Comfort zone syndrome is something that currently plagues a high percentage of Millennials and Baby Boomers. Comfort zone syndrome is a state where someone is at ease where they are and barely sees any room for something better. Comfort hinders innovation, personal development, and necessary growth.
That’s why it’s pertinent to leave your comfort zone. Before you know it, life would have happened and you would be left with regret. Comfort is overrated. Keeping things the way they have been is not good for our career. Even when we think we are having a nice career (good pay, proximity to home, interesting job description), we need to get uncomfortable to succeed. Ask the Generation X and the Baby Boomers (age 39-72) who have gotten to the plateau of their career, they will have interesting things to tell you.
This is not to bring about discontentment or cause any type of confusion. However, being too comfortable has its negative impact on growth. To avoid this kind of mistake in the future, Millennials (age 24-38) should beware and act deliberately.
Here are some things to note:
Conquer Your Fears
As humans beings, our mind is not wired to willingly do things that are scary, uncertain and difficult. Our brains are designed to protect us from those things. Fear has a concrete power of keeping us from doing the things that genuinely give us purpose. I like this famous quote: Action cures fear, inaction creates terror. —Douglas Horton
A way to conquer our fear is by taking that action. Staying with the status quo will not help you make that progress. We shouldn’t allow fear to make that decision for us. Let’s learn to distinguish between the voice of fear and the voice of wisdom.
Failure is Allowed
A big reason for comfort zone syndrome people need to tackle is the tendency to fail. This is really what makes us think that nothing different needs to be done. A lot of people are depressed with their jobs and have dreams they want to achieve but start to think of all the things that could go wrong and not the things that could go right. My advice is to start small. Don’t wait for when you have the billions to start that business or go into that hobby. Start saving if a lack of funds is what is holding you down and with time, you can get others to support you when you have something on ground.
The Dangers and the Solution
The biggest danger of being comfortable is regret. You can’t change the time, and no matter how wealthy you are, you can’t buy yesterday or last week. If after 5 years and above in your career, you keep giving excuses on why you are still in the same position, you have yourself to blame.
Another danger is stagnancy. People who have worked long in a company and have found it difficult to get top roles in a juicy company would relate to this because by then, age is no longer on their side.
The first solution to the comfort zone syndrome is to do a reality check on yourself. If you are comfortable where you are and you haven’t made deliberate changes about it, then you have been infected. Second thing is to do a self-appraisal monthly. Document how you plan to develop yourself while trying to meet up with your personal target. You can get a career coach to help track this but if you can’t afford any, you have to be your own coach. There are a lot of free online resources and e-books.
Be curious! Curiosity will push you to know things beyond that which someone in your level should know and this will definitely improve your worth.
I wish you the best in your career.