Comfort or challenge?

How much do you know about your comfort zone? It's this magical area which surrounds you, keeps you safe, comfortable, happy and confident. When we are doing what feels comfortable, life (or work) seems easy, you don't have to think about it too much.

Just quickly, I'd like you to try this simple little exercise - humour me..  Pick up a pen and a bit of paper, and sign your name. Now switch hands and do the same. 

For most people, the second attempt felt more awkward, uncomfortable and probably looked a bit different to the first?  Most people probably wouldn't have chosen to go with their less comfortable hand first, it may have felt a bit of a stretch?

Have a look at the diagram. It shows 3 zones.

comfort zone image

 

 

 

Your comfort zone is at the core. It's the stuff you do, that you don't think about, the conversations that are easy, the skills you're most used to applying, the knowledge you're most used to sharing. As you move further away from your comfort zone, things require a little more effort, maybe take a little more energy, perhaps you need to nudge yourself a little?
Imagine friends have arranged to meet in a Café; Jim is operating from his comfort zone, so goes straight in to find a table, whereas John, operating from his stretch zone, would prefer to meet outside. After waiting a few minutes decides the others must be inside so heads in. Josh arrives and calls to let the others know they've arrived, because he is seriously uncomfortable about going into unfamiliar paces by himself and needs extra support in place; he's operating from his panic zone.
Apply this concept to your life or work.

1. What comes easily and feels super comfortable? Comfort zone.  2. What takes you one or two steps away from comfort but not enough to stop you progressing? Stretch zone.  3. What feels a step too far and sends your heart racing? Panic zone.

It's useful information isn't it?  The more you notice and the more you do outside of your comfort zone, your confidence increases - and your zone of comfort actually stretches!  By taking action, even 1% outside your comfort zone, you will be growing it!!
What's your 1%?
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