thrive.
In any career, adaptability is a positive trait. You can find professional success if you seek out those opportunities to conquer those “think on your feet” challenges.
3) It forces you to confront your weaknesses.
One of the things your comfort zone will never do is show you where you need to improve yourself. Your comfort zone will keep you believing that the status quo is perfectly fine. What getting uncomfortable does isn’t fun—in fact, it can be excruciating—but it forces you to confront and overcome your weaknesses. Where do you have to improve? Where do you fail? Inevitably, taking professional risks, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and pushing your boundaries will shed a light on where you are weak.
This gives you the opportunity to crush your weaknesses. You can only fulfill your potential when you confront that within you that holds you back.
And no one can do that from a place of complacency.
Do you remember a time when you were pushed out of your comfort zone and flourished as a result? Share your experience in the comments.