Why You Should Continually Challenge Yourself
Life doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. By continuing to challenge yourself, you will progressively grow the size of your comfort zone. The more you grow, the more you continually challenge yourself and the more you can achieve.
Comfort Zone vs ‘Where the Magic Happens’
Whilst it is very tempting to stay in the comfort zone, we really aren’t doing ourselves any favours. The need for personal growth is one of our six basic human needs and so if we don’t make an effort to work on ourselves, then this can have a negative impact and often leave feelings of frustration.
The desire to grow and develop does not mean that we cannot appreciate and be grateful for the situation we are in or what we have achieved so far. The desire to grow and challenge ourselves can be uncomfortable. The more you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable, the more you will achieve and succeed.
‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’
You may have heard the phrase. However, the book, by Susan Jeffers, talks about how we can embrace the feeling of fear and use this as the challenge. The book helps empower you to adopt a life of power, energy, enthusiasm and action. This does not come naturally to everyone, but it can become a learned behaviour.
Holding ourselves back due to fear can double the frustration, especially as we become more aware of the people around us who continuously work on their self-development and move on.
Take the ‘yes’ challenge. Say ‘yes’ when fear would normally hold you back. Let the fear say ‘no’ but say ‘yes’ anyway and see what happens!
If you like to stay in your comfort zone, then you aren’t alone. 98% of the population are quite happy staying in this comfortable place. That is a lot of people who are comfortable with what they have achieved and who they are.
However, there is the remaining 2% who have a growth mindset (Carol Dweck) and step outside of that comfort zone to test what they are capable of.
Which group are you currently in? Does this group bring you happiness and fulfilment?
The 2% embrace change and the unknown, they seek to get the most out of life. They are prepared to step out of their comfort zone to seek new opportunities and achieve their goals and dreams. The 2% don’t just survive, they thrive!
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Life outside of your comfort zone is not always going to be a comfortable place to be. This is why only 2% venture out there. When this happens you have a choice. You can retreat back to the place of comfort and ease, the place where things are familiar, or you can continue to move forward and put your energy into making this new place familiar, comfortable and a place you can be confident.
Think back to all the things you have achieved. It is highly likely that you went through a period where it was uncomfortable and unfamiliar. The chances are that in order to achieve that success you had to push through these challenges.
The more we get comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable and unfamiliar, the more we will be prepared to say ‘yes’ and step out of our comfort zone into the unknown. You may be surprised at how quickly this can happen. Saying ‘yes’ brings opportunities.
The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity. When opportunity knocks, open the door and embrace the challenge.
Motivation for Personal Growth
Look around you. Look at the people who are most fulfilled. What do they have in common?
Look around the office and at the people you work with. Look at the people who enjoy their work and role that they perform. What do they have in common?
The chances are that there is a common theme in that they all invest time and energy into their personal growth. They may take courses; they may volunteer for opportunities; they may accept opportunities to work at a higher level. When the role they are in no longer challenges them, they seek new opportunities and new roles.
When we are children, we are continuously working on our personal growth as we learn about ourselves and what we are capable of. Does this stop as an adult? At the age of 18 had you determined who you were and all you were capable of. Can you determine that now, regardless of your age?
Recognise what you have achieved and your successes but strive to be more, learn more and achieve more.
Overwhelm is probably the biggest reason people retreat to the safety of their comfort zone. If you can overcome the overwhelm, then this can have a huge impact on your ability to challenge yourself that little bit more.
Write down all the things that are causing the overwhelm. Do you need to be thinking about them all today? Section off those that you need to give time and energy to. Focus on the present and leave those other worries for another day. That day may never arrive!
Personal growth is often about setting goals. If the goal feels too big and overwhelming, then chunk it down into small and achievable steps. Allocate those steps into periods of time; days, weeks, months so that they are spread out into sections that make them more manageable.
Consistent daily actions that take you one step closer to your goals is a lot more manageable and more successful than making big efforts once a month. Knowing that every day you have taken that one step closer, is a great motivational tool and is less likely to create the feeling of being overwhelmed in comparison to a long list of things to do that just sits there getting longer and longer as time passes.