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Breaking Out of Your Personal Comfort Zone
by Michael C. Dennis, M.B.A., C.B.F.

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Everyone has a comfort zone. For example, most people enjoy talking to a friend or a group of friends. However, the thought of standing up in a room of twenty or thirty people to give a short speech, even if it is on a familiar topic, is enough to make them light headed or nauseous. The moment people leave their comfort zone they experience discomfort and awkwardness. The instant most people feel discomfort; they pull back. This is why people get into ruts, and fail to create lasting change in their lives.

When a friend or co-worker says: “I’m happy the way things are” he or she is rejecting a universal truth. Which is that everything and everyone is either growing or decaying; there is no such thing as standing still. In business, the status quo is never good enough. If we do not push ourselves to achieve more than we have in the past, we will fall behind when compared to our co-workers.

The key to personal growth and increasing success is a willingness to step outside of one's comfort zone. Virtually everyone enjoys the feeling they get when leaving their comfort zone results in success. We rarely admit to ourselves that the real consequences of failure are usually inconsequential and short-lived. It is obvious that enlarging one's comfort zones pays off in many aspects of life, but it is often not as apparent that taking even small steps can sometimes yield big rewards.

They like familiar surroundings. They like things to be stable and predictable but consider this: The great thing about comfort zones is that they expand once you take the first step. The path of least resistance is to be a follower rather than a leader. The good news about conform zones is that you can break out at any time and can do so at your own pace. If you’re interested in doing so, why not start by taking one step away from your comfort zone today – and another one tomorrow?

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