Your Comfort Zone is probably very familiar to you – it’s where you feel strong, capable, confident. It’s where you can do good work, know it’s good, and you get good results. It’s also a place free of stress, where you feel secure and content.
It’s a bit like an old familiar jumper that you love wearing, which keeps you warm and cosy.
Have you ever noticed how you discard clothes from time to time? If you have kept old favourites in the back of your wardrobe, and then get them out again and try them on, they can often be out of date, and suddenly you just don’t feel that comfortable in them anymore! How can it be, that item which you so loved, and yet now is so clearly not suitable?
This is what it’s like with your Comfort Zone. From time to time, you will be nudged (or in some cases, propelled) out of your zone of comfort into another area entirely. You might be one of those people who feel as if they are literally growing out of your clothing when this happens – a bit like a snake needing to shed it’s skin.
As a human being, you are constantly evolving. Your body gets older, your mind expands more (hopefully!), your interests change and develop. What suited you in your twenties might hold absolutely no interest whatsoever for you in your forties or fifties.
This is why in your business your natural movement to grow needs to be recognized. Your business in and of itself will also have a natural movement that can be supported.
But neither you nor your business’s needs will be recognised if you stay put in the Comfort Zone. That old jumper or dress will literally become too tight for comfort.
In business, some of the ways this can show up are:
- a downturn in sales
- discovering that you are not as passionate about your product or service as you used to be
- being overwhelmed by all that is going on
For instance, the other day a client spoke about being disorganized in the office. She had found herself getting in the car and delivering a flower order that hadn’t been noticed by her assistants. Now this kind of thing happens sometimes, to everyone. But in this particular case it happened because the ordering system had several faults in it. The client had not recognised that the old system she had been using since the beginning of the business was just not coping with the demands being made of it now. And yet she was reluctant to invest the amount required in a new one.
Her business was not just moving out of it’s Comfort Zone, it was bursting to get out! And she needed encouragement to take that leap of faith to move out of hers too. She had to come to accept that her ‘baby’ business had grown into a full-blown ‘toddler’ and needed different things from her, better systems to support it, and a big shift in her thinking about it.
So here are 3 questions for you:
- On a scale of 1-10 (where 10 is right out of it), where are you in relation to your Comfort Zone right now?
- If it is less than 6, what action do you know deep down needs to be taken for you to begin to move out of your Comfort Zone?
- What would get in the way of you taking this action?
And finally an invitation: if you’ve specified an action, when are you going to commit to doing it by? (See next week for an article on commitment).