We hate to break it to you, but your team’s work routine may have turned into a work rut. Though staying in the comfort zone might feel easier, consider the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone and discovering what lies beyond it. Read to learn more!
Here’s a small glimpse of what exists beyond your comfort zone at work:
It’s easy to assume that the way that works now is the way that will always work. What if just beyond your comfort zone, there’s another more efficient way? A more fulfilling chapter?
When we welcome new challenges, we’re also welcoming growth and growth is a key ingredient to achieving better results.
Stepping over the edge of your comfort zone can spark our fear of the unknown. Consider, however, what the author Hunter S. Thompson wrote about the edge: “...The only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
When we overcome our fear of the unknown, we welcome the yet unknown smarter, more skilled, and more confident versions of ourselves.
Every process in the workplace is a series of small steps. Sometimes making one small tweak along the way can maximize our efforts. When we make stepping out of our comfort zone a habit, we open ourselves up to continual opportunities to improve our results.
Getting out of our comfort zone (especially in a workplace environment) can feel as daunting as any big first.
Just like that first day of school, first heartbreak, and first time out on our own—however, stepping out of your comfort zone gets easier and easier the more you do it.
In an old proverb, a child asks, “How do you eat an elephant?”
The answer: “One bite at a time.”
Reaching out to someone in another department whose work you admire helps you build the confidence to suggest peer to peer mentorship in the next HR meeting. Before you know it, you’re proposing new interdepartmental initiatives and affecting positive change within your organization.
It’s important to give you and your team opportunities to practice pushing past the edges of your comfort zone. We know, easier said than done.
Here are two activities Confetti offers to teams that can help you get out of your comfort zone:
In this interactive experience, team members are led through a series of quick-thinking exercises centered around team building.
Chances are, even members of the team that are most afraid of public speaking will begin to feel at ease when put in a situation where laughing at yourself is celebrated.
In this exercise, employees are randomly matched with another co-worker and given turns to answer and hear their co-workers’ responses to empathy-focused questions like “When you are overwhelmed at work, what are your non-verbal warning signs that you wish others knew?”
Once employees have gotten to hear these answers in small randomized groups, they are encouraged to share what they’ve learned about themselves and their co-workers.
Have you ever been to a haunted house with all the lights turned on? Turns out, the bowl of eyeballs was full of peeled grapes all along. In the darkness, however, your body’s physical fear cues were real.
When a challenge arises in the workplace and you feel that physical stress response, take a step back and see what you can do to turn on the lights. If your body has a stress response to navigating a new program once a quarter, consider reaching out to IT and requesting training ahead of the next program launch.
There’s nothing more satisfying than checking the final box of a to-do list. Sometimes the biggest challenge is simply making that to-do list.
Use these questions as a guidepost to determine the order that you need to accomplish your tasks in. When we create plans that take us outside of our comfort zone, it’s important to allow for time to troubleshoot as unique challenges arise.
Remember the elephant… one bite at a time. Taking a big step outside your comfort zone might feel uncomfortable, but what are the small steps that can help you get there?
Say that you want to put your great idea for a new initiative on the agenda for a company meeting but are terrified of public speaking. Write out your complete pitch and practice it in the mirror until you feel comfortable. Practice it on a trusted colleague. Practice it on your immediate team.
By the time your agenda item is reached during the company meeting, you’ll feel so confident in your ability to communicate your idea that you’ll feel at ease doing what once seemed impossible.
Anybody who's ever run a marathon knows that the hard part isn’t running the distance—it’s not snoozing through your alarm on practice days. But when you have a buddy waiting for you at the track, it’s much easier.
Find an accountability partner in the workplace who encourages you to not hit the metaphorical (or literal) “snooze” button. Before you know it, you’ll both be living outside of your comfort zones full time!
Once pushing outside of your comfort zone at work becomes a habit, you’ll engage your creativity, increase your productivity, and spark your curiosity.
Whether it be in your personal relationships, employee experience, passions, or goals, these attributes can’t help but seep into your everyday life, too.
The joy of getting out of your comfort zone is that there is always more room to grow.
Looking for activities to help you out? Explore Confetti’s courses, team-building exercises, and experiences designed specifically to help you get out of your work comfort zone.