On Facebook a few months ago, I saw the image below from ‘thewealthhike.com’ (I’ve replicated it).
It struck a chord with me at the time - I thought it captured our comfort zone and journey to growth really well. I shared it on LinkedIn in a post and it struck a chord with lots of my connections too.
We often hear that we need to get out of our comfort zone and that the magic happens - ‘out of our comfort zone’.
I’m sure we all know where our comfort zone is and certainly how it feels when we step out of it. But what does being and working out of our comfort zone actually mean?
I think this image sums it up very nicely indeed. What do you think? Let’s look at it in more detail.
The Comfort Zone
It’s true that we certainly feel safe and in control in our comfort zone – that makes total sense. Wherever we are on our learning journey, our business journey or in life in general, we’ll have a place of comfort where we feel secure.
The Fear Zone
I love this next step the ‘Fear Zone’. We know we want to break free of our comfort zone but it’s scary. Pretty much everything we need to do to push ourselves feels scary.
How many times have you made excuses to yourself not to do something you know you really should? I’ll be very honest here; I make an awful lot of excuses before I do something. Then I berate myself for not doing it sooner. One of the big things I put off was changing my business into what it is now. My first business was very different, but right from the start the voice in my head was telling me I should be offering what I now offer to my clients – business coaching and advice – probably because that’s where I have years of experience and qualifications to match. I put it off because I’d started a different business, it was successful, I was earning money and it would mean starting again. I also had massive limiting beliefs about whether people would pay for my services. So I stayed in my comfort zone for far longer than I should!
These days, I step into the fear zone a lot more. I’m there quite a lot. Some things get easier, other things don’t.
As we step out of our comfort zone, we feel the fear, but sometimes we come to realise that fear over a particular issue might not be that bad. This means our comfort zone extends to incorporate it – we feel ok about that issue now. As we grow our zones will therefore grow with us.
The Learning Zone
The learning zone is an interesting area – dealing with challenges and problems and acquiring new skills – this is a zone I love to be in. And as we face our fears, we realise that learning helps us and gives us the tools to get over those fears more quickly and efficiently. I’d say it’s a challenging but happy place to be – and it’s true, it extends your comfort zone. Once we have the skills, we’re comfortable again, right?
The Growth Zone
It looks like the Growth Zone is where we’ve made it… for now at least.
Remember, your dreams might change as you develop through these zones and yes, as the image suggests, we will make new goals whilst conquering others. Our lives in work and play are ever-expanding.
It’s important to remember that right now you may feel comfortable about lots of things – but this comfort has likely been firmly placed in the fear zone in the past. We’ve been in the growth zone and smashed lots of targets – we’re now setting our ‘stretch’ goals – more things to work toward.
So, whilst you may think you’re working in your comfort zone (and maybe berating yourself for not being more risk-averse and feeling that fear), you’re actually, most likely, spreading across all of the zones in different areas of your business, different areas of your life.
That said, this image is really useful to see where you are with different issues. If you’re in the comfort zone with your marketing for example, ask yourself what excuses you’re telling yourself about taking your marketing to the next level. When you know this, you’ll know what you need to learn to smash those marketing goals.
Have fun with this – you can do a mini audit on where you are now, be honest about your excuses. This image alone can really help you with goal setting and planning in your business.
What areas are you willing to start feeling the fear in today or this week? Just try doing one new thing. Let me know in the comments section what new thing you’re going to do.
Hi, I’m Fay!
I’m a business coach and adviser and I’m here to help you grow your business with clarity and confidence.
I’ve worked with business owners just like you for over 20 years.
I know that you started your business for flexibility and satisfaction and to live your purpose. You have a fabulous business idea that your ideal clients should love.
But you’re frustrated becuase it now feels daunting and overwhelming - there’s so much to do and you’re just not sure if all these things you’re doing are the right things.
I do know how you feel, and I’d love to take you from this confusion to creating a clear direction to develop the business you’ve always had in mind.