“Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone”
The one trait successful people have is that they are willing to put up with being uncomfortable to get what they want. Successful people come up with ways to manage the uncertainty that makes them uncomfortable when they start something new and want to turn back.
Whether the end goal is a new lifestyle, job change, starting a new business, moving, or going back to school the road to end goal is tough. It can be characterized by self-doubt, regret, financial hardships, loss of social contact, anxiety, and sadness. But the reality is that all change, progress, and exciting things happen to you when you step outside of your comfort zone. That sounds easy enough — step outside of what you are comfortable with and the result will be amazing. However, the reality is somewhat uncomfortable, at least at first.
When you do something like leave the stable job you dislike to pursue your life dream it is hard. Exiting a job, even voluntarily, is emotionally grueling. It is frightening. It causes anxiety, and can even cause you to question your identity. Job separation, regardless of the events surrounding it, causes discomfort.
The reason is that discomfort or uneasiness happens when you have two or more conflicting thoughts. For example, there is a conflict between the need to separate from a miserable job to realize your life goal to be a nurse versus the need for stable income, belongingness, and identity. In another example, if you want to move to a new city you might find that you have conflict between the familiar and safe versus the risk of the new people and places. Change is scary. Unfamiliar faces and new responsibilities are unnerving. However, if all of us abandoned all changes immediately, because we were not comfortable right off the bat progress would be impossible.
The key is to manage the discomfort now so you can be in a better place a year down the road. So, how do we handle the discomfort now to get what we want in the future? First off,
“Don’t Call it a Dream, Call it a Plan”
- State what you want clearly in one sentence. Don’t over think it. Just write in down.
- Develop a plan. Dreams are business plans put into action.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps you handle uncertainty. It manages anxiety and eases depression. It increases your self-confidence and self-esteem. The bottom line is this: people who work out make more money than people who do not. People that exercise tend to be leaders. They also express greater overall life satisfaction – probably because they use exercise to handle the discomfort that comes with change, progress, and goal achievement.
- Celebrate the small victories. Relish in the daily victories. At the end of each week, document your achievements.
- Acknowledge your defeats. Accept responsibility. Figure out why they happened, and state what you learned from them. Make the necessary changes in your plan. Move on. Rumination or sitting around thinking about what happened will get you nowhere.
- Seek out the right social support. Surround yourself with people that can help you achieve your goal, have similar lifestyles or jobs, and support you to change.
- Minimize expenses. Successful people manage money well. When you are starting a new venture the last thing you need is a ton of bills piling up. Cut out unnecessary expenses. You will be amazed by how liberating it is!
- Remind yourself why you are pursuing the dream and making the change. You will second guess yourself. When you do state plainly why you want to pursue the goal, and revisit why you were not fully satisfied with you prior life.
Change is uncomfortable, but it is a part of success. Successful people tolerate the discomfort and manage it knowing that it will not last forever and there is a reward at the end.