Growth & Customers

How to face your fears and get out of your career comfort zone

Have you been stuck in a job you don’t particularly like, aren’t challenged by or feel unappreciated in?

What’s stopped you moving elsewhere? Or have you always wanted to open your own business, but didn’t think you could? What’s prevented you?

Weeks easily turn into months and months can turn into years. We get accustomed to the same job, the same employer, or we get complacent doing the same unrewarding tasks, day after day. We get used to dreading Mondays, accustomed to mundane tasks, unsurprised with little praise, reward or encouragement from superiors when we do a good job.

Our confidence, enthusiasm and once strong self-belief, drain away with each passing month, in an unrewarding and unchallenging job. Our bright ideas, get put on the back burner while we get distracted with dull unrewarding tasks.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the fear of the “what if’s?”. “What if I move job and can’t make it?” “What if I’m not good enough?” “What if my new business fails?” “What if I’m not able to do it?”

Your life rarely improves by chance. It improves by change – change you initiate. What if you succeed? What if you feel motivated and appreciated again? What if you prove to yourself that you are worth it? What if you looked forward to Mondays? What if you get more money?

It’s much easier to get a job while you have one. Even if you get offered a role and don’t take it, your employer may get a shock and make a counter offer. Or offer you a promotion or role with more responsibilities and more money? As an employer I know the importance of happy motivated staff. Training new staff can take months, have huge disruption to clients, other staff members and cost a lot of money. I also learned the hard way, not to under appreciate good staff, but do still sometimes forget to let them know how much I value them.

If you’re thinking or setting up a business, do your research. Who is the competition, what can you do better, what are the costs? Can you commit to a lot of hours with a low income to start with? At least work out the financials for your idea and seek advice, you have very little to lose.

The advice I wish I could offer myself 10 years ago, would be: don’t delay, listen to your gut, make mistakes and learn from them. Take all the advice you can get and listen to it. Learn how to hire the right employees. Look after your staff and they’ll look after your business. Train staff and have procedures for the way you want things run. Always take a holiday. It’s OK to fear failure, but don’t let it stop you.

Fear of failure is just stories we tell ourselves in our minds and fear lies to us. In our mind fear creates worst case scenarios of things we don’t want to happen and prevents us from getting the things we do.

Think back to all the great things that have happened in your life. Did you get out of your comfort zone to get them? I bet in almost all cases you did. When you make the move out of your comfort zone and try new things, you might be in for a shock and realise your comfort zone wasn’t a happy place to be? It was just familiar. Maybe even your discomfort zone?