We are told in business to focus on our strengths, thereby finding our comfort zone in selling in those areas, or to those people, that we feel we are most qualified.
In talking to people about this topic, I have found there to be two sides to the coin – those who feel you will not grow if you stay in your comfort zone, and those who feel that all of the strengths that you have mastered will lessen upon leaving the comfort zone. Which one is true?
Well, the fact is that there is truth in both of them, however, you need to find the balance that works best for you. Here’s what I mean.
There’s nothing wrong with staying in a comfort zone if you have found and perfected your niche, and continue to tweek it here and there. The problem comes in when there are businesses and business owners who allow themselves to fall into a rut in their thinking. You can stay in the same realm of selling in you niche, but you should still commit yourself to staying current in updating information and creating different strategies for modern sales environments. So, in essence, this is leaving your comfort zone not completely. You will still be working with your strong “foundation” of your strengths in selling, however, you can never stay “stuck” and stop learning and finding new ways to grow.
As humans, we are fundamentally wired to seek comfort.
The comfort zone becomes a problem when you make the choice to always play it safe.
When you hold yourself back and hide, you’re effectively saying no to a thriving business. When given the chance to enter uncharted territory, where life’s future is unpredictable, people often choose not to change, clinging to the comfortable situation. In this instance, you need to be open to leaving your “comfort zone”, even if it’s just for a brief period of time. You never know around which corner your next opportunity is waiting.
I don’t disagree that in order to advance in business, you need to break out of your comfort zone from time to time. However, I don’t think you need to live outside of your comfort zone all of the time.
Work From Your Strengths, Not On Your Weaknesses
Your strengths are likely inside your comfort zone.
However, true growth will come when you take hold of those strengths and let them take you to places outside of your comfort zone. They are the things you know best, that you love the most, and that you can probably do in your sleep.
Your strengths line up with your passions. Therefore, In order to master your strengths, you will need to have spent a fair amount of time in your comfort zone. Knowing what you are good at will amp up your ability to make critical decisions, when opportunities arise, and assess as to whether they are viable “risks” and whether or not they are worth your time and effort to leave your comfort zone.
Allow yourself to become strong and confident in your comfort zone, and then take on the world with a vengeance. Striving to be the best at what you do allows you to carve out your place as an “expert” in the minds of future prospects and customers. But it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in one place forever. Just like everything else, there’s a fine line between never challenging yourself and going after every opportunity blindly just for the heck of it. Your knowledge and experience will guide you as to whether a situation is worth leaving your comfort zone, or not.
Confidence is a key skill that will allow you to take chances outside your comfort zone. The more success you have, the stronger your confidence, and the stronger your confidence, the more inclined you will be to take necessary risks outside of your comfort zone that will allow you to grow and move forward toward success.