“All growth begins outside of your comfort zone” Lou Cassara, From Selling to Serving: The Essence of Client Creation
We all have a “Comfort Zone”, that mental place where we are comfortable with the way things are. I’ve been asked, “What’s wrong with being comfortable?” Nothing – as long as you don’t live there. However, in today’s world of business, if you aren’t growing – you’re dying. The market is constantly changing, there are new competitors (either locally or globally), new products or services offered, and well, prices and costs… ‘nuff said”? In order to have a sustainable growth we have to get out of our comfort zones – get out of our own way just to survive, to say nothing of thrive!
Notice too, there’s a sort of power in becoming uncomfortable (discontented) as long as it doesn’t master you. Cain was mastered by his discontent, as was Hitler and others. Consider the business owner who can’t get comfortable with completion. He’s got to be constantly creating something new, something has to be different. He’s driven to change. He’s always got to be on the move. Unfortunately he’s not creating sustainable growth. On the flip side: discontent resulted in electric lights, automobiles, flights to the moon, studies in volcanoes and tornados. Someone wasn’t happy with the way things were. Their discontent pushed them to do something about it. Like so many things in our world, discontent in and of itself isn’t bad, it’s what we do with it.
I rabbit trail – so to get back to being uncomfortable: To grow your business you have to make friends with being uncomfortable (and being discontented). “Most of the things we think we want come at the price of leaving behind our familiar life and venturing into the unknown. Every time we accomplish something and move ahead, we have to exchange the known conditions of our life for uncertainty and unfamiliarity….success means change and the risk of failure” Chin-Ning Chu, Thick Face Black Heart.
The problem is what have to recognize when we’re stuck in our comfort zone and then find sustainable ways to get to the up side of that comfort zone. Studies done during the 50’s found that people who were forced out of their comfort zones were like rubber bands. Expanded beyond comfort they reached a point where they either broke or snapped back to original size, neither of which produced long term positive results.
In upcoming posts I’ll talk about recognizing your comfort zone and how to get to the upside. In the meantime, I invite you to observe yourself. Where are you comfortable? Where is “comfort” getting in your way? What would you leave behind and what would you embrace? What would you risk and what might you gain?
‘Til Next Time
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