Are You Stuck In Your Comfort Zone?

One of the best books that I have ever read is this little unassuming book by Spencer Johnson, “Who Moved My Cheese.” It depicts 4 illustrated characters as they deal with the unfortunate circumstance of having their circumstances change.

Depending on your personality type you may view change as exciting and full of endless possibilities, get paralyzed with fear and hope change passes you by, or run in the opposite direction trying hard to keep things the same.

In our daily lives, especially at work–change is bound to happen. It’s hard when they move your comfort zone…that cushy place where you can function on automatic.

A couple of years ago I had several a rude awakenings.

I moved everything. Lock stock and barrel.

I MOVED MY CHEESE. I MOVED MY COMFORT ZONE 

I moved….literally from New York to Virginia.

Martial artists are used to pushing themselves to extremes. I made the decision to go for another rank and gave myself the additional unnecessary challenge of testing for Instructor status. After 4 plus hours of torture (thanks Shihan) and plenty of lumps and bruises later, I fell short of my goal.

Some would call it an epic failure…at first I agreed. I now look at it as one of the most important growing experiences of my life. My comfort zone was moved. My circumstances changed. Things for me can never be the same again.

Learning from What Went Wrong!

I approached this promotion as I had the others before me. I worked out by myself. Thought about all the questions that might be asked of me. Ran through scenarios in my head. Why didn’t these rational things work?

  • First I was older like it or not-my body had changed. I couldn’t train the same as I did ten years before, I had to train harder!
  • Second my competition was younger, er fresher. The people I was fighting (think kicks, punches and throws) were younger and more skilled than my previous battles (nothing against those who have bruised me before).
  • Third and probably most important this time around with the greater degree of difficulty I had to raise my game considerably higher than I did.

Moving my life, lock, stock and business has presented some similar challenges.

  • Re-launching a business is sometimes more difficult than starting up a new one. What will you change? What will you have to do more of? What can you do less of?
  • Times have changed, as is the level of competition. There are more options out there, who initially have some advantages.
  • I have to ramp up and amp up my efforts to break through all the noise in the market…or do I?

Reflection on that time, has served up some key business insights for me.

Be ready and willing to change! 
To meet new challenges you need to be better adapted to changing circumstances. Keep your head up and your eyes open to the writing on the wall. When you see change coming, you can better prepare and help to control it.  Remember, new doesn’t mean bad. There will be opportunities in your new circumstances that you never experienced before—explore them!

Be fully engaged!
Be committed in mind, body and spirit! When even one of those things is not engaged you are unlikely to be successful. Others can read when you are not “all in’. If you have doubt, don’t belief you can do it or let negative thoughts creep in, others will know. It comes out in the words you choose, your body posture and the vibes you give off!

Learn from defeat.
Not hitting a goal doesn’t mean you can’t win. Thomas Edison, is known among other things, for saying he “failed his way to success”. My biggest growth opportunities have grown out of epic failures. The key is not to count how many times you fall down, but to count how many times you get up—and make sure you get up stronger!

So let’s talk about you.

  • Have your circumstances changed?
  • Are you fully committed in mind body and spirit to moving your comfort zone?
  • What do you need to do differently?
  • What fears do you need to overcome?
  • How do you prepare for change in your business?

I am not a fan of sudden change, no one is…so whether it’s your customers or employees, advance notice can go a long way to gaining acceptance. Do you see the writing on the wall?

Let me know what you like (or don’t)…please post a comment or join the conversation with me on social media!

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Nicole Chamblin
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Nicole Chamblin

I’m Nicole Chamblin, a productivity “coachsultant”, the Chief Visionary and owner of Visions Productivity Solutions. Through onsite consulting, virtual coaching and live training sessions, I love teaching ways to more effectively manage the 3 Ts™- time, team, and tasks. If you’re a small business owner or a department head of an established business that has never taken the time to put in place back end administrative processes to improve productivity, efficiency, communication and collaboration– I can help.
Nicole Chamblin
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