Why you need to get out of your comfort zone to achieve better grades
A while ago, I was talking to one of my readers, we'll call her Polly. A year ago Polly told me she wanted to study physical natural sciences at Cambridge. At the time she was in the early stages of year 12, doing all the right subjects and was clearly passionate about the subject matter of the course she wanted to study, reading books and studying the sky through a telescope in her spare time. A few weeks ago she’d received her AS results. She’d done very well in maths but her chemistry grade was particularly disappointing.
I asked her what had gone wrong with chemistry. We talked for a bit and eventually she told me,
“Maths is easy. I just have to remember a method and use it over and over again. For chemistry, I actually have to revise and remember stuff, and I don’t know how to do that. It’s outside my comfort zone.”
Polly is one of my favourite people who I've ‘met' through my blog. She comes along to all my free online workshops and webinars and takes a very active part. She's clearly ambitious and passionate and she's got oodles of personality. I desperately want her to do well and achieve her dreams.
However, when we spoke the other day, Polly was extremely resistant to getting outside her comfort zone and finding a way that worked for her to learn and revise her chemistry. She said to me, “If feels like a really long time to be outside my comfort zone for the next ten months. I don't know if I can do that.”
My closing words to her were:
“If you still want to pursue your dream you’re going to have to get outside your comfort zone. If you don’t want to do that you can forget your dream today.”
The same thing came up the other day when I was doing a Revision Kickstarter Workshop and talking to students about doing past papers in the form of power hours. Many of them were resistant to marking their own work, despite this being the most beneficial part of the process, because it was outside their comfort zone. I told them that they had to get over themselves (in the nicest way possible), or they would get lower grades than they deserved in their exams.
It’s hard talk but it’s the truth. The thing is, you don't change your results if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. Something about how you work has to change if you want to see an improvement in your grades.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
The beautiful thing is, however, that when you push yourself outside your comfort zone what you used to find hard becomes easy. Your comfort zone shifts and that’s when you start to feel the profound sense of satisfaction that comes from personal growth. There is nothing more rewarding than feeling the boundaries of your own possibilities expand inside yourself because of the effort you’ve applied to getting outside your comfort zone.When you stretch yourself outside your comfort zone you find a new comfort zone Click To Tweet
So, if you're revising but finding that your grades aren't improving very much or you're in year 12 and you're finding it's a big leap upwards and you just know that something needs to change if you're going to achieve your dreams, make a commitment to yourself today to always be reaching outside your comfort zone to see what more you can accomplish.
“As you move outside your comfort zone, what was once unknown and frightening becomes the new normal.” Robin S. Sharma
If you feel like you can't make this leap outside your comfort zone on your own, that's what I'm here to help you with. Check out The Extraordinaries Club, my online hub where I teach you how to study (which includes getting outside your comfort zone) in a way that works for you to see how I can help you to make that leap. Click here to find out more.
In the comments below tell me:
- Are you resisting stepping outside your comfort zone? What's making it so difficult for you?
- What specific thing can you do today to step out of your comfort zone to see an improvement in your grades.