40-Day Business Leadership Peak Performance Programme Day 31: Comfort Zones

Remember Ron? He sees my car parked on his footpath and he knows he needs to ask me to move it. But he doesn’t. He knows he needs to chase up late paying customers. But he doesn’t.

Remember Steve the barrister? He needs to take back a stale muffin to the cafe but struggles to make the decision.

If you know what you need to do and don’t follow through it is down to faulty beliefs, arguments fro limitation, rationalising or comfort zones.

There are actually several zones.

The Dead Zone basically describes people who are totally resistant to any change of the status quo. They are usually fixed or stubborn and will not entertain any deviation from their normal life at all.

The Panic Zone is when you KNOW you have to change but the thought of change creates an unbearable paralysing anxiety. You panic. You lock up.

The Comfort Zone is the arena of activities we have done often enough to feel comfortable e.g., walking talking, driving, making money in a particular way. These activities might have once been fearful but are now familiar or comfortable.  In reality the Comfort Zone is all about conditioned responses, fear, self doubt, fixed viewpoints, lack of responsibility, blame, lack of growth, lack of faith in our own dreams and abilities.

Sometime the Comfort Zone is called the Familiarity Zone. Research into domestic violence shows talks about the Battered Wife Syndrome where a woman stays in an abusive relationship because it’s familiar. It is not Comfortable. Leaving the relationship is unfamiliar and more fearful. In reality abused people have very low self esteem and are riddled with self doubt.

When what you want is outside your comfort zone or you have to do something new or unfamiliar you usually encounter resistance. That resistance creates inertia. But when you decide to overcome the resistance to stay comfortable and push through your comfort zones, you quickly discover a new found confidence in your own abilities that extends to other areas of your life.

When you give in to the resistance your world actually contracts. You argue for your limitations. “I can’t do it.”  Your arguments for limitations are usually self-imposed and a fiction but the effect is often very real. This dynamic can even prevent you from pushing against the comfort zone again for some time.

Resistance is very much a natural, normal part of life. Some people feel fear when they do something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Others feel fear just thinking about something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. The fear is the same. The person in the shrinking comfort zone fears the fear. If you don’t push your comfort zone you can easily end up trapped in a life you don’t like.

The answer is: do it. Feel the fear and do it anyway. You’ll recall the business people who are afraid to fly who attend a course to overcome their fear. Remember they course concludes with a flight. You have to get uncomfortable and get on the plane.

For the record I am NOT urging you jump out of an aeroplane, walk blind folded across a busy main street or go toe to toe with your boss today. This is not a dare club.

But understand just outside your Comfort Zone is the Success Zone. 

The Success Zone involves more creativity and fun, more possibilities, enhanced quality of life, a greater respect for your time, a sense of gratitude, more contribution, the walk matches the talk, you’re more congruent in what you say and do and you make it happen.

To resolve your chatter you have to get uncomfortable.

So, for success, Ron had to ask me to move my car. For success, Steve had to physically get out of his chair, walk across the mezzanine into a crowded café and ask for a fresh muffin. It sounds ridiculous but  Steve gained a massive insight about how he ran his business from this silly action. For success, Susan pushed through the resistance she had to asking her ex to empty the garage of his belongings. For success, David had to get uncomfortable and visit the doctor and do something about his obesity. He had to eat less and better. He had to sign up for a personal trainer.

Where do you need to get uncomfortable?

Physically move to accomplish those things you choose. Satisfaction is absolutely guaranteed. There is always some action attached to pushing through a Comfort Zone.  What do you feel you need to say or do? What do you need to be saying or doing for your success? Get uncomfortable today.

Andrew Priestley is a qualified business leadership coach with clients worldwide. He is the author of The Money Chimp, Starting and How Money Flows Through Your Business. You can contact him through www.andrewpriestley.com

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It goes without saying that this is for information only and The Author or LinkedIn cannot be held responsible for any losses or damages that occur as a result of reading this material.

© 2017 Andrew Priestley/TCE Ltd

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