Never Get Too Comfortable
We have all heard the fable about the frog in the pot. It says that if you try to cook a frog by putting it in boiling water, it will jump out. If, on the other hand, you put the frog in warm water and slowly turn up the heat, the frog will remain comfortable until it cooks. In today’s sensitive culture, this fable would be considered a cruel description of a lesson.
What is even crueler is that we do this to ourselves every day. We get comfortable in unrewarding jobs, and unsatisfying lives. We put off our dreams and goals because things are tolerable now. We end up wallowing in mediocrity because we are in the warm, comfortable bath of the status quo.
As we sit in our comfort, we start to miss the signs of danger. In our jobs, we can miss signs that we are in jeopardy of layoff. We go through the day “doing the job” without growing. In my book, I use canoeing upstream as an analogy for life. If you are not continually rowing, you are getting pushed back down river.
Getting pushed back down river means that if you are not continually growing, you fall farther and farther behind. Using a career as an example, you can end up as one of the higher paid people with the least up to date skills because you have been in a position a long time and are too comfortable to grow.
We also tend to forget about our goals. We get wrapped up in the day to day, and we push off our goals for another day. We end up helping other people achieve their goals while ignoring our own goals. Ignoring our goals in favor of helping others achieve their goals can lead to bitterness and frustration.
The factors above are how staying in the comfort zone slowly poisons our minds. We fall behind in our skills, and we are frustrated and bitter that we are not reaching our goals. Continuing the career example, we end up feeling miserable in our jobs or being laid off. Sometimes being laid off is a good outcome because it forces us out of our comfort zones.
Of course, it is better to have control over our careers and lives. It is a better outcome for us to choose when we want to leave or stay in a position. If we are to stay in control, we need to leave our comfort zone. Leaving our comfort zone does not mean that you need to quit your job or take other drastic actions. You can take smaller actions that help you achieve your goals.
To start, you need to do a few things:
Define what success means to you – Determine what do you want to do with your life.
Take Action – Nothing makes you feel better than taking actions to accomplish your goals, even small steps.
Measure your progress –It is easy to get discouraged if you can’t see progress. Measuring shows progress.
Start today! Leave your comfort zone and take action.
For more ideas on how to get out of your comfort zone, read my book, Late Bloomer, It’s not too late to succeed. Click for Details