We all know our comfort zones. It’s that space we’ve created over the years where our activities and behaviors perfectly fit into a routine that minimizes stress and risk. Our comfort zones make us feel secure, which in turn make us happy because we experience lower anxiety and stress levels.
But a study performed back in 1908 proved that staying in your comfort zone creates a steady level of performance, but in order to maximize performance we need to be in a relative state of anxiety. This state is called optimal anxiety and it sits just outside our comfort zone, which shouldn’t be mistaken for having too much anxiety where we are just too stressed to be productive.
So there’s no surprise that pushing ourselves out of that comfort zone into this optimal state of anxiety can lead us to success, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Here are just some of those uncomfortable things that many leaders have found to be the things that helped them get to the top.
1. Consider meditating
How often have you gotten so caught up in life, your business, and how busy you are, that you forget to stop and smell the roses? Meditation can be a great way to regroup and is great for your mind, body and soul. It is proven to improve brain functionality, helps you sleep better, improves your metabolism, increases your attention span, and those are just a few of the great things it can do for you.
2. Learn to say “no”
We’ve all had problems saying no before, especially when it comes to work and business, and research shows that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout and depression. Saying no can be a challenge for many people but saying it can allow for you to have the time to be more committed to pre-existing commitments. Realize when you need to say no to allow yourself to focus your productivity on the things that are the most important to you.
3. Practice public speaking
The fear of speaking in public is one of the most common among people. However, if you want to find success, especially as an entrepreneur, this is a fear you’re going to have to get over, or at least get used to. Whether it’s pitching, motivating employees or speaking at networking events, public speaking is going to be a part of your life as an entrepreneur. The good news is, practice makes perfect, so put yourself out there and stop running from speaking engagements.
4. Learn how to better negotiate
A huge part about being a successful businessperson is negotiation and it can be one of the most uncomfortable things. Not all of us feel bold or entitled enough to negotiate, even when the other party involved may expect you too. It can be tempting to take a subpar deal just because it’s better than nothing, or better than being rejected if you try to negotiate something better. But knowing your value and fighting for it is important and will help you reach the top.
5. Seek mentorship
Mentoring is more valuable than you think. Having someone by your side that has been there before can help with your business, and help you work through parts of your career that friends and family may not be able to help with. The hardest part is asking someone to be your mentor, and allowing yourself to open up and trust someone else with helping guide you and your business. But mentorship can be one of your most valuable business assets; so don’t shy away from making that move.
So put yourself out of your comfort zone, try some of these uncomfortable things, or try some of your own. It’s amazing what you can discover about yourself, and it can be even more amazing for your career and business.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.