Wisdom//

Successful People Overcome These 5 Challenges to Stepping Outside Their Comfort Zones

It's not easy to step outside your comfort zone. But with a solid plan in place-- and a keen understanding of the challenges-- your results can be extraordinary.

Stepping outside your comfort zone in a meaningful and consequential professional situation can be very challenging to do. But this is the reality at work for most of us: as we grow and learn and advance in our jobs and in our careers, we’re constantly faced with situations outside our comfort zones where we need to adapt and adjust our behavioral styles. As IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has said: “”Growth and comfort don’t co-exist. That’s true for people, companies, nations,” Here’s what I’ve learned are the top 5 challenges of stepping outside your personal comfort zone.

The first is the Authenticity Challenge. This is the idea that acting outside your comfort zone can feel fake, foreign, and false. Imagine for example a young, first-time entrepreneur stepping into a Shark Tank-like situation to pitch his ideas to a much older and experienced group of VC’s, and perhaps putting on his “grown up voice” when doing so.

The second challenge is the Competence Challenge. This the idea that in addition to feeling inauthentic, you also may feel incompetent – whether it’s speaking up at a meeting… or giving a speech… or pitching your ideas. And that can make you feel like a real imposter.

Challenge #3 is the Resentment Challenge: feeling frustrated or annoyed about the very fact that you feel you have to do this task outside your comfort zone in the first place. For example, as an introvert, you might feel deeply resentful that networking and small talk seem to matter as much – or even more – than the quality of your work.

Challenge #4 is the Likability Challenge. Here, we worry people won’t like this version of ourselves when we step outside our comfort zones. A poignant example from my research comes from a frustrated employee who desperately wanted to confront a condescending jerk who was making her life miserable, but just couldn’t shake the worry that he wouldn’t like her if she confronted him (when, of course, he was clearly the unlikable one).

Finally, Challenge #5 is the Morality Challenge. Sometimes people have legitimate concerns about the ethical nature of the behavior they’re about to perform – like when delivering bad news or performing a layoff.

Of course, few of us will experience all five of these challenges when we consider adapting behavior and stepping outside our comfort zones. But even one of them can make things tough. Have you ever experienced any of these challenges when stepping outside your comfort zone? If so, I can promise you’re certainly not alone.

For a downloadable, free guide to stepping outside your comfort zone, click right here.

Originally published at www.inc.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.