Big Comfort Zone, Small Life
Happy Thursday, folks ❤️🔥
How’s your week going so far? I hope you’re ready to give these last 2 days your all and then celebrate by putting your feet up in relaxation this weekend.
Speaking of giving it my all, I’m in the midst of a busy and incredible time of growth in my work, and today I’m bringing some of that to you. We’re going to cover the topic of comfort zones — and the consequences of not breaking through them.
But first, some news:
A wholehearted welcome to the 100+ new members who joined over the past week. I’m thrilled to share the path of self-work with you all.
If you missed my interview on the Build Your SaaS podcast, I recommend you tune in here to learn how mindset coaching translates to better work performance, particularly for small teams.
I have 1 coaching spot remaining for a July start date. My mindset approach focuses on elevating confidence, boosting resilience, optimizing wellbeing, and maximizing work performance. If you’re in the market, run don’t walk.
In true coaching form, celebration is an essential part of my routine. I took a breather and celebrated my progress by taking a boat ride and fishing off the dock with my not-so-baby.
Okay, enough chit-chat and kewt pics. Now, let's transition to a topic that's traditionally eye-roll-cliché but actually immensely rewarding when put into practice.
For today’s email, I’m bringing you a deep-dive based off a concept that transformed how I approach my sessions and the challenges my partners face.
(I did my best to explore it fully, but if anything didn’t make sense, just hit reply and ask.)
Let’s dive in.
How can I break out of my comfort zone, even when it’s uncomfortable?
This entire newsletter was created as my answer to this powerful quote:
As I wrote the first few months of the newsletter, I explored all different areas of self-work, to heal that hurt. But in the process of getting my fancy-schmancy coaching accreditation, I realized so much hurt happens in an unexpected place:
And with my experience as a startup leader, the workplace is where I can best help others heal (and, as an added bonus, boost their performance, too.)
Why is why I focus on empowering rising stars and founders of early-stage and tech teams to master their mindsets and bust through limiting beliefs. When I help them feel their best and deliver their best work, it ripples out to every other area of their lives — and everyone around them.
As I work with more rising stars and founders, I notice they all struggle with one significant hurdle: the boundaries of their comfort zone.
I’ll put it this way:
The truth of these words rang clear in sessions with my coaching partners.
They all aspired for a life larger than their present reality — a life of achievement, growth, and fulfillment. Some yearned for career advancements such as promotions, new roles, increased responsibilities, and heightened confidence. While others sought improvements in their personal relationships, overall well-being, and quality of life.
What stood in their way? Not poking through the boundaries of their comfort zone due to:
Self-doubt about their skills, abilities, and potential
Fear of venturing into the unknown and taking risks
Resistance to change, preferring to stick to familiar routines and habits
Anxiety about failure or rejection stopping them from trying new things
Difficulty stepping up, taking on leadership roles, or voicing ideas
These challenges, while daunting, can be coached and overcome.
We all know growth happens outside our comfort zones, but how exactly do we turn that into steps we can take in our real lives?
There is one key word: consequences.
I’ll tell you why.
Let’s walk through the three-step approach I personally use to expand the limits of my comfort zone and get closer to my ideal life:
Step One: Identify the Boundary
What does your comfort zone look like? And what are its boundaries?
Recognizing the contours of your comfort zone is an essential first step. This will look different for everyone, as our comfort zones are shaped by our individual personalities, experiences, and preferences.
Do you feel at ease around others, thriving on the energy and interaction of a crowd? Does working on your own make you uncomfortable?
Or do you derive comfort from solitude, preferring to work alone? Do you shy away from the distractions and pressures of group dynamics?
You may be somewhere in the middle.
Take Jacob, for example. (Name changed for privacy.) Jacob felt bored and unfulfilled with his work. He wanted to explore new options and grow in a particular direction of his industry, but he felt apprehensive about setting the wheels in motion.
In a session, we discovered he came up against the boundaries of his comfort zone when thinking about reaching out to industry connections to learn more about the work he wanted to do and also when thinking about applying to new jobs. He was frozen in place at just the thought of those two activities.
What scares us the most is usually what we need the most, isn’t it?
So, how can you determine the nature of your own comfort zone? Here are some steps:
Take a quiet moment to close your eyes and visualize your comfort zone. What does it contain? What is obviously absent from it?
Are there activities or situations you consistently shy away from? What tasks or responsibilities make you feel both excited and apprehensive?
If you could wave a magic wand over yourself and your life, what would be different? What do you wish you could do but just … can’t?
Remember, it's natural to feel a sense of discomfort or fear when contemplating these questions. The process of self-reflection isn't always easy, but it's absolutely necessary.
Now, onto the next step.
Step Two: Explore the Consequences
Now we've come to my favorite part of the process: understanding the impact of not stepping out of your comfort zone.
You might assume that remaining within the boundaries of your comfort zone yields benefits like peace of mind, a sense of well-being, or, ironically, comfort. But, in reality, it's quite the opposite.
During coaching sessions, when we delve into this topic, my partners often experience enlightening "aha moments." They realize how detrimental it can be to remain shackled within the confines of their comfort zones.
Take Jacob, for instance.
What if Jacob never ventures beyond his comfort zone to explore the career path he's interested in? He could potentially spend his entire life feeling unfulfilled, questioning his lack of courage, and trapped in a monotonous cycle. That's far from the tranquility and comfort he initially envisioned.
To understand the consequences of your own comfort zone, ask yourself:
What opportunities might I miss out on if I don't push past my comfort zone?
How could my personal and professional growth be stunted by staying within my comfort zone?
What regrets might I have in the future if I don't challenge myself now?
Most importantly, how will I feel if I don’t change this about my life?
On top of helping you understand the costs of avoiding discomfort, it’s also a powerful motivator to embrace new challenges and stretch your boundaries.
Now, let's move on to the final step.
Step Three: Break The Boundary
Once you have a clear understanding of your comfort zone's boundaries, you can devise strategies to push beyond them.
A word of warning:
This process may involve setbacks. You might not succeed on your first attempt. You may find your progress is slower than you’d like.
However, each attempt, successful or otherwise, brings you one step closer to your goal.
Now that those disclaimers are out of the way, here's how I go about breaking the boundaries of my comfort zone:
This strategy is my favorite.
In collaboration with a friend, I've established a challenge where we report on tasks that we find intimidating for our respective businesses (primarily pitching our services). Each week, we document our progress, providing transparency into what we pitched and the outcomes.
This ongoing challenge keeps me focused on pushing beyond my comfort zone and expanding my perceived limits. It also fosters consistent growth in the right direction, propelling my business forward.
The direction you want to grow in will be unique, so here's how you can create a personal challenge for yourself:
Determine a measurable objective
Set up a spreadsheet to track your progress
Review your progress at the end of each week (more on this in a bit)
Going back to Jacob, he may want to set up a personal challenge where he tracks how many people he’s connected with each week or how many jobs he’s applied to. Making it a sort of game will help him engage in the activity in a more relaxed way and also help him see the progress he’s making in a short period of time.
Now, onto the next strategy, which is way easier.
Our phones are always within reach (I know mine is), so why not leverage them to reinforce our commitment to stepping out of our comfort zone?
While it might seem simplistic, setting phone reminders has proven to be an effective strategy to cultivate new habits, and it comes up in nearly all of my coaching sessions.
Here are some phone reminders I’ve used in the past:
Every morning: Review your personal “wins list” to beef up your self-confidence as you take on scary tasks. Reading through your achievements will remind you of times you’ve already tackled challenges and come out triumphant.
Every afternoon: Update your personal challenge metrics.
Every Friday: Set your priorities and “big asks” for the following week.
A few times per week: Reflect on your progress and obstacles you've encountered, so you can adjust accordingly.
Jacob came up with reminders that nudge him to research more about his desired career path, like how the people he admires in the field have built their career trajectories, and also to review his progress (and celebrate!) at the end of the week.
What phone reminders would help you work toward your ideal life and then stay on track?
Take a moment to set them now … I’ll wait.
On the other side of all that gut-wrenching work is this:
Keep that in mind as you push against the boundaries of your comfort zone again and again.
Your desire for growth, healing, and the pursuit of your ideal life is evident — it's why you're here, reading this newsletter. You're taking the first step towards self-improvement, you're investing time in understanding how to better yourself, and that in itself is a big step.
You can and you will do all those things, because the alternatives, the consequences of standing still, are simply too great.
Stagnation is not an option for someone like you who strives for progress, seeks fulfillment, and yearns for a life that resonates with your highest potential.
Each boundary you push, no matter how much, brings you closer to the grand life you envision for yourself.
It paves the way to a bigger, more fulfilling life.
Keep going, keep growing.
And if you need support on that journey, you know where to find me. Just hit ‘reply’ and you’ll land in my personal inbox.
You got this. ✌️
All the best vibes
PS. If you’re interested in 1-on-1 mindset coaching, reach out ASAP. My last spot will go fast.
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