Funny how you are either pushed out of your comfort zone or choose to leave it.
If my husband hadn’t been laid off in the later part of 2015, we may have never left our comfort zones and we would have missed out on meeting some of the amazing people we have met to date, through networking, support groups, etc.
If we hadn’t changed churches, I would not have obtained a contract as a copywriter/content writer as the odds of me meeting the principle of the marketing company – who attended the same church – I’m contracted to would have been slim.
According to this article http://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-breaking-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-w-656426705, leaving our comfort zone has various benefits, including;
- increased productivity
- easier to deal with unexpected events – such as job loss – which forces you out of your comfort zone
- the more you leave your comfort zone, the easier it becomes
you’ll be more creative – seeking out new adventures, learning new skills, gets those creative juices flowing
Which Brings Me To The Ultimate Out-of-Comfort-Zone Scenario
a.k.a. I’d Rather Die Than Network
Here’s some tips for leaving your comfort zone which have worked for us, applied in a networking context.
- Do it in small steps. For us, deciding in advance how long we’ll stay at a new event helps calm our nerves. Thankfully, there’s no rule that says you have to stay until the bitter end (but if you’re having a great time, go for it).
- We also defined what “success” at a networking event would look like for us. Maybe we didn’t get leads on jobs or who hiring managers were for certain companies, but we did meet and talk to two or three new people. That accomplishment alone is success for us.
- Going with a friend, significant other, co-worker, etc. definitely increases the comfort level.
- While getting out of our comfort zone can be rewarding, and result in increased personal growth, we determined it’s okay to take a break and go back into your comfort zone for a short time to re-charge and re-group.
- Do what works for us. Large, noisy, groups aren’t our thing. One-on-one, face-to-face, meetings, on the other hand, rock!
Just as purposefully and intentionally stressing plants causes them to thrive – http://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/plant-culture/stress-is-good-for-plants/ the same could hold true for us; funny how intentionally leaving your comfort zone can be where the magic happens.