You just started at a new job. You’re excited. You want to make an impact. You hit the ground running. Over time, you build new relationships, deliver good results, and make a name for yourself.
- A few weeks pass.
- Weeks become months.
- Months become years.
- You grow comfortable…too comfortable
If you see yourself or a colleague falling into the too comfortable zone, perhaps it’s time to do what all true achievers do:
Proactively chose to move out of your comfort zone, learn new things, and become a lifelong learner.
Why would you possibly do this? After all, it can be risky, takes work, and you might mess up.
Well, here are three reasons to give it a try…
- Deliver New Results.
Achieving better results requires a change in human behavior. In other words, if you want to achieve something new, you better step out of your comfort zone and start doing some new things. This isn’t a wildly new concept, but it is often forgotten.
Remember what Albert Einstein said…
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
- Keep Work Interesting
Many organizations are looking for employees who act like marathon runners. These people are great long-term contributors who remain loyal to the organization for years by doing the same work for a long period of time. The problem with marathons is they can become boring. They are monotonous.
Most true achievers struggle with monotony.
To be effective, true achievers embrace the practice of both marathoners and sprinters. Yes, they are committed for the long-term, but they remain interested by running multiple sprints along the way. They take on new projects, tackle new challenges, and strive to move a key metric every quarter.
- Maintain Brain Plasticity
Our brains can change physically, chemically, and functionally – but, you have to use it or lose it. Children can quickly learn new things; however, as we age we often lose much of this ability. It’s much easier to learn a new language at three years old than when you are 50. It’s not impossible at 50, but it’s arguably much harder.
You must continue to invest in your mind, take classes, pursue a degree, read more books…become a lifelong learner.
This week’s tool captures the three reasons that I share above in a visual that you can post in your workplace and share with your colleagues. Use it as a reminder of the value of proactively choosing to move out of your comfort zone, learn new things, and become a lifelong learner.
My most recent podcast guest, Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman is an excellent example of a lifelong learner. Charlie is a college wrestler turned middle school Spanish teacher turned UFC fighter. How’s that for an interesting journey? His most recent book is called Becoming the World’s Toughest Lifelong Learner: A Book for Anyone Who Wants to Pursue Anything.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a sought after writer, speaker, and global leadership consultant. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.