Why You Should Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone (And How To In 7 Easy Steps)April 29th, 2014
Anyone that knows me will tell you that I’m not afraid to push the envelope and rewrite the rules. Why? Because playing by the rules is what leads to mediocrity.
When I founded funeralOne, I had no VC funding, no trust fund, no product and only 1 employee. You might ask me, “How the heck did you go from nothing to where you are now?” Let me tell you the answer – I got to where I am today because I risked everything. I transformed my life to turn a passion into something tangible and real.
You see, when you break out of your comfort zone, amazing things can happen. After all, when you take big risks, they almost always lead to big rewards. And you know what? You can break out of your comfort zone, too. Whether you’re looking for a lifestyle change or trying to reinvent your funeral home, here are 7 steps you can take to break out of your comfort zone:
Step 1: Ask yourself this question
Every morning, I wake up and ask myself this question: “If today was my last day, would I want to do what I am about to do?” If I answer “no” for too many days in a row, I know it’s time to make a change. All too often, we become trapped in a routine because we don’t see the bigger picture. The moment you realize you’re not doing what you love is the moment you should decide it’s time to get uncomfortable.
Step 2: Commit to change
Unless you actually make a promise to yourself that you’re going to step out of your comfort zone, you won’t do it. Make yourself a promise – in writing – by recording your goals, dreams, or whatever you want to call them. They can be both personal and professional. Is there a new service you’ve been dreaming of offering at your funeral home? Do you want to start getting home early to spend more time with your family? Write it down, and keep it somewhere for you to reference. Heck, tape it on your bathroom mirror so you’re forced to look at it everyday. It’s the perfect way to remind you of your progress (or lack thereof).
Step 3: Envision the results
If you make a goal for yourself and you can’t actually SEE yourself achieving it, how can you ever make it happen? When I bootstrapped funeralOne at the age of 19, the single most important reason I succeeded is my ability to envision my success. Not just what it would look like when I was owning my own company, but how I would get there. If you sit down and envision what it will look like when you’ve achieved your goals, then they seem all the more realistic and achievable. If not, it might be time to check in and realize that you might not be able to reach it.
Step 4: Break the rules
The way I see it, rules were made to be broken. When I created funeralOne, I knew I wanted to go against the grain and create something that had never been seen in the funeral profession. Something that would transform the way the world thinks of a funeral. At first, I received a lot of criticism for my out-of-the-box thinking (the spikey hair didn’t help either). People would always tell me that my approach to business would never work because I was breaking all the rules in one of the most conservative professions out there. Well, let me tell you, breaking all the rules was the best thing I ever did for my business. And now, funeralOne is one of the most successful companies in the funeral profession. I know, it’s scary to put yourself out there and do something no one has ever done before, but when you do and you succeed, the reward is priceless.
Step 5: Ditch your everyday routine
As humans, it’s our natural tendency to seek a safe, predictable, low-anxiety routine. But in order to break out of your comfort zone, you’ll need to start doing everyday things a little differently. Why not wake up an hour earlier one day to meditate or plan out your day? Or, instead of going to your same favorite restaurant every week, go to a restaurant you’ve never been to or even heard of before. It doesn’t matter how big or small the changes you make are – what matters is the perspective you gain from them afterwards.
Step 6: Meet new people
Meeting new people is one of the most effective ways for me to see things in a new light. Not only will you get a different perspective on your everyday life, but you’ll be able to learn new lessons from people who have come from an entirely different ecosystem than you. In fact, I challenge you to introduce yourself to someone you would normally never talk to. You’ll be amazed by the insight you receive from this person – whether it’s good or bad.
Step 7: Don’t fear failure
One of the most courageous things you can do is to try something new without the fear of failure. A big part of breaking out of your comfort zone will require you to take risks, even if you think it might not work out. Failure is a better teacher than success. The greatest innovators in the world know you can’t grow without failure, so remember that next time you’re thinking about taking a risk. Just remember, the faster you make mistakes, the faster you learn from them.
And lastly, believe in yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? When you stay strong to who you are and what you love, you’ll always come out on top… no matter how many bumps there are along the way. And remember, your life begins as soon as you leave your comfort zone.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and free yourself from your comfort zone. Then tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear your stories.