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Do you need to be a superhero to step out of the comfort zone?

How do you get out of the comfort zone when it is necessary for development and change?

Perhaps you know the saying: Everybody wants to develop but nobody wants to change.

I don’t know where it comes from, but it is often what ends important changes in organizations.

The question is though; Is it true?

Isn´t it possible to challenge status quo so that you and others are willing and capable of stepping out of their comfort zone?

I would like to make a suggestion, but first…a few words on comfort zone.

The comfort zone – pros and cons

It is not necessarily a bad thing to be in one’s comfort zone and most of the time this is where we are. Some of the pros are:

  • It saves time. You know what to do and how.
  • It saves energy. You are not exerting yourself.
  • It creates a sense of safety. You trust yourself and others because you know tasks, procedures and relations.

But the comfort zone has its limits. Some of these are:

  • Creativity and thinking outside the box are scarce. Things are done and decisions are made as ususal. Other ways, which might be better, are not explored.
  • You loose wins that might demand blood, sweat, and tears

Two strategies to get out of the comfort one and create the change you want

Strategy 1: What is no-go?

This strategy starts by defining what you would never do and then works its way backwards. The space between “What we will NEVER do” and “the comfort zone” defines the possibilities in front of you. This provides you with a developmental zone where the changes you agree on are both wanted and possible.

Strategy 2: What is the first small step we could take?

It is exhausting to not know, to feel unable to and to not understand. No matter whether you are a leader or an employee it is demanding to feel incompetent.

Instead of creating big changes where everything is new and nothing is known you create a smoother transition by gradually introducing more of what leads you towards the new and less of what belongs in the past.

It might sound like removing the band-aid slowly. This is not true. You create the road as you go along. Numerous small steps that make people feel they know, are able to and understand a minor but still new area before the move on to the next where they might feel unsecure anew – but not far from home…

A new saying could be:

Everybody wants to step out of the comfort zone when the necessary changes feel desirable and manageable”.

And this does not demand superpowers…