Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Into a More Balanced Career and Life

Jessica Lawlor runs her own blog, takes on freelance communications consulting, and teaches yoga all while balancing a healthy and happy social life as well. Her blog, Get Gutsy, focuses on sharing stimulating content that inspires others to take a chance within the workplace.

Lawlor presented her theories and motivated a room of interested communications professionals at the 78th Annual FPRA Conference. Our attending evokers brought back some tips that we just had to share.

5 Things to Know About Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone:

  1. Stepping out of your comfort zone means getting uncomfortable – how do you reward yourself for taking baby steps? Do you reward yourself at all?
  2. It doesn’t mean doing something crazy – Jessica explained that she took trapeze lessons to get out of her comfort zone and realized it’s the little things that count
  3. You need support – grab an accountability buddy that will make sure you take the steps necessary to get uncomfortable!
  4. You must get out of your own way – Jessica explained that fear is built up inside our minds, and that most limitations are self-imposed.
  5. It’s not easy to step outside of your comfort zone – It’s just like trying to lose weight, or trying to break a bad habit. Stepping out of your comfort zone takes time.

Although stepping outside of your comfort zone may not be for everyone, it’s important to have open ears within the workplace.

Support from coworkers to try new things within the workplace, and outside as well, can simply come from listening during lunch break and encouraging someone to take the first step. Here are Lawlor’s 10 tips for making the leap:

  1. Be present – embracing the present will inspire you and your coworkers to forget the fear of what is to come, or what’s happened in the past.
  2. Work backwards – set big goals, but take small steps. List out your steps and set deadlines to make these goals achievable.
  3. Remember what it was like to be a beginner – do you remember your first day of work? How exciting and nerve-racking it was? Spend time taking on new ideas as a beginner – opportunity is out there.
  4. Practice energy management – what times are you most productive? It’s important to be strict with your schedule and to accept that only so much can get done in one day.
  5. Form habits and stick with them – it takes 66 days to form a habit, will you stick with it?
  6. Learn to say no – create a reverse to do list in order to see what you need to eliminate when it comes to refocusing and capitalizing on new opportunities.
  7. Find someone to hold you accountable – who checks in with you to make sure you’re on track? Sometimes it’s better to have a supportive reminder than none at all.
  8. Let go of what no longer serves you – when’s the last time you did something differently? Switch up the way things get done.
  9. Trust your instincts and listen – life happens, and when it does, take a step back to get on the right track.
  10. Celebrate your wins – getting things done, landing a new client, successfully pleasing a coworker or your boss, are all wins! Acknowledge that you’ve done well.

These 10 tips will build your confidence as a communication professional, which will in turn push you further and further outside of your comfort zone, where all the magic happens.

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