“You need to push yourself, you need to test yourself, you need to get out of your comfort zone.” How many times have you heard that? What does that really mean to most people?
It means to put yourself at risk, to make yourself feel uncomfortable, to put yourself in a place where you feel less than confident, less than competent. And for WHAT exactly?
Have you ever met anyone who continually puts themselves at risk, continually makes themselves uncomfortable, that has done anything extraordinary?
We all know what happens if you HAVE to do something that makes you feel bad or uncomfortable all the time. You quit! It’s human nature, isn’t it?
Rather than trying to get out of your comfort zone, doing the opposite produces outstanding results in any field of endeavor you care to mention.
Take anyone who is at the top of their game.
Let’s look at Usain Bolt, for example. At the time of this writing, he’s known as the fastest human being on the planet. Did he ever get out of his comfort zone? No!
If, when he was a young college student, he had entered the Olympics, he would have suffered inevitable defeat, time and time again. I know that, you know that, and he knew it too. It’s common sense.
So, what did he do?
He realized that he could run pretty fast at an early age. Someone introduced him to a Running Coach, who did what? The coach suggested that he practice. Usain practiced, first weekly, then daily, and he got faster.
As his speed increased, so did his confidence. His Coach entered him into a race. He won and his confidence increased even more. He practiced more often, with more intensity. The results kept coming, and his confidence and competence increased proportionately.
Usain Bolt continued to practice, but with more focus and discipline. He won State and National races and eventually he emerged on the International circuit. And he continued to practice and maintain his training discipline. He got faster, and as he did, his confidence and competence continued to grow.
Then, when the Olympics rolled around this time, he shocked the whole world, and especially his competitors, with his blistering speed. The rest, as they say, is history. Not once did he “get out of his comfort zone.” Not once did he put himself at risk or make himself feel uncomfortable. What would be the point?
Everything he did was WITHIN his comfort zone, which expanded in direct proportion to the increase and growth in his level of confidence and competence. That was brought about by practice in the right environment with the right kind of support.
Pick another one. Beyoncé, a world class singer. Did she ever get out of her comfort zone? No! When she was very young and realized that she had a voice, what did she do? Did she book Madison Square Garden for a Concert?
No, she didn’t, and why not? Because not only did she not have the experience for it, but it also would have made her feel uncomfortable, it would have put her at risk and crushed her confidence, and what would be the point in that?
What did she do then? She practiced. She practiced at home, she practiced at school, and she practiced in the car too. When someone introduced her to a Voice Coach, her potential was immediately acknowledged and her practice took on a whole new level.
She became more focused and more disciplined in her voice training, and her confidence and competence grew. She sang at small local venues. People loved her voice, she got standing ovations and her confidence and competence grew at every event.
Eventually she started touring to sell-out events and started recording. She still practices. She applies focus and discipline to her training. Her confidence and competence are huge, and now she is a global star.
At no time did she ever ‘get out of her comfort zone’, put herself at risk, or make herself feel bad. What would be the point?
You can pick anyone you want who is an acknowledged expert in their field, at the top of their game, or has expertise that people look up to. None of them needed to put themselves at risk, feel vulnerable, or make themselves feel bad to get to where they are today. They just didn’t.
What they ALL did was to bring what they needed to improve INSIDE their comfort zone and expanded it from within. And they ALL had a Coach.
Think for yourself. Let your intuition be your guide. Just because someone says something, it doesn’t make it true and certainly doesn’t make it true for you. Practice, be focused, and be disciplined. And get yourself a Coach. It will be the very best decision you can make if you want to get REALLY good at what you do.