Warning About Stretching Your Comfort Zone

I will start this off by saying that ANYONE who wants to get into business for themselves must learn very quickly to move outside of their comfort zone. When you first start to do this, any tangible action will do because you are not accustomed to being uncomfortable.

Over time, your threshold for moving outside of your comfort zone will increase.

Having said that, I believe it is possible to cause damage or hurt your own success if you challenge your comfort zone recklessly. I give a prime example in my video today to at least give you something to think about.

Don’t get me wrong though. I still encourage that you err on the side of being bold over being timid. But you can still plan your comfort zone breaking activities so that they become of maximum benefit to you.

I’d like to thank John Sherry and his article at http://realsimplepeople.com/2010/07/14/do-you-have-a-big-but for inspiring me to talk about this concept. The article is well written, stock full of great lessons and hilarious to read!

Another thing to consider regarding stretching your comfort zone. From personal experience, I know that some of my best business building moments came when I was trying new things (i.e. uncomfortable things). The most successful actions were ones that came on advice from advisers. Matthew Needham wrote a great post about getting proper advice for your business here: http://bigredtomatocompany.co.uk/2010/07/why-you-need-a-consultant

If you are going to take some bold, comfort zone stretching action, consider getting some expert advice so that you are maximizing your efforts.

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16 Responses to Warning About Stretching Your Comfort Zone

  1. Jay Kraft July 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    I definitely agree with not overstepping too far out of the comfort zone. It’s tricky however to gauge how far to take a step to the “next level”. Sometimes we don’t know where the line is that we’re not prepared enough to cross over until it’s too late. All of these scenarios are usually recoverable (with a team of therapists lol) and generally you are much more savvy the next time an opportunity arrives to take the leap. I still think it’s better than the alternative of wondering what it would have been like if…

    • Justin Popovic July 15, 2010 at 7:27 am #

      Totally. I will still ALWAYS encourage people to err on the side of just taking the leap of faith. Sometimes you may scare yourself pretty badly (like I did with the big talk) but you can always recover and move ahead. The key thing, in my opinion, is to just be willing to do something to challenge your status quo.

  2. Ted Payne July 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    I love this video – really hits home for me too.

    I am not too comfortable breaking out of my comfort level. But I have been making strides. For example remember I would never promote my blog? I would never thing of putting it on Facebook or stuff. I was OK with strangers reading it but not people who knew me. Ridiculous really. Now I promote it everywhere and I don’t really care.

    The one area this really hits home for me is due to my psoriasis. It is really hard to meet new people or even think of going to networking events etc… I def need to work on it though, because that isn’t me. I was always a guy who would make friends fast and easily. Summer is particularly tough due to short sleeves *shudders* LOL It is definitely a goal to work on though – and great video man – really made me think. I don’t usually talk about this stuff – so obviously your video inspired me.

    • Justin Popovic July 15, 2010 at 7:30 am #

      Thanks for the comments man. Your blog promotion is an awesome example of blasting through a comfort zone. Your traffic rankings are proof that it was ready to happen. Why build such an interesting blog if you aren’t excited to share it with people. It’s awesome to see what you are building.
      Also thanks for sharing your personal thoughts about your psoriasis challenges. Obviously, like you said, it has partly caused you to not be the “real” you that you know you are. Just acknowledging it publicly and talking about strategies to improve your comfort zone around it will have a positive impact IMO! Great comment.

  3. parker lee | howtomingle.com July 15, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    Hi Justin,

    I cannot agree with you more about just simply, taking action. Most people concentrate too much on reading information to the point of not taking action,

    The hardest part is definitely taking that first step, right?

    Good topic choice!


    • Justin Popovic July 15, 2010 at 7:33 am #

      Hey Parker. Good comment. I think it is a HUGE problem especially in the personal growth blogging world. A lot of information and ideas being thrown around but often very theoretical in nature. Personally, I always get the biggest lesson from bloggers, writers or speakers who are actually doing things in their own life to illustrate their point!

  4. Sohail Zafar July 15, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    This post looks like it was written for me….lol. I am soooo scared of jumping out of my comfort zone that I end u doing nothing. But, it is important to be a prudent risk taker. Successful people always mange risk and reward and then take the leap. The important thing to remember for people like me is that even though I may lose, as long as it is a calculated risk, I will gain something from that failure nonetheless.

    • Justin Popovic July 15, 2010 at 9:34 am #

      Hey Sohail. Glad this message has connected with you. I’m curious on 2 things.
      1. Why do you think you are so scared of leaving your comfort zone?
      2. What is a specific example of something you could do today to actually try this exercise?


  5. John Sherry July 15, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Justin thanks so much for the mention, glad you liked having your ‘but’ kicked. Hope it really skyrockets everyone’s understanding of comfort zones. I LOVE this video, you do this so well and speak with such clarity. You should be in front of the cameras!!!

    I simply have to agree with you when you say your building moments have come from when you are stretched and challenged. After all where would we be if Sir Edmund Hilary, Roger Bannister or Thomas Edison gave up thinking they couldn’t do what they set out to? So be careful your comfort zones don’t become whole no-go areas or ghettos of experience as then you really are in trouble.

    Great blog name Justin, keep doing this stuff ’cause it’s ace!

    • Justin Popovic July 15, 2010 at 11:54 am #

      Thanks for the feedback John. Really appreciated it. I hope everyone has clicked through and read your blog post. It was the perfect inspiration for this video! I appreciate your encouragement and look forward to more commentary both here and at your site!

  6. Richard Scott July 15, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Excellent video. Great message. You do a good job with speaking easily and confidently. This video gives me great motivation. I think what I need to do is to make a list of things I could be doing to be more successful, but am nervous or scared of doing. Finding out what I feel uncomfortable with will be a first step to heading in the right direction. Small steps. 🙂 Thanks for the advice.

    • Justin Popovic July 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

      I appreciate the feedback Richard and I’m glad this gave you some motivation to look deeper into your own situation. I am gathering a lot of ideas for comfort zone lessons so thanks for letting me know what you thought!

  7. Matthew Needham July 16, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Hi Justin, thanks very much for the shout out – much appreciated.

    I really enjoyed your video post – you definitely need to break out of your comfort zone.

    Ghandi said you need to be the change you want to see. Which is exactly what you’re doing by calling yourself a professional speaker and stretching your comfort zone. Good stuff!

    • Justin Popovic July 16, 2010 at 9:38 am #

      Thanks Matthew. Many more comfort zone breaking challenges to follow. Keep an eye out!

  8. Ben July 17, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    Interesting video Justin

    I believe you should be pushing your comfort zones when you can. They never shrink and you can learn a lot about yourself by breaking through.

    Advice is always good but I think lots of people get stuck in the loop of constantly looking for more and improved advice rather than just having a go at their comfort zones themselves.

    • Justin Popovic July 17, 2010 at 7:06 am #

      You’re right Ben. I have been guilty of that myself. Reading book after book of new and improved ideas that can improve your life but never taking action. I no longer have the luxury of sitting back and waiting since my business success requires that I constantly stretch my comfort zones and try new things.

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