Last week I shared with you a diagram of circles that pinpoint the ideal “Sweet Spot” for your purpose in life and work. However, to arrive at that “sweet spot,” there are some zones you have to go through.
The Comfort Zone
You’ve often heard the phrase “get out of your comfort zone.” This is great advice because as you can see from another diagram of circles below, not much happens inside the comfort zone.
While it’s smart and necessary to get outside your comfort zone in order to experience progress in your life goals, you have to be careful not to get too far outside your comfort zone. One article by Belle Beth Cooper explains this very clearly: it all has to do with your anxiety levels.
The Learning Zone
Inside your comfort zone there are very low levels of anxiety (that’s why it’s called the “Comfort Zone”!). As soon as you start to step outside your comfort zone, your anxiety levels increase. While as humans we typically try to avoid anxiety, slightly increased levels of anxiety can be a good thing because it challenges us and motivates us to learn new things. This area just outside comfort zone is called the “Learning Zone.”
The Panic Zone
Where the concept of stepping outside your comfort zone starts to backfire is when you step too far over the line of your comfort zone. When this happens, you end up in what’s called the “Panic Zone.” This is the place where your anxiety levels increase at an alarming rate, causing a panicked response. When that happens, you become paralyzed with fear and can’t do anything constructive.
Stay In The Learning Zone
The goal then, when trying something new, is to find the “sweet spot” in terms of your anxiety levels. That sweet spot is found within the Learning Zone as illustrated in our next circular diagram:
It is here where there is a balance of challenge and support. Too much support, and you’ll remain in your comfort zone. Too much challenge with little to no support and you’ll end up in the panic zone.
Pushing The Boundaries Of Your Learning Zone
There will still be anxiety and fears within the Learning Zone, but not to worry. Next week we will talk about how to overcome the biggest fear most people face: the fear of failure. If you can overcome the fear of failure, you can overcome every other fear, allowing you to push the boundaries of your Learning Zone!
Until then, join our newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan. It is designed to move your passions from just something you dream about to something you live on a daily basis.