Moving outside of a comfort zone is, by definition, uncomfortable. But it’s a challenge we should embrace. Challenging the comfort zone pushes us beyond mediocrity. Pushes us to better ourselves. By stepping outside of what’s familiar, we open up ourselves to new opportunities that maximise our capabilities.

One reason people fail to challenge themselves is because of comfort, and being entrapped by it. It’s true, the road to being better doesn’t always feel better. This often because of unknowing, and anxiety over issues that will most likely never happen. Nevertheless, many choose to stay where they are, in their comfort zone, or conform to a route already paved.

A path that is both well-lit and well-travelled is comforting and less daunting. We find comfort in knowing other people have travelled the same path. Believing the path is tried and tested. And knowing that we’re not alone in our journey.

In our digital age, we’re not satisfied with just feeling like we’re not alone, we want to see it as well. This doesn’t just mean seeing footprints ahead of us. We also expect guided navigation along the way (via GPS) and community reviews of the route (text and audio-visual).

Ordinary vs Extraordinary, Comfort vs Discomfort
Illustration by Savannah Thaemert | The Collegian

However, we are not all the same. And neither are our journeys. Individually, we have different strengths and weaknesses, as well as different goals and talents. So why do we blindly, and quickly, follow in the steps of others instead of forging our own path?

Bill Gate’s journey to success, is not the same as Steve Jobs’ journey. Both the journey to success, and the term ‘success’ itself, will differ from person to person. So closely following an established path may comfortable, but it is often not effective. Especially when it comes to personal development.

To strengthen our skills, we need to forge our own path. But this doesn’t mean we have to do it alone. Although we’re all working on different areas with varying timelines, we can still develop together. WiseAmigo is proof that our individual journeys can be shared with others. In fact, the journey to development is more effective with support.

Get uncomfortable.

Let the discomfort push your to where you really want to be. It easy to stay on the hamster wheel. Going around and around.  Doing the same thing over and over. Knowing you could be better, but failing to try. Take an inventory of your current weaknesses, then challenge yourself to change.


Be stretched, not stressed.

The only way to gain muscle is to lift a weight heavy enough to put pressure on the muscle. This action stretches  and then strengthens the muscle. And in a similar way, we should set a challenge which puts pressure on our current capabilities. A challenge that tests, stretches and strengthens our current set of capabilities.


Trust yourself, Test yourself.

Look at yourself as objectively as possible. Identify your proven strengths and weaknesses. Set yourself a task and reflect on your experiences. For example, if you want to be better at public speaking, set up a presentation and record it. After the presentation, review your recording and evaluate yourself.


Feedback feeds development.

Ask friends or colleagues to evaluate your skills. What they think you should work on?  May sound daunting, however, you can’t fix something that you’re unaware of. Often we aren’t fully aware of ourselves, so seize the opportunity to get objective insight. Prefer to receive anonymous feedback? Check out the WiseAmigo app and its intuitive feedback features.


Find comfort in progress.

You can actually find new comfort in change. Leaving your comfort zone, doesn’t mean leaving safety and security behind. It’s about challenging your normalised environment. Challenging the ordinary in pursuit of extraordinary. So find comfort in seeing your progress. For this you can use helpful tools like journalling and the WiseAmigo app to keep track of your progress.

Challenge your status quo, and grow.

Remember that you don’t have to spend all of your time outside of your comfort zone. In fact, there are different zones that dictate your growth. You can move between these zones. But it’s important to be aware of your current position. So keep track of where you are, and whether your current environment is promoting or stopping your growth. After evaluating your environment, take action and challenge yourself.

Remember, development is a journey not a destination. It’s continuous, so approach it like a marathon. After each challenge, we need to shift zones to rest our muscles, restore our energy and reflect.  And this is where being able to move between the different zones becomes vital.

“It’s  your own willingness to accept or seek discomfort that will dictate the growth of not just you, but our entire world.”
– Bill Eckstrom.

Development is a journey and the WiseAmigo app is here to help you along the way. Join the WiseAmigo community, create a Spotlight, discover more insightful content and reflect on your assertiveness journey today.