“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy
By design, imagine stretches your comfort zone. Stretching is hard. It is uncomfortable. But, like the rubber band above, when you stretch you gain a greater capacity and flexibility. When you first start an exercise regime, you start by stretching. It hurts at first, but if you keep practicing you are healthier for the effort.
It’s time to ask yourself, “What’s my comfort zone? What do I like about it? What’s to be gained by moving out of it?” You might be thinking, “But I KNOW my current process. I’m good at it. I don’t like change. What if I mess it all up?” Perfect. Then you’re ready to try.
It’s ok to feel uncomfortable. Being vulnerable builds relationships and trust. It opens you to growth. What’s cool about stretching your comfort zone?
- You grow – and so does your comfort zone. Yikes! So then you stretch more… and grow more… and so on.
- You gain confidence. Once you hit your limit, push on and survive, you feel more confident in your abilities.
- You learn something new. Go figure. If there’s one thing imagine is about, it’s learning. Learning new tools. Learning to be a better service provider. Learning about the people we work with. Learning new ways to do look at our world.
- You are doing things that most people are not. What’s the difference between success and failure? Taking that first step. Pushing harder. Taking the road less travelled. Doing it differently than everyone else, whatever “it” is for you.
- You move faster to achieving your goals and open the door to new opportunities. Every step outside your comfort zone is a step toward reaching your goals. Every step outside your comfort zone is a step into new territory.
As you embark in the journey that is imagine, are you truly stretching yourself? Are you continually learning and developing as a person and as a professional? Hopefully, you answered YES! because if you do today what you’ve always done, then tomorrow you will get what you’ve always gotten. System change can’t happen in our comfort zone.
So how can you stretch your comfort zone? Choose to.
A closing analogy… If you have a rubber band nearby, go get it and open it up so you can start moving your fingers around inside of it. At this point, there is no pressure and the movement is easy. The rubber band is relaxed, similar to when you are acting within your comfort zone. But what happens when you stretch the rubber band? The rubber band tenses, the same as when you move outside of your comfort zone (like when you start practicing with some of the Person Centered Thinking tools, perhaps?) You start to experience fear, anxiety or stress. What if it breaks? But what if it doesn’t? The rubber band is elastic. Over time can be expanded, stretched, become less tense. And so can you. Let’s start stretching.
Have a good story to share about how this is working for you or your county? Email it to email@example.com .