Are you too comfortable?

Are you too comfortable?

Do you think success and excellence come from playing safe and staying within your comfort zone? Or is it achieved when we stretch our personal and professional boundaries; challenge our own limits?

There’s a reason why athletes often have a pained expression on their face – they are pushing themselves beyond what feels comfortable in pursuit of improvement.

What is the comfort zone?

The comfort zone is a behavioural state where a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, usually without a sense of risk. When you are within your comfort zone, there is a sense of minimal resistance – you feel relaxed, content, unchallenged.

In the same way that some people have a higher pain threshold than others, some people feel more comfortable in a state of discomfort than others. If you were to rate yourself in relation to your desire for comfort (1 being ‘I always like to feel comfortable’; 10 being ‘I constantly push myself out of my comfort zone’), how would you score yourself? There is no right or wrong, better or worse. It’s more about having self-awareness around your own desire for comfort.

As you can see from the diagram below, there are different zones we find ourselves in constantly through the day.

Athena Coaching, Linda Murray, Comfort zone, learning, entrepreneurThe first is your comfort zone.

This is that familiar territory for you, where you feel anxiety-neutral.

When we step outside our comfort zone or dare to try something new or difficult, we learn new skills, habits and beliefs to rise to the given challenge. This is also where we acquire a greater understanding of our own true potential.

This area is called the learning zone and is a zone where we could all be spending more time.


The next layer is called the panic zone

When we experience significant discomfort, anxiety and we are probably sensing a high component of risk. Some people thrive in the panic zone. For many people, the panic zone is stressful and generally hinders performance because once we’re pushed that far, we have a natural tendency to want to return to what is comfortable. Elite athletes develop a range of strategies to help them cope and function in the panic zone. This is what enables them to continually reack peak performance and achieve excellence.

The important thing to know about your comfort zone is that it’s constantly expanding.

Think about something that you do each day in your role that’s an enjoyable challenge, but well within your comfort zone.

Now think back 5 years ago. If you were to consider doing what you do today back then, it would have sat outside your comfort zone, probably in your panic zone or beyond. Over the past 5 years, you have learned new skills and techniques and your comfort zone has expanding to encompass these.

Success and excellence aren’t achieved by just staying comfortable ~ Linda Murray

What is one challenge you’re facing in your professional world? Don’t be afraid of a little discomfort.

Dare to stretch yourself to your limits and reach your highest potential. Stop procrastinating and give it a go.

One of two things will happen – you will grow or you will learn. Both are positive outcomes.

You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve when you go beyond what’s comfortable.

Athena Coaching

Linda Murray is a successful businesswoman, coach, strategist and mentor, speaker and trainer. Linda’s talent is teaching women to increase their commercial success while using their authentic feminine approach. She mixes her personal experience in business, her strong academic background and her observations of hundreds of businesses to show businesswomen and female executives how to enjoy greater commercial outcomes and accelerated individual success. Linda has coached countless clients to greater success through improved business strategies, increased profits, leadership development, increased team engagement and greater personal satisfaction and commercial confidence. Linda balances the extremes required in business. She has the unique ability to focus on both the big picture and the details; the numbers and the people; the sales and the administration; the left-brain and the right-brain. Linda has a track record in assisting women in business and female executives to identify the commercially profitable big picture strategy and then create an achievable action plan to implement it. Linda built her first successful business in her early 20s, growing her business to a team of 25 bookkeepers and financial controllers. Linda’s business model modernised the bookkeeping industry dramatically – by constantly challenging the traditional models of client management and service delivery. After experiencing the results that business coaching delivered in her business, Linda became passionate about coaching. Linda sold her financial business to start Athena Coaching, where her clients enjoy the benefit of her proven commercial experience combined with state of the art coaching support and her exceptional academic background. Linda has a Masters of Business Coaching, a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy), is an Accredited Professional Coach and Certified NLP Practitioner.


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