The Dead Zone!
When you and I turn our thermostat up or down the equipment kicks in and the temperature adjusts to a nice comfortable temperature. You and I call this our comfort zone. HVAC professionals call this the Dead Zone!
As I graduated from college, I completed my first Five-year plan. Then life happened. I got promoted and if I wanted the job, I was going to have to move to St. Louis MO. (This was not in my plan). I was 24 years old and had been out of college about eighteen (18). I had a core group of friends, and I was comfortable. However, I wanted the experience, And I wanted to be an executive, so I moved 700 miles away to St. Louis, Missouri.
I got there, went to work the next day and …said OH MY Cuss WORDS WHAT HAVE I DONE. You see, I wasn’t very good at my first job in selling, I was lonely, I was uncomfortable and well just miserable…Then I remembered that I liked Tae Kwon DO when I was in school, so I found a club and began to experience some success. I changed jobs into a new industry. I was just starting to get comfortable in the new role when my new company said… “John, we’d like you to move to Denver,” This was in my Plan. I moved to Denver and 5 years and two (2) months after I wrote out that five-year plan, I achieved it. I was living in Denver as a professional, earning more than I had even planned on and I had earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. If I had been unwilling to step out of my comfort zone this would not have happened.
What is this Comfort Zone that everyone talks about? Wikipedia the online Encyclopedia says it is an artificial set of mental boundaries we’ve set up. While we operate within those boundaries, we are comfortable and secure. The result can be that we become rigid, and rule bound by these boundaries. Then, there will come a day when we know we need to change but we will be afraid to leave the comfort of our Comfort Zone and it will become our Dead Zone.
The law of Entropy that says it is the natural order of things to degenerate into chaos or disorder. That’s what happens when we fall into our comfort zones and become satisfied with life. When we don’t continuously push our limits and stretch, we start to move towards disorder.
Here are some thoughts on how you can avoid the Dead zone while enjoying the comfort zone:
1. Recognize it when you are in the comfort zone. When there are things you will do and others you will not and then only in a certain way…it might be the dead zone.
2. Continuously review your progress and decide what area of growth will enhance your life. Right now, for me it is building relationships with business owners in a variety of industries that I have not worked in to help them grow their business. The imposter shows up. And yet I have helped Auto Shops, CPA’s, Attorney’s, Tech Companies and more, significantly enhance their business. And it is still Very Uncomfortable. Studies at the University of Chicago concluded that the highest achievers are those who consistently push themselves out of their comfort zones.
3. When you get comfortable in your new level of performance savor it. Then Start all over again.
When you make the commitment grow and move from one achievement to the next from one comfort zone to the next, you never have time to enter the Dead Zone.
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