Somewhere along the line, we become safe when we set goals and work toward the future. We stop stretching ourselves in order to avoid failure and “be realistic.”

But are these actions really helping you succeed? Are there ways you could improve your business (or even your life) by trying to go a little farther and potentially failing? You might be surprised to discover that true growth and true success only come after stretching yourself.

The Importance of Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

We like to feel comfortable. We like hanging out in the comfort zone, doing what seems normal and familiar. However, growth doesn’t occur inside the comfort zone. If you want to be more successful in business, relationships, and life, you need to step outside that comfort zone and do something that challenges you. Real growth happens when you risk failure and you have to make a greater effort to succeed.

There are times I’ve stayed in my comfort zone, only to eventually grow tired of the increased stagnation. I like to feel as though I am growing and progressing, and that doesn’t happen unless you have something to strive for. If you want to see real results, you need to step outside your comfort zone.

Stretching Yourself Regularly

Of course, the reality is that as you stretch yourself more, your comfort zone expands. You need to keep stepping outside of it to keep moving forward in business and in life. True success comes when you set yourself a new challenge after meeting the old one.

Don’t be satisfied with small victories. These are important, and you do need to set achievable goals. But these aren’t the only goals to set. In fact, “achievable” doesn’t have to mean small and obvious. An achievable goal can be something that is just out of your reach. It can be something that requires you to stretch yourself, moving just outside your comfort zone.

Stretching yourself opens you up to the possibility of failure. It means that you might not hit your goal exactly. But if you stretch for 30% growth in your business and “only” hit 25% growth, that’s still a win. You can reset and work toward your 30% goal again. This is true of most goals you set for business, life, and relationships.

Yes, there’s the possibility that you won’t hit every milestone every time. But that’s not the entire point. The real point is to improve every day. The idea is to increase your capacity. Stretching yourself creates the possibility of growth and learning. When you challenge yourself to reach for goals that are outside your comfort zone — but still attainable — you set yourself up to accomplish truly amazing things.

Miranda Marquit

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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