This is the first blog post I have ever written. It is somewhat new for me and is definitely not what I would consider to be in my comfort zone.
The first time I really understood the risk of a comfort zone was when I landed my first job as an in-house graphic designer, working for a local company. The tone of voice, the visual style and essentially the scope of work was always the same. Naturally, the first period of work in this job was exciting. Familiarising myself with a new way of doing things meant that I was learning all the time. But then something happened… It got too comfortable. The result was a lack of creativity that ultimately took any element of excitement out of the job. Not fun!
What ensued was a situation where I was so comfortable doing the same kind of work, that I was never pushing myself to develop any further. Of course there was a level of consistency and understanding of the brand that was satisfying; however the progression and the identification of opportunities to develop the brand further were very often overlooked or not even recognised. This was when I identified and realised the risk of falling into a creative rut, or a creative comfort zone.
In order to combat this I did a number of things:
Work on side projects
These projects do not necessarily need to be paid jobs. Being your own client can be more creatively gratifying than working for a client, and can help to develop your own personal style.
Identify your comfort zones and avoid them
It is very easy to gravitate back toward your comfort zone but hey, let’s face it, it feels great to progress creatively, and being productive is also hugely gratifying. Therefore identify what should be considered a comfort zone and make a conscious decision to choose the other route.
If you’re done and it was too easy, it’s probably not as good as it can be.
So do it again and make sure it’s more of a challenge to complete this time round.
Comfort zones are part of life, they are not indigenous to creatives, they stem onto life decisions and can potentially be the single most cause of never fulfilling your full potential.