Saturday, November 28, 2009


My intention with this blog is to share thoughts, feeling and insight about the place where leading, coaching and living intersect.

Comfort Zones : how can we be comfortable outside our comfort zone? Is that an oxymoron? I don't think so.

If I am anxious about what is coming at me when I'm outside my comfort zone, I am indeed uncomfortable. If I am curious about what is coming at me when I am outside my comfort zone, I'm not uncomfortable in a negative way. I feel uncomfortable in a positive way and that is less threatening.

Work with me on this one.....

I spent the day working on my ski technique with a coach. He asked me to do things on my skis that felt odd and uncomfortable and I willingly put myself into a wobbly stance because I was curious about how my technique could improve as a result of his input. I felt confident that, whatever he was asking me to do, his focus was on improving my skills and helping me become a better skier -- one that is able to handle the bumps and lumps of ski trails. Knowing he wanted me to succeed, I felt we shared a commitment to my learning and transformation as a skier. I experimented with new techniques, saw the improvement, adopted the new moves and got faster. I have more work to do and I know it's up to me to keep up the practice.

In our lives, we have many instances where our comfort zone as evaporated (instantly?) and we stand in a place of learning. That's one way to frame it. Another way to frame it is to say we stand in a place of openness to new input. Whatever comes in, we react. How will we react? What is our pre-disposition -- positive or negative? Whatever it is, we will see what we expect.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Norbert,

    Great comments. They made me think about anxiety in the context of the line in "Rent" where a character is asked by the "coach" "Why choose fear?" and responds "I'm a New Yorker. Fear's my life." You mention the key is to notice your anxiety, acknowledge it, and reframe it into positive intention, curiosity and conscious choice. So true.

    I'm not sure I could do this for myself on the ski slope (or regrettably on the golf course) but I sure need to do it for others in conversation.