Change is a way of life. Without it, many of us would be content with sitting comfortably in a rut…even if that rut is negative. Part of why many of us feel at home in these ruts is because we don’t want to get outside of our comfort zone. It can be scary, but sometimes it’s best to go beyond the limitations you set for yourself to secure success.
What is Your Comfort Zone?
A comfort zone is a mindset. It’s a proverbial place, whether it’s physical or mental, that you feel the most safe and secure. For many of us, maintaining this area of comfort actually hinders success of all kinds. Many therapists will call this a “fear of success,” or at least which contributes to it.
It can be difficult to step outside of a realm where you know the outcome. Here’s an example. I have a steady retainer client who hands me work every day. I can be content with currently making enough to live on. However, there is far more that I can do to vastly increase my financial capacity.
In order to achieve this success, though, I have to step outside of the comfort of having a residual income.
The trick is to keep what is safe and exploring your potential in balance. From a professional standpoint, you don’t want to sacrifice a sure thing for something that has “potential.” At least, not without having solid evidence that you’ll be an overwhelming success.
And that’s the rub. Not everything has a guaranteed success rate, so it can be hard to step outside of the comfort zone and explore what you can do.
Failure Does Not Exist
I believe there is no such thing as failure as long as you’re willing to learn from the experience. Learning from a negative situation helps to prevent it from happening again. Unfortunately, not everyone puts effort into learning how they failed…which turns into an actual failure instead of a learning experience.
Here’s a good example from a writer’s perspective. Myself and a friend both started writing for Textbroker at roughly the same time. We both received an “average” rating on our initial application blog posts. Both of us believed our skills to be excellent.
Needless to say, his anger and frustration got the better of him and he quit before exploring what he could have become. I decided to understand why my skill was average. Over the years, I’ve learned a great deal and have built quite a reputation with my clients. My friend’s aspirations led him to menial work at places like Walmart and other retail establishments.
The point of the story is that I decided to go outside of my comfort zone to explore my potential and except critiques when ever possible. My friend failed at ghostwriting because he let his anger take the reins. He refused to dive into the reasoning behind the editor’s decisions and welcomed a life of mediocrity…something I flat-out refuse to do.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Life is a series of situations to learn from. I believe it’s what makes you a better human. Knowledge is indeed power, and you should never assume that you are the best there is at any one given thing.
I have been writing for clients over the past five and a half years. In that time, I handed over more than 6,000 articles ranging from blog posts about animals to instruction manuals for networking equipment. Because I am willing to learn almost any topic a client suggests, I am a valuable asset to all who are willing to pay. My willingness to step outside of the comfort zone has contributed to my current success.
So, if I am so good, why I haven’t I published my own novel? That’s an easy one to answer. It’s because I haven’t taken that ultimate step and learned from my laziness. In this regard, I am failing. But, it’s never too late. If I can learn and understand why I haven’t finished my Wattpad ideas, I can get the ball rolling…just like I did with ghostwriting.
In reality, success relies on two major aspects: goal and effort. If it’s your goal to be nothing more than a cashier at Walmart and that’s the job you accept, then technically you’re a success. If you haven’t reached your goals, it may be from a lack of effort or not learning how to achieve your dreams.
Anyone has the ability to become more than they currently are. It’s all a matter of getting out of the comfort zone and learning how to make it happen.
Take it One Day at a Time
I’ve learned a great deal about myself during my physical transformation. I’ve lost 50 pounds so far and long since realized taking it one day at a time is the best way to achieve aspirations. Don’t dwell on the failings of the day before. As long as you can learn from what you did wrong, you’re already on your way to improving yourself.
For Father’s Day weekend, I pigged out immensely. After all, it was my day – why not? Does that mean I view myself as a pig and a failure in health? Absolutely not. It just means that I know what to avoid the next day. Today, I will keep my calories in the green and get back on track.
It’s the same scenario whether you’re a writer or working at McDonald’s. Understand why you’re not happy about yesterday and take steps to make today that much better.
I am failing at publishing my own works. Both my mother and my sister are published with more in the works. Me? I am firmly entrenched in my comfort zone of just being a blogger/ghostwriter. That’s not what I want, though.
In other words, this is me telling myself to get off my ass and do what needs to be done today. And that’s the plan.
It’s All About Effort
Success in anything is derived from the amount of effort you put into a project. Whether it’s looking like an underwear model or simply being good at your job, effort to be the best you can almost guarantees success. It’s a lack of effort that causes many to become stuck in their comfort zone.
Not to toot my own horn, but I am a Jack of all trades. I am good, or become good, at virtually anything I put my mind to. As cliché as it may sound, I believe anyone can accomplish more if they believe they can.
I’m not a mutant or have some magical ability. I build success because I put a bit of effort into the things that interest me. The things I don’t have a solid effort behind wind up not working out.
Sheer willpower isn’t enough, though. You have to be willing to learn from mistakes and alter your perception if you truly want to succeed. If your YouTube videos aren’t working out, understand why. If you’re unhappy with the home you have, change it.
What it all boils down to is what you’re willing to do to make the changes you need to be a success. In my case, it’s spending less time on YouTube and more time on my writing. I really want VII to be done by my birthday next month…which means I need to get started writing.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Too many people are content with being in a comfort zone. I can say with a great deal of certainty, I am often relieved when I step out and give a project a solid try. If you’re not willing to put in the effort and learn how to succeed, you won’t. Failure doesn’t exist as long as you prepare yourself correctly for the next attempt.