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How to Overcome Fear and Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Personal Growth
Team Processes
New PM

7 March, 2022

Sangeeta Wakhale
Sangeeta Wakhale

Senior Manager Engineering at athenahealth

Sangeeta Wakhale, Senior Manager Engineering at athenahealth, unravels how moving out of her comfort zone has enabled her to grow and learn in her career.

The Fear of Moving Out of Your Comfort Zone

How do you define your comfort zone?

While the search engines may say that it’s a place where you feel so comfortable that your abilities are not tested any more. In reality, it’s a place where you don’t have to do anything different. Growing in your career feels something similar. It’s all about constantly pushing yourself beyond your boundaries to learn and grow. From my personal experience, I started as a Java developer and after a few years accepted the configuration manager role.  

At that time, I was not entirely sure how it would impact my career, but gradually as everything started to fall into place, I became more confident.

How to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Embrace the challenges:

Taking up the role of configuration manager led me to the path of DevOps, which was not widely known at that time. Initially, if I had not moved towards the configuration manager, it would have been more difficult for me to step up to the role of the DevOps manager. What worked wonderfully for me was embracing the challenges and obstacles that came my way.

Make a habit of trying something new:

When I was an individual contributor, I was asked if I was keen on people management. Being an introvert, I was in two folds whether I would become the “people’s person” if I owned up to becoming a manager. However, coming out of my shell and my willingness to try something new helped me achieve bigger goals.

Work on yourself:

In the meantime, I worked on myself by reading multiple books. The books that I came across worked as my mentor. Apart from that, I took new courses via LinkedIn to develop myself as a leader. All in all, my efforts paid off.

Learning Outcomes

  • Don’t restrict yourself; instead, take up any new opportunities that come your way. Keep the doors open and accept the challenges that will help you grow and learn along the way.
  • Even if you don’t like stepping out of your comfort zone, my suggestion would be to try it out for a short period of time. Once you try it out, you’ll be able to figure out if you like it or not. If you’re not happy with that, you can always opt to go back to what you were initially doing. You’ll not know your potential or core competencies without trying them out.

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