Want something you’ve never had? Do something you’ve never done.Unknown
Comfort Zones are the habits we have—neither good nor bad—that we need to be aware of, because they may be preventing us from playing at our best. Comfort Zones may be keeping us in the same old place, as they are just that—they are comfortable. And who wants to leave a place that is comfortable for what is unknown and more than likely uncomfortable?
A Comfort Zone can be a behavior or an action of some sort. For instance, how many of us watch too much TV, are on our smartphones way too much, work too many hours, fill our time up with busy work, or procrastinate? How many of us worry endlessly, are agreeable all the time, avoid confrontation, fear commitment to something, or avoid change? Pursuing comfort is just what we do as human beings. We don’t like change, and we like to be comfortable. A Comfort Zone is a very safe place to hang around in and to just be.
How many of us spend our time being safe doing what we’re good at and getting kudos without challenging ourselves? How many of us just get by doing the least we can do without doing what we know we are really capable of doing?
Several years ago, I sought the advice of a career coach. I had been a full-time employee in the business world, working in the technology arena. At that time, I was looking for another job with another company in the same field. It was suggested to me by my career coach that I attend a workshop for entrepreneurship. I thought, “Why not?” The facilitator said something to me that I’ll never forget: “Don’t look for the same type of work that you’ve been doing just because you are good at it and you know how to do it. Open up your possibilities and your perspective, and take a look at what you may never have looked at before. Don’t let the ‘I don’t know how’ stop you from just looking.”
These were the words that had me examine my future through a different lens. I opened up to a different perspective and I got in touch with my Why. One of the things I loved most about all my leadership positions inside organizations was developing my teams, as individuals and as teams, focusing on results together, and integrating our whole selves into our work. Looking to focus on their impact and building great teams helped me land on my current work as an executive and leadership coach in my own successful business for over fifteen years.
I did not worry about the “how” until I fully understood my “why.” Then the “how” wasn’t so overwhelming.
Written by Pat Obuchowski