Today's reading is a piece by Brian McDonald, "Leaving Your Comfort Zone." As Brian notes there, doing new things often requires us to change the current way we do things, to move away from some of the long-standing patterns that sometimes serve us well and sometimes keep us in a rut. He argues that to be a more effective leader you need to get used to being uncomfortable so that you can open a broader path to being a continuous learner.
The relief is palpable when we stand on the other side knowing, that we did
something even though it was hard or we didn't want to do it. On the other
hand, when we cling to our comfort zone, never addressing the things we don't
know or are reluctant to face, we cut ourselves off from flow and growth."
Learning new skills or adopting new practices or experimenting with new
behaviors requires you to let go of your current way of doing things. Yet, people
tend to find comfort in the predictability of the habits and routines we develop.
When you sign up to embark on a new venture, you usually recognize the
initiative may require you to change some routines or possibly require you to
cover some unfamiliar ground. Other times you may be on the brink of making
some fundamental changes. At these times, some level of apprehension is usually
present. After all, you will be leaving the comfort of the familiar.
To grow, no matter the context, you must be willing to step out of your comfort
zone, to approach the future with a sense of adventure and anticipation about
the discoveries you can make. If you stay in your comfort zone, it is unlikely you
will try out new behaviors. So, step out, experiment with new practices. Who
knows what kind of leader you are capable of being? What tools you will learn
to use in your daily life? How much you will add to your repertoire this year?
Get used to being uncomfortable and you will open up the path toward
becoming a continuous learner.