One of the biggest myths is that having a stable and static life should be everyone’s ultimate goal. Doing the same work, having the same career, and the same life overall with no big changes or surprises is not necessary to succeed. Truthfully, the only constant thing in life is change. Changes will always happen whether we want them to or not so it is better to prepare for changes before they happen. Go even further beyond that and embrace the changes. Success lies just out of your comfort zone.
Here are some reasons why playing it safe in your career is the riskiest thing ever.
1. You are Not Progressing and There is Nothing New to Learn
People prefer to stick to their comfort zone in their careers because it is less stressful. There is a daily routine that people get used to and prefer to stick to. However, after following the same routine for a while, you may realize that you are not progressing very far in your career. If you are not progressing, there is no financial growth or new skills to learn. The sooner you realize that you are not progressing in your career, the better. Take the initiative to step out of your comfort zone and change the status quo.
When you stick to the same routine in your career, you lack the ability to learn new things. If you are not taking on any new learning opportunities, your professional growth may become stagnate. Regardless of the financial stability, you may have, you might be missing out on even more of it. Sure, working the same projects over and over can make you an expert at it, but your ability to handle different jobs with different skills is limited.
2. You Lack Leadership
You become a better leader when you are able to experience and learn different skills. It may not seem favorable to start a new career or take on a new task but it is definitely important when you want the opportunity for your career, personality, and experience to grow. Not only does this allow you to be a better leader but taking risks to step out of your comfort zone will also allow you to grow as a person overall and as a better professional.
3. You are Less Confident
Playing it safe in your career for too long may result in a loss of confidence. You get used to the same thing day after day that when you are presented with a different opportunity, you feel you may not be good enough for it. The only way to build your confidence is to step out of your comfort zone, build an open mindset toward learning what is new, and stop always playing it safe.
4. You are Not Ready for Change
We proved earlier that changes happen anyway so the best way to be immune is to be ready for the changes that will definitely happen to you. The only way to be immune is to learn how to expect changes and embrace them even before they happen. While on the other side, people who take risks in their careers and are willing to try new things, are better prepared for the change. They can even read the future and see what others around them cannot see along with smelling changes before they happen. It is like putting on special glasses that can show you the future and the changes that would happen in it. This will make them immune to the negative effect of change.
It is good to have both sides of the coin. For example, if you stay in your comfort zone, you will learn less. However, if you continuously go out of your comfort zone, you will master several skills. Change is always happening as we are ever-changing creatures. We continuously change and it is a non-stop process. We are works in progress, that we mistakenly think we are finished. For example, what are dreams, passions, and interests were 10 years ago are not necessarily the same now.
Psychologist Dan Gilbert and his team measured the personalities, values, and preferences of more than 19,000 people who ranged in age from 18 to 68 and asked them to report how much they had changed in the past decade and/or to predict how much they would change in the next decade.
The results were astonishing. Young people, middle-aged people, and older people all believed they had changed a lot in the past compared to the present. They also mostly stated that they have become the person that will stay unchanged for the rest of their lives and they would change less in the future compared to the past. What the majority of participants could not relate to, is why their personalities have changed in the past? And why they expect not to change much in the future?
One possibility to answer these two questions is that people have a fundamental misconception about what will they look in the future. Time is a powerful force that transforms people’s preferences, reshapes the way they think and their passions & values. Time has an undisputed powerful effect that could even alter your whole personality. Gilbert and his team called this effect “End of history illusion”, and described it as the inability to understand the magnitude of changes happening to us over time. We always underestimate the power of change on us in the future.