Among the many benefits that come with challenging your thinking, the opportunity to see areas in yourself you can develop is perhaps the most precious. Seeing your blind spots not only reveals the edges of your comfort zone, but when you develop them, your comfort zone magically expands.
A comfort zone is often what you yearn for when you need a break from challenging situations — which can be life itself. The comfort zone is often misconstrued as a place but in reality is actually just a habit for coping. When you learn how to identify your habits for coping, you can then master how to expand your comfort zone to transform your experience of life.
Here are some paradoxical examples of comfort zones; perfectionism, chaos, control, conflict.
What is familiar often becomes the comfort zone. Even though the actual state is not comfortable, familiarity is and can become your blind spot. What is habitual feels comforting even if it is not.
When the comfort zone is less about comfort and more about familiarity and habit, the original purpose is left in the dust.
You can, of course, stay in your comfort zone. However, if you identify what truly brings you comfort you would realize you don’t need, or want to. Not as a self-actualizing, conscious, mission-driven leader. No different than an athlete needing recovery time to achieve athletic prowess, a comfort zone is there as a place to regroup, refresh, celebrate, and rest. But, it is not the place where you can stretch the limits of who you are.
To begin a daily practice of stretching the limits of who you are, ask yourself:
What new reality would I like to bring into being, and am I willing to do to stretch my comfort zone to bring it to life today?
How to stretch your comfort zone: envision a new reality.
Often, when people think of vision, they think it’s something in the future.
At Vista Caballo, when we speak about vision, we’re speaking about a new reality.
Vision starts with imagining a reality that doesn’t currently exist, intending what you imagine to come to life, and putting everything you have behind it to make it a reality. Chances are you will find yourself at the edge of your comfort zone more than a few times as you do. This means you have to be very familiar with the edge of your comfort zone and know how to lead yourself past it when you get there.
Learn to negotiate with your toughest negotiator: you.
Admitting that you need to develop to explore new terrain takes courage. The more successful you are or have been, the easier it is to stay in your comfort zone rather than challenge yourself, especially if the road to success has been a tough one. An indicator that you are on the edge of your comfort zone is when your thoughts, heart and instincts feel conflicted.
Being unsure of yourself or your abilities to perform well in a new reality is the perfect opportunity for your self-preservation habits to do everything — and anything — they can to convince you to retreat to familiar behaviors and styles. These habituated approaches are the same one that that fence you in.
This is where you become aware of just how tough a negotiator you are and where your truest leadership starts. You are the only one that can lead yourself to, and through, these moments.
Envisioning a new reality includes envisioning yourself as the type of conscious leader that can bring that reality to life.
The StillPoint Experience is one of Vista Caballo’s science-based transformative technology platforms that decreases uncertainty, improves decision-making and increases performance on demand.
Developing the ability to bring positive new realities to life can empower and fulfill you.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller.
Challenging your thinking as a lifestyle is a new model that makes all the old thinking and the approaches that stem from it, obsolete.
When you reach the edge of your comfort zone your self-preservation habits will fight you.
Prepare for this.
Create space for it.
Become a great.
Then become greater.
Make being present, conscious, conscientious and aware your top priority, and watch how the conflict in your life falls away and how easily your new realities come to life. Realize your comfort zone was not all it was cut out to be. It was just a habit from years gone by before you became who you are now.
Personal transformation for mission-driven leaders — and stepping out of our comfort zones into bigger, bolder, better decisions — takes awareness, willingness, time and practice.
This leadership development tip is adapted from “How To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone to Take On the World.”
Are you ready to learn how to use challenges as the ultimate way to develop your best self?
Vista Caballo is equipping and empowering mission-driven leaders to become unstoppable in leading their best lives and solving our world’s challenges. Mission-driven leaders know that only through the power of self-discovery will they be able to create solutions to the current social and environmental challenges they face.
Join us. Decrease uncertainty. Increase performance. Equip and empower yourself, your company, and in doing so, transform our planet.