Self-improvement Starts with Pushing Your Limits
If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not improving. Why? Because self-improvement requires that you push your limits and step outside your comfort zone.
Take your career higher
For most people, starting a new job can be daunting. Even if you’re mid-career, it can take some time to familiarise yourself with a new environment, responsibilities and expectations. Over time, however, you will get the hang of your new role and develop expertise in carrying out your duties.
Reaching this point can feel wonderful – you have a clear sense of purpose and control, and you’re no longer a fish out of water. Yet this feeling also signals that it’s time for a new challenge. To advance in your career, you need to show that you are willing and able to take on new tasks and develop new skills.
Instead of becoming too relaxed at work, this is your opportunity to ask your boss for a new challenge. You’ve clearly shown that you are capable in your current role, so maybe now you can take on a new assignment or lead a new project. Does this mean you might once again feel daunted? Probably. But that means you are pushing your limits and striving for self-improvement.
Push yourself outside the office
The same thinking applies to your life outside of work. Spending your free time enjoying your family and hobbies or simply unwinding on the couch is absolutely a good thing. As we’ve discussed previously, failing to make time for this kind of rest and recovery can lead to burnout.
However, there is also much to be gained from striving for personal growth. When is the last time you learned a new language, tried out a new sport or explored a new artistic pursuit? If you don’t lead an active lifestyle, the idea of running a 10km race may seem terrifying. But if you set this as a goal and create a realistic training plan to ease yourself off the couch, it’s highly likely that this goal is within your reach.
Make it a group effort
Pushing your limits requires you to step outside your comfort zone, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be an enjoyable experience. Doing something intimidating can be scary at first, but this will gradually give way to a sense of accomplishment as you master new skills and find your flow.
One way to enhance the pursuit of self-improvement is to make it a group effort. If you plan to pursue a new professional designation to open new career opportunities, you can invite colleagues at work to take the course with you. Having a study pal can help keep you motivated when things get hectic as you combine work and study.
Alternatively, get your family involved. If you have kids, you can encourage them to learn coding or take up taekwondo while you also try something new. You don’t necessarily have to do the same activity – it’s more the idea that you are all making an effort as a family to broaden your horizons.
Embrace a self-improvement lifestyle
As with so many things in life, self-improvement requires balance. If you push your limits too far or too often, you can end up harming yourself or your career. It is important to give yourself time to learn the ropes and celebrate your achievements as you improve yourself.
However, by striking this balance and committing to stepping outside your comfort zone at a reasonable frequency, you can make self-improvement part of your lifestyle. It may be uncomfortable at times, but it is ultimately rewarding.