Maybe you desire a new position where you work. Maybe you dream of an altogether new career. Maybe your job was taken away, and you need a new source of income.

Any one of these options is going to bring you to the same common struggle—breaking free of your comfort zone. You know…going to that place where you feel less confident and awkward…like the new kid in school. You’re sure everyone is staring and finding fault with you.

You dread the aspect of putting yourself “out there”. And it’s perfectly natural to want to stay where “you know your way around”. But putting yourself out there is exactly what you must do. The only way you can grow is to stretch who you are, learn new things, broaden your knowledge. Complacency is a real enemy to progress, both personal and business.

If you can make yourself break out of your comfort zone, you will soon realize that the uncomfortable awkwardness will disappear quickly. You will discover that each new step you take rewards you with higher competency, and in turn, more confidence in yourself—which allows you to move forward faster and faster.

“Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” – Alan Alda, actor

Here are ten tips I use to keep myself motivated and moving forward. I hope they help you in some way to take that next step…and the next.

  • Make a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Be more curious.
  • Fail fast, learn, move on.
  • Pursue passion, not money.
  • Never stand still, move.
  • Don’t forget my dreams.
  • Support my reputation with my actions, not words.
  • Watch for opportunities and seize them.
  • Be grateful, for even the little things.
  • And don’t forget—Laugh often, play hard.

Indy Quillen