The scariest, but I would argue most pivotal step in maximizing personal growth, is leaving your oh-so-loved and deeply adored comfort zone.
As soon as someone finds the strength to recognize the path that they need to take to exit their comfort zone and act upon that realization, their potential grows exponentially. To lead a life that does not challenge expectations or beliefs is to lead a life devoid of greatness. If that statement offends you, then I suggest that you reflect on what factors in your life you perceive as mechanisms of self-protection, but that are also holding you back from confronting an obstacle, challenge or goal.
Taking time to reflect on how we limit ourselves whether it be socially, physically or in our careers can allow us to develop plans to push ourselves into the difficult, but most rewarding actions that will elevate us. By taking small steps outside of your comfort zone to reach certain goals each day, you will find yourself less overwhelmed by the task at hand and excited about what other seemingly impossible goals and dreams you can achieve.
I truly believe that if a person has the will and desire to make something happen that should happen, they will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal and cannot be stopped. Human beings are powerful and capable of healing, learning and thus, can grow in the optimal direction throughout their entire lives if they are self-aware and willing to put the work into their dreams.
The less time that we spend complaining or just thinking about what we should be doing and the more time we spend being the person that we desire to become, the more success we will find. While it most certainly is not always easy to be the best version of yourself, to put in the extra hours in the gym or the library, the output is tremendous.
For the person struggling to find the motivation to work harder, go longer and pursue a big idea — I ask you to look at yourself as your most precious investment. You are your most valuable asset and it is your duty to maximize your skills. Ultimately, we cannot rely on anyone other than ourselves, and we are all accountable to our ourselves and that voice in our head that asks us to do more and be better even when it isn’t easy.
A healthy amount of discomfort is required for growth. You cannot remain in the same place, repeating the same patterns of behavior and expect to evolve. There is always a way to be better. I would also advise you to appreciate all of your efforts at the end of each day and give yourself time to decompress. Balance is key, but disguising laziness or fear of the work as necessary down-time is self sabotage.
Keep grinding, compete with yourself and dominate every single day.