If you want to be an entrepreneur, leader, visionary, or lead an extraordinary lifestyle of any kind, you must learn to leave your comfort zone and embrace change and challenge. We as humans are wired to seek comfort — or the path of lease resistance — and as a consequence our everyday lives become routine and boring.
Breaking out of this comfortable and secure lifestyle means physical and emotional pain. When we take on a new situation, or accept change, we sacrifice that feeling of ease and safety. However, overcoming inertia is critical if you are to redefine the status quo or take advantage of raw opportunities.
The juice is definitely worth the squeeze when it comes to overcoming this particular obstacle because no matter how much insecurity one will experience in leaving his or comfort zone, , it is nowhere near as disheartening as the utter anguish that comes with being complacent, immobile and bored.
But, of course, this is easier said then done. So, how can we — as creatures of habit — learn to break out of our comfort zones and achieve success? Follow these four coveted secrets to break through to the next level in life:
Baby Steps Towards Set Goal
This is going to be your guide, not to be followed strictly but merely a way of keeping your goals and milestones organized. This will allow you to widen your comfort zone, gradually making your goals seem more achievable and less frightening. Consider an aspiration of yours that you want to accomplish, and write it down.
Most people can’t tackle a goal in one leap, so it’s important for you to break down your goal into a series of steps and tasks. When you reach a step that overwhelms you and seems impossible, take that and break it down even further. Once structured in this manner, your goal will not seem so daunting after all.
Yes, this approach will take longer then what you may desire, but be patient and good things will come. Development of one's way of life takes time. It’s also important to focus on one objective at a time as it will need your full attention and energy. An unknown author once said, “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape”.
Start Right This Second
Instead of thinking up an excuse for why you can’t do something about an unsatisfactory part of your life, use that energy to start formulating your plan. If you want to change your life, you need to take action and you need to take it now. Change can be challenging, and taking that first step is the hardest, yet the most important step.
The initial step out of our comfort zone and into the unknown can sometimes feel like walking out on to a minefield where you sense danger and your surroundings seem unfamiliar. Some of your least desired emotions will kick in such as fear, anxiety, and uneasiness. Consider this a move in the right direction. You must learn to tackle these emotions of discomfort and push forward if certain yearnings are ever to be realized.
Know Your Limits, & Then Crush Them
Every man or woman has to know their limits but not for the reason you might think. It’s not about knowing when to stop, slow down, or call the quits. It’s about knowing our capabilities, and then figuring out how to expand them. Once we know where to draw the line, we can start devising a plan on how to move past that line.
"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them" – Albert Einstein
Some people will never have that inexpressible ambition and untamed drive to give up all comfort and move past their limits to create new standards of living. These are the same people who will never launch their own entrepreneurial ventures, never change the disappointing aspects of their social lives, and be stuck in a life where they are content with the familiar surroundings and people that they cling on to.
This may seem like counter-productive advice, but the only way to accomplish the elite lifestyle is to constantly be challenging ourselves, to constantly be pushing ourselves to the brink of collapse. Look at your life from an outside view, and if it seems manageable and in balance, you need to start thinking about making some changes.
If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough” – Mario Andretti
One change or modification in your life isn’t enough. The harsh reality we all face is that the world is continuously changing, therefore the only way to get ahead is to let go of control and to be endlessly changing our norms and customs. In the 2005 Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs said it best:
"If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been no for too long or for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
In this same light, we need to frequently be asking ourselves if what we are doing on a daily basis has become too routine and too mundane. Even if you are living well, know that you could be living better.
The only way we will ever be able to truly take advantage of each and every opportunity presented to us is to recognize our comfort zone and then step out of it. Challenge yourself everyday and don't stop until you overcome that challenge. This is the most effective habit exclusive to those who wish to live elite, those who go above and beyond by seeking what is unknown.
Joe Sorrentino | Elite.