Most of us love to grow and develop and gain new competences. The backside of this is that we’ll have to leave our comfort zone to do so.
I have experienced this myself last week during our family ski-trip in Austria. It had been 10 years ago since my latest skiing activity. Being there was great, but actually going up to the mountains was very scary at first.
I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone to accomplish new results.
There are three performance zones (based on Karl Ronhke’s CSP model) you could be in:
1. Comfort zone
Most of us are spending over 90% of our time in our comfort zones. It includes every day’s activities, doing the same things and interacting with the same people. It’s the place of which you know how you’ll be acting and reacting. Nothing is really changing here.
2. Stretch zone (learning zone)
Learning occurs in the stretch zone, this is where new experiences are gained. It is a stimulating place to be, not really comfortable. Confidence grows by challenges and situations, which are just out of the range of your current competencies and experiences.
Our skiing teacher Nick taught us the techniques step by step again. After two lessons we were ready to ski down from the red piste again. It was exciting!
3. Panic zone
The panic zone is the zone in which a situation is currently a stretch too far, or is just unacceptable to you because it is not within your values or principles.
Skiing of a black piste would have been in my panic zone, triggering so much fear,stress and panic I would not have learned anything.
Each person makes his or her own choice of what is in each zone. Realize that panic zones are different for everyone. My panic zone could be your comfort zone. Perhaps you are a great skier and is the black piste within your comfort zone.You’ll be having your own challenges. Perhaps you’re having issues with speaking in public, or having challenges with your team members.
Always have self-respect, and respect for the choices made by others. There are only individual choices or assessments.
Regularly take excursions from the comfort zone into the stretch zone and back again. You’ll start noticing what you’ve learned. Allow your feelings and don’t force anything. Then you can move to the next stretch activity.
In what area of your life would you like to step outside the comfort zone? Please let me know, I’d love to hear.