How are you?
I’m just coming out the other side of a rather horrid bug so apologies for the delay in this blog reaching you!
Before I was laid down with the lurgy, I made a trip to London to film some video content for my social media channels. I hadn’t done anything like that for a while and was a little apprehensive. But as soon as I got behind the lens it all clicked into place.
And it made me realise a few things.
I’ve still been hiding.
Just before and during the pandemic I had some big life stuff going on. This made me want to retreat and lead a bit more of a quiet life. I stopped doing lives or video content (apart from my virtual talks, training and coaching sessions), increased my corporate work (where ‘visibility’ isn’t needed) and focused on building a new home for myself and my two kids.
But sitting in front of that camera last week, a load of feelings came rushing back.
I got a huge surge of adrenalin and dopamine. It felt good! And I realised that expanding my comfort zone into my stretch zone was going to pay dividends in my business and personal growth.
Expansion is key
Rhonda Britton, founder of the Fearless Life Institute, built on an original model from 2006 by Ryan and Markova that explores the notion of ‘zones’ and how we can experience growth if we consciously expand out of comfort.
Rhonda’s view? – ‘We don’t get rid of comfort zones, the aim is to have the largest comfort zone possible so that you can become masterful in all areas of your life. When you have a large comfort zone you can take risks that really shift you.’
Makes sense! So what’s happening in each zone?
The Comfort Zone: This where we can conserve our energy and not have to figure everything out. It’s not bad to have a comfort zone, as otherwise we would be stretched all the time. However it’s also important to consider how much time we are spending in comfort and what we are focusing on that aids our growth. In the comfort zone we are happy and content but are we challenged? We stay safe but are we stimulated?
The key is to expand and build off your existing comfort zone.
The Stretch Zone: Here lies all the things we should do or could do but haven’t done. This could be due to being misguided, demotivated, lacking intent or clarity. When we go to do it, it feels hard, as anything outside of our comfort zone gives us discomfort. However when we step into it, it feels brilliant! It gives us an immediate reward and sense of accomplishment. We did a hard thing and are ok with it! This was me last week.
The Risk Zone: In this zone lies something we are not sure we will be successful at. Perhaps because we are used to the way we have always done things, we feel unsure of what the outcome could be, there is an element of risk because there is the element of the unknown, it involves stepping forward and trying something different or new regardless of the consequence. This can be scary but hugely rewarding as 9 times out of ten the risk will be absolutely worth it and that one time out of ten? We will still learn and grow from it.
The Choke Zone: brings shake in your boots fear, a big fear of failure a ‘do or die’ attitude. This is the most risky step and may feel way beyond the reach of achievement, and yet if this pays off, the dividends will be huge, far reaching and long lasting. This looks different for each person. For me it was my wing walk!
As you begin to stretch, risk and choke, your comfort zone will grow, and you’ll find that things that used to be chokes to you are now just risks. The things that were risks are now just a stretch, and those stretch things are firmly in comfort now.
Rhonda says: ‘Unlike typical goal-setting — which can be detrimental because it focuses too much on outcome — expanding your comfort zone is about motivating and inspiring yourself in a way that honors your whole person. It’s not ‘I’m going to be good at everything,’ it’s about not being scared to try.”
I couldn’t agree more and am actively and consciously focusing on expanding into my stretch and risk zone in as many ways as possible in the coming months!
What does this look like to you?
- Take some time to draw out the circles of comfort, stretch, risk and choke and write down what things come up for you in each zone.
- Then set yourself a challenge. Pick one thing in your stretch list and get it done in the next few weeks.. Achieve that? Great! Pick something on your risk list and take steps towards it. I’d love to hear what happens.
- Here are some stretch/risk ideas if you are stuck:
- Standing on a stage and giving a signature talk to a warm and engaged audience
- Doing a podcast interview that will get you infront of 1000’s of eager listeners
- Writing a guest or blog article
- Landing a TEDx talk and exponentially increasing your reach in a 15 minute talk
- Doing an instagram reel sharing your thoughts on something you are passionate about.
All of this requires you to expand your comfort zone and take a risk. You may not know what the outcome will be, but you can put things in place to soften the blow if you do make a mistake, and even then, who cares? It shows you are human!
And if you need more help? Just contact me, I can give you the nudge you need.