I’m delighted to have Kevin Eikenberry guest post for Leadership Freak today. Kevin is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant, facilitator, business owner, Chief Potential Officer (of The Kevin Eikenberry Group) and leader. I admire his wisdom and respect his generosity. His post exceeds my 300 word maximum so I posted the first portion of his article. You’ll find a link to the full article at the end. Enjoy!
Ahh, the comfort zone.
As humans, this is a place we love. We look for, strive for and have created products and even entire industries to help find and maintain high levels of comfort (hello Lazy‐Boy!). We are hard wired to seek comfort.
Given that, you might be surprised by the title of this piece. (Could I really want you to get uncomfortable?)
Why would any self‐respecting personal and professional development author write something that seems so counter to what we all want?
Because like many things in life there is a difference between what we want and what we need. We all, at differing levels of fervor, want the comfort zone (it is, after all, comfortable). Yet what we need to reach our goals is likely in direct conflict with the desire for the comfort zone. So why do I suggest you make discomfort your friend? Let me count the ways.
Five Reasons Why
Discomfort allows growth. Whether you are talking physically (it’s hard to become more fit while comfortably sitting in your favorite chair, and especially when you first begin exercising, you will feel real discomfort!), mentally (thinking about new things, concepts and ideas requires energy), emotionally (doing something different can be hard), you cannot grow until you push the envelope of your comfort zone. All true growth occurs outside the comfort zone.
Discomfort builds confidence. Ever noticed that the more you do something successfully the more confident you become? How do you get better at something – by doing it exactly like you did it before? Probably not. Confidence comes in part from competence, which comes from practicing and trying new things in order to improve. See the connection? It is hard to build confidence sitting comfortably in the easy chair.
Read more here…