We all have comfort zones. And we all live in a comfortable zone. It is the arena of activities we have done often enough to feel comfortable with, eg. walking, talking, driving, spending time with friends, making money in particular ways. These were once difficult and fearful and now are comfortable or familiar.
Imagine your comfort zone is a bubble that surrounds you. While you are inside the bubble you feel comfortable. If you have to leave the bubble you feel uncomfortable or fear. Your comfort zone bubble might be as big as the room you are currently sitting in. Someone else might be more fearless and their comfort zone bubble might be as big as a house. But they still have one.
I once recall Australia’s richest man – at the time – Kerry Packer had Bill Gates as his special guest at a major dinner event. Packer was a giant of industry and a wealthy, seasoned and experienced business tycoon.
Let’s pretend Packer escorts Gates to the table. But then I saw Kerry Packer do something I never expected. I saw him pull out the seat for Bill Gates and wait for him to be seated. Maybe it was the $4 billion man giving deference to to the $40 billion man!
So I concluded that everyone has a comfort zone – even the most successful people on the planet.
This comfort zone bubble can easily be perceived as a wall of protection that keeps bad things from us. It’s a perimeter but it’s an illusion. In reality, bad things get in just fine (perhaps you’ve noticed!).
But you need to see your comfort zone bubble as a wall of limitation that can inhibit and even prevent you from saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done and getting what you ideally want.
If what you want is outside your comfort zone bubble, beyond that perimeter, you may resist taking action especially if you are required to go beyond the perimeter of your comfort zone. But if done often enough, you overcome the fear and your comfort zone perimeter actually expands. Suddenly you can say and do the things that you once perceived were difficult or impossible.
But if you back off in order to stay comfortable, your comfort zone actually shrinks. It does not stay the same!
The effect of a comfort zone is the sense of resistance. The dictionary describes resistance as:
(i) The capacity to withstand something eg., the body’s natural capacity to withstand disease.
(ii) Any force that tends to retard or oppose motion: eg., air resistance; wind resistance.
You have overcome this resistance all your life. If you learned to walk, or drive for example. You’ll know that bodybuilders uses resistance to build strength and muscle. In nature hatchlings must break through their shells to survive, a wolf learns to hunt and continue the chase even though it is tired or sore.
So normalise resistance. It is natural.
Incredibly, when push through your resistance in one area you carry that confidence into other comfort zone issues. When you succeed in one thing, your confidence in your own ability rises and your self esteem increases, and you then take that confidence and self esteem with you into other endeavours.
When you give in to the resistance, your world actually contracts.
The ‘belief’ might be, “I can’t do it, I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough (tall enough, smart enough, blonde enough, etc).” You may not like pushing through comfort zones. But you need to tune right into the negative self-talk and confront it there and then as a lie.
Your arguments for limitation are ‘fiction’ however the effect of those arguments for limitation can be very real and can stop you doing things you need to say or do for your success. This then inhibits you further.
Those who push through discomfort and resistance at every opportunity – as and when needed – experience no more fear than the people who are trying to avoid discomfort and stay as comfortable as possible.
Some people feel fear pushing through their comfort zone. Others feel fear when they think about pushing through their comfort zone. Either way, the fear is the same.
We coach clients to push through their comfort zones even if they feel uncomfortable or resistance. If you don’t you end up trapped in a life you don’t like that ironically is just as uncomfortable as the issue you are trying to avoid.
The answer to all this? Get uncomfortable. (Bear in mind this is not a dare club. I am not saying jump out of an airplane or walk blind folded across a busy street or go toe to toe with your boss … yet.)
You know what you need to say and do. Get uncomfortable. Satisfaction is absolutely guaranteed.
When you cave in to your comfort zone attack you limit your own effectiveness, and the effectiveness of your business. But you have the potential to take yourself, your relationships and your business wherever you want to go! This material is designed to help you take your performance game upwards.
To whatever degree needed resolving your chatter involves pushing through a comfort zone! So normalise that. Jane knew that having a difficult conversation was going to be difficult. But she pushed through with brilliant results.
OK, YOUR TURN
Please reread today’s notes. This is actually a powerful document if you digest it slowly and apply it to your situation. What is giving you chatter? What comfort zones do you need to push through?
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
Definitely consider the Business Leadership Profile (BLP). Amazing award winning, leadership technology.
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© 2017 Andrew Priestley/TCE Ltd