Just the other week my boyfriend and I were having dinner at a local restaurant in Kamala Beach in Thailand, celebrating Christmas. We were looking back at what an awesome year we had in 2015 and how many more great things we have lined up for 2016. During the conversation though, it became clear that I have been refusing to leave my comfort zone since we left Spain.
Apparently, I really loved the way we set up our life in Santa Pola and actively sabotaged everything that would remotely change any details in it, including working on new business ideas or any planned books. (You know, developing a business or writing a book is too much work and I like being lazy, enjoying my life as it is 🙂
It’s time for New Year’s resolutions and goal setting, but I have blogged about setting smart goals and committing all your resources to hitting your targets, so I won’t repeat myself. Instead, I’ll talk briefly about comfort zones.
Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn more.
This video was created with a fairly easy-to-use tool, called Content Samurai – try it for free.
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, a comfort zone is “a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable”. It’s a psychological state really, when a person feels familiar, at ease, and in control. There’s no stress or anxiety and for that reason, he or she can continuously produce results at a steady level.
Getting stuck in your comfort zone can be very dangerous though.
You become lazy and you stop challenging yourself. As a result you start feeling satisfied with mediocre results, which in turn leads to demotivation.
The demotivated freelancer is no different from the unhappy employee. And I’m sure your reasons to become a freelancer had nothing to do with being stuck at a job you don’t like.
(By the way, once I shared on this blog a freelance cycle I noticed I go through every now and then. It seems I’ve hit stage 8 again :D)
How to leave your comfort zone
One way to leave your comfort zone is to purposefully put yourself in brainstorming mode. Look back – is there something you wanted to do last year but didn’t? Now is the time to try and do it. Meet new people and discuss the future. Ask a friend to tag along and play with that cool business idea that’s been sitting on our desk for ages. Write a book. Get a dog. Work related or not, any change could trigger your passion and get you back on track with your goals and freelance journey.
Another way to get out of your comfort zone is to experiment. If you are so good at your craft, try a new field. Specialize in a new direction. You’ll wake up every morning with a drive for yet another awesome day!
And most of all – remember why you became a freelancer.
Always strive to improve. No matter how good your life is, it can always be better – all you have to do is leave your comfort zone and find a way to make it happen.
Dawn Lidwell says
Another great article, Diana! I have to admit, getting out of your comfort zone – especially when it relates to your work – can be quite scary. Yet, it can also be very rewarding!
The last time I stepped out of my comfort zone was a few years ago when a client approached me about writing a press release. At that time, I didn’t have any experience with that type of writing and I really tried to turn him off on the idea of hiring me for that particular project! I’m very glad, though, that he wouldn’t back down and that I reluctantly agreed to work on it for him. I spent the following weekend researching how to write press releases, just to get a basic idea. Then, he kindly provided me with examples and tips. Once I was finished with the work, he said that his client was very happy with the results, and he was, too! That’s when I decided to hone my new-found skill, and of course, with practice, I kept getting better!
Following the same example, last Fall another client asked me if I could write a newsletter article for her company. Again, I told her that I didn’t have any experience with that type of writing, but would love to give it a try! She hired me to do the work, I completed it, and she was happy with the result. Now, I’ve added newsletter writing to my list of services. Although I haven’t had a chance since then to continue practicing this skill, I’ve decided sometime this year I will launch a newsletter of my own – I just haven’t figured out what kind of content I want to add in it yet!
Keep stepping out of your comfort zone. It can often lead to good things!
Diana Marinova says
Thanks for sharing your story, Dawn – those are perfect examples how stepping out of your comfort zone helps you move forward and grow as a freelancer, and often – as a person. Thanks for reading and good luck with your email marketing efforts!
Paul Lalley says
Nice, thanks, Diana
Diana Marinova says
You’re very welcome, Paul, and thank YOU for visiting frequently, your support is much appreciated! 😀
Jeannette Paladinoj says
Diana — I agree that it can be dangerous to get stuck in your comfort zone. Often that means you stop learning because the old way is so much easier. Then you can find yourself falling behind on new developments in your field. I can relate because social media, one of my areas of focus, is changing all the time and I’m having to push myself to keep up. Thanks for the good advice.
Diana Marinova says
Right, social media is tough to keep up with these days. You have to challenge yourself on a daily basis indeed. Thanks for reading, Jeannette! ~Diana