Get out of Your Comfort Zone with the SMART Method
Although it’s a safe pace, our comfort zone prevents us from exploring new horizons. While some people seem to have a natural ability to get moving and displaying their skills outside of their comfort zone, for others, the exercise is perilous or even crippling. However, leaving that zone offers many benefits both personally and professionally.
If the temptation of seeing your goals carried out and having your most important projects recognized, but that the fear of the unknown prevents you from taking action, you will discover in this article how to use a known strategy to (finally) flourish without fear in a new more rewarding zone.
Do I stay or do I go?
Before establishing any “exit zone” strategy, it is important to understand the behavioral patterns of the two following situations:
Staying in the comfort zone:
Avoidance of risk by fear > Reticence to challenge oneself > Regrets and feelings of failure > Increased anxiety > General devaluation.
Leaving the comfort zone:
Stress related to fear of getting started > Decreased anxiety by habituation > Increased self-esteem > New skills learned > Constant evolution.
Establish an “exit zone” strategy
As in many cases, setting up a strategy is a great way to dare oneself and to retake control of one’s goals, but also to develop one’s potential, in whatever the chosen field. The SMART method, well known in the business world, can help you make this important step.
S — SPECIFIC
Mandatory step: define your goal. To optimize your goal, make sure that it is adapted to your personality, your experience and your potential. Also, make sure you do not complicate it unnecessarily. The goal here is to progress step by step towards more and more complex goals in an intelligent way.
M — MEASURABLE
To stay engaged in the project you have set, it is important that you regularly measure its progress. Any progress, as small as it may seem, is an important step in achieving your goals.
A — ACTIONABLE
It’s not a secret: to be motivated, you need a goal that gives you the desire to engage, to stay involved, whatever the roadblocks that may come across your path.
R — REALISTIC
A goal that is too easy = discouragement, lack of motivation, a decrease in the involvement rate > abandonment of the goal.
A realistic goal = achievable even if a large amount of work has to be done, an interest in taking action, maximum involvement rate.
An unrealistic goal = loss of motivation, devaluation of abilities, return to comfort zone > abandonment of goal.
T — TIME-BOUND
A project must have a deadline, otherwise it may remain at the idea level. Setting a date will put you in the right frame of mind and increase your engagement rate, which will give you an extra edge in achieving your goal.
To conclude, having a serious strategy that’s thoughtfully mapped out, but also being willing to take a chance, are two states of mind necessary to carry out all the projects that are important to you. Also, be sure to surround yourself with people who have already shown courage to get out of this famous comfort zone, they will be precious to you.