A client of mine faced a conundrum after getting what should have been good news from a client of hers.
Her client had found their work together very valuable and had suggested that she do some further sessions with his leadership team.
But as soon as he made this suggestion all my client could think about were reasons she couldn’t do it, how they wouldn’t accept her and how it couldn’t work.
It was pretty funny as this was exactly the kind of result we had been working towards – more clients who loved her work.
“Do you see that you retreated to your doubtful and fearful comfort zone?” I asked.
“Yes,” she agreed.
“And do you see that you closed off all possibilities?”
“Quite right,” she replied.
Then I asked a question that stumped her:
“If you weren’t stuck in that comfort zone, what possibilities might open up for you?”
“Uh, well I might talk to him…”
“Let’s see, have a meeting?”
“Anything else. Those are not much in the realm of possibilities!”
“Hmm, I just don’t know.”
“Isn’t the possibility outside your comfort zone a whole lot more great business projects that you’d love to do?”
“Well, yes,” she finally said, smiling. “Of course that’s what I want.”
We went on to explore how her identification with the comfort zone made it virtually impossible to see possibilities that were being handed to her on a silver platter.
Most people think that if presented with an opportunity, we would jump at it.
But it’s not the case. Because, from inside the comfort zone, we can’t even see new possibilities. In fact, an opportunity might instead seem like a burden, something difficult, scary or even impossible.
To live a life of possibility seems like a simple thing.
But it’s not.
So how do we get past our comfort zone?
If we don’t have someone point it out to us, it can be extremely hard, as hard as it is for a fish to notice that they live in water.
Let’s say you’re a single guy with an old sofa. The sofa is dirty, ratty and smelly.
But it’s comfortable. You’re used to it. It gets the job done.
Inside that “sofa comfort zone” you can’t imagine buying a new sofa. When you see advertising about sofas you don’t even notice it. When you walk by a sofa store you never look in the window.
The possibility of a new sofa is exactly zero.
And then you meet someone you’d like to invite out. And you imagine bringing her to your apartment and making a home-cooked meal for her.
And then suddenly you remember your old, ratty sofa.
You wake up from your comfort zone, and now the possibility of a brand new sofa is real and alive inside you.
You start to notice the sofa ads and the displays in stores, and before you know it you have a brand new sofa that won’t embarrass you.
Now transpose this to your business and marketing.
The old sofa is your current marketing. It just sits there not doing much, and that feels comfortable.
Then one day, like my client, the opportunity to work with a big client presents itself and you notice you fall back into your comfort zone and can’t see any way you can take advantage of it.
What you need is a wake-up call. And this article is that call.
There are opportunities and possibilities everywhere around you every single day. New ideas, connections, clients are there for the taking if only you would wake up from your comfort zone.
Here’s a pretty cool article I read this past week that speaks to this. It’s called:
What are you waiting for? Click now before you’re pulled back into your comfort zone.
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