Getting Stuck In The Comfort Zone

Getting Stuck In The Comfort Zone. The author observing closely a statue in the Russian Pavilion at Venezia Biennale

Getting Stuck

Getting stuck in the comfort zone is easy to do for a couple of reasons. You have some success in a personal or professional pursuit, so why change a winning formula? Or you are afraid of what happens when you step outside the comfort zone. Both of these things are happening to me at the same time. I suspect if the blog title tempted you to read further, than you’re finding the same.

Is there anything wrong with getting stuck in the comfort zone? I think so. I believe it will stunt personal growth, even if you’re having great success in the zone. That can only lead to decline in personal growth or performance. You’re never static, it’s either progress or regression, the context in which we exist is always changing.

New Challenge

I need to challenge myself personally and professionally. The pace of life is fast and I want to achieve more. If you’re not careful, time passes quickly and then one may look around and realise you’re not where you anticipated being. And that time can’t be had again, it’s the most precious resource and it’s also a non-renewable resource.

On the wellness front, I wrote in August that I wanted to take on some physical challenges in 2020. The same ones apply as mentioned in here. The run into 2020 hasn’t gone well, it got very intense on the work front in recent weeks and that disrupted training. As I type this, I’m on the heavy side (a week and counting of New York cuisine isn’t helping me) and the last three months of the year have seen only sporadic training. I’ll be starting to train when I return on 6 January and let’s see how we go. For some reason, I’ve decided to keep a vlog of my training, stay tuned for that. That will be out of my comfort zone for a start. I’m never happy to be in front of a camera, so to talk to a camera will double down on that discomfort.

Mind & Body

I want to take a more rounded approach to wellness too. Like many of us, my life is a full-on whirl of work, not enough reflection, cramming in some exercise and then doing some more work. No complaint, it’s my choice. But some reflection time would be helpful, so with that in mind I started a daily meditation practice in December, using the Calm app to guide me. If there was anything which runs against the grain of my always active mind, it’s sitting and meditating.

But like most things, with a bit of practice, progress can be made. Being less judgmental when the mind wanders has helped me. Sitting down daily, even if only for ten minutes, helps. Routine can be good when learning something new. Most certainly meditation is getting me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been know to make weak jokes about meditation and mindfulness in the past and that’s my own defensiveness and lack of openness to new things. Setting that weak script aside and embracing something new has been positive.

I feel there are some new creative things I would like to try. I use the excuse of lack of time for not exploring my creative side. It’s a BS excuse. I need to set aside some time and think about what it is I would like to discover.

New Professional Perspectives

On the work front, I’ve used a well-oiled set of principles and the same driving style for a long time. Is there another way to approach business to step up my game? Perhaps modifying my approach, how I interface with colleagues? Where I focus my attention, maybe looking at the environment in a different way? Thinking where I can contribute best to the team in order the total enterprise can benefit?

I know some of my skills and behaviours have brought good results in recent years. Am I bold enough to set some of those aside and develop new skills and behaviours? Can I step away and let a colleague lead in areas which have become a comfort zone for me? I think so, I think I know this. Or I wouldn’t be typing these words now. Getting stuck in a comfort zone is probably most easily achieved when things are going well. Time to take a close look at my leadership style, my functional skill set.

New Ventures

An ancillary business venture is my investment in a new music business. I’ve blogged about it previously. I’m technically the investor in Loup Ent, but as the business has started to find its feet, I’ve become more enmeshed as an advisor. The arts and creative sector definitely moves me out of my comfort zone. It’s an interesting coming together of styles. Observing an experienced music manager, an up and coming music producer, some young musicians and me come together has been … interesting. A few months into the venture I accept that you can’t set strict deadlines when it comes to making an album or persuading new talent to sign. On the flip side, the Loup Ent team are beginning to see that goals and deadlines can be helpful. Everyone is out of the their comfort zone in this coming together, and I think it’s becoming a healthy tension.

Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone

Getting out of my comfort zone, rather than getting stuck in my comfort zone is my theme for the coming year. Mentally, physically, professionally. Time to examine things in a different way. The most dangerous space to exist in is a comfort zone. I don’t believe there is anything positive in the space. I’ll revisit this blog in a few weeks and let’s see if I’ve been able to change anything.

Also published on Medium.

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