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HOT TOPIC Crushing the Comfort Zone

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Get Right

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I've been thinking (and researching) about comfort zones and how they can hinder your ability to grow as a person. There is also evidence that your business can stall/suffer if you stay in the comfort zone too long. My research is starting to convince me that pushing yourself and your business out of that zone could open some possibilities for unseen growth. As a secondary topic I am interested in how this relates to individual happiness. (I'm guessing that increased happiness might exist just outside of the comfort zone).

Although there is some research and opinions about this, I haven't really found a study that combines all these ideas into one thesis. So, I am going to create a real-life study/showcase and document it right here! And the guinea pig is going to be....well...me.

For this experiment I will be pushing 2 things out of the comfort zone. Those are:
1. myself personally
2. my spec-home business (thread below if you want to know more about that)

I will be documenting:
1. My mental state and hopefully any lasting changes (these my be hard to identify but I'll try).
2. Any change in the business. That can be financial/scale/ease/etc. Once I see some changes I will categorize them so we can track changes with some sort of metric.
3. My personal happiness. I took a baseline happiness test and will update it periodically.

Things I will be doing - finding all possible areas to push the comfort zone both personally and business. I will have to find most of these but you are certainly welcome to submit your ideas! These will be along the theme of:
1. Personal - Go to a float tank for 3 sessions. Several ways that pushes me out of the CZ but mainly I'm not too comfortable with the "lost in your head" scenario.
2. Business - Delegate stuff I normally do. This pushes me out of the CZ because I really like to do things myself. It's a perfection issue, so let's push it ha!

Things I will not be doing:
1. Cliff diving or taming Cobras. Not looking to die in some adrenaline rage.
2. Take serious risks to my health or my business. I'm not betting the house on red but I will push until I'm uncomfortable.
3. Faking CZ issues just to provide content. These studies are meant to push the CZ, inherently I'm not going to want to do them. Feel free to call me out on this.

So here we go! Feel free to comment, add suggestions, ask questions, join me, whatever floats your boat...out of your Comfort Zone!
 

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amp0193

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As a secondary topic I am interested in how this relates to individual happiness. (I'm guessing that increased happiness might exist just outside of the comfort zone).

In my experience, pushing the comfort zone results in anxiety until the point at which the pushed limits become the new comfort zone.

At that point, I would say self-esteem or satisfaction is higher than it was before the push.


Following this thread... sounds interesting!
 

MyNameIsMarcel

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I like this idea.

Maybe start taking cold showers immediately you wake up? Start with just 30 seconds and raise it over time. Quite a hurdle in the morning but it gets you going.
Thats great idea and exactly what I do every morning directly after waking up, cold water at the morning makes your soul ready for the day, its also very nice because for first seconds water is very cold but after a while you get used to it and it began normal temperature for you.
 

Get Right

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Jack Robinson

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You are doing a very interesting thing here and i'm certainly gonna follow it,getting out of the comfort zone will help you grow as a person and give your business an opportunity to grow as well.
 

Get Right

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CCZ #1 - Take a cold shower

Idea: Submitted by @Required and @MyNameIsMarcel
How this is uncomfortable: It's 42 degrees outside and this sounds absurd

Pre-Event Anxiety level (1-5): (suggested by @amp0193) Level 1, I didn't have much time to think about it so I did the "jump in a cold pool" trick and just did it

How it went: As mentioned I turned the water on cold and just jumped in...and OMG was it cold. For the first seconds I couldn't breath. When I caught my breath I could only breath through my mouth. Guess my nose wasn't having it. The shock lasted less than a minute but yelling a few obscenities helped. After 3 minutes, everything was fine. I wasn't super cold or super uncomfortable. I stayed 7 minutes, my normal shower time.

Immediate Reaction(s): Once toweled off I found myself pacing for no good reason. My normal routine was also kind-of hard to do. I found myself doing things out of order like putting on clothes...then deodorant. My mental state was excitement and I felt full of energy (which is very unlike me, I'm a night owl).

Reactions after an hour: I walked outside and immediately noticed the sun warming me. Not much but I noticed it. I also didn't wear a jacket like normal in 42 degrees and I wasn't cold at all. I spoke to a stranger later and felt that I was more focused on the conversation. I didn't feel as hungry as usual and I had a hard time calming down up until the 2 hour mark.

Final Reaction: I stopped noticing any real difference around 5 hours afterwards.

Willingness to repeat (1-5): 5, I will do this again.

Notes: This is a fun, easy way to get out of your CZ that most people can do. The immediate reactions were beneficial. I'm not sure there will be much of a long time result unless I continued the practice daily. I'm not sure about a longtime happiness increase but I certainly laughed a lot!
 

Get Right

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CCZ #2 (Getting a massage) happens tomorrow!

I'm not a big fan of strangers touching me so this one will push me. In fact, I've never had a massage, manicure or pedicure, or anything related. I just don't like the idea. And I didn't wimp out, I signed up for the full hour...in a spa of all things.

I purposefully scheduled it a day out to maximize any anxiety build-up that might happen. I have a slight bit of trepidation as I type this.

Good grief, this is getting serious.
 

whiz

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CCZ #2 (Getting a massage) happens tomorrow!

I'm not a big fan of strangers touching me so this one will push me. In fact, I've never had a massage, manicure or pedicure, or anything related. I just don't like the idea. And I didn't wimp out, I signed up for the full hour...in a spa of all things.

I purposefully scheduled it a day out to maximize any anxiety build-up that might happen. I have a slight bit of trepidation as I type this.

Good grief, this is getting serious.

You don't like people touching you?

Dude you would HATE Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)

It's kinda like wrestling except you aren't just looking for positional dominance, you're looking to end it via submission - either a choke or a joint lock (threatening a bone break).

I just started like 3-4 months ago and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Awesome way to get stronger/more fit and give yourself some physical confidence.

I had no idea what I was doing the first day. I was getting my a$$ handled... now I'm holding my own (and sometimes winning) against people that have been doing it for like a year.

Also since you mentioned you hate getting lost in your own head - try mushrooms or LSD if you haven't before.

My apologies if this forum is anti-drug, but I've personally found amazing results from my psychedelic experiences.

It is the ultimate "give up all control" kinda thing... you're submitting to a type of randomness that is not explainable through words.

Your mileage may vary though. It's not for everyone.

Just listing a couple things that helped me push my comfort zone greatly.

Good luck on your journey.

If you're afraid of it, confront it.
 

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Get Right

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If you're afraid of it, confront it.

Thanks! This is what I am after. It doesn't have to be a phobia, just enough to make me uncomfortable.

I am adding adding martial arts to my list because of your recommendation! This sounds pretty uncomfortable so I am in. Going to pass on the shrooms and LSD for this experiment but I hear what you are saying.
 

amp0193

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Idea:

Push social norms. Talk to people in situations where you normally wouldn't. Make eye-contact when you would normally stare at the ground. See someone solo at a restaurant and ask if you can sit with them.
 

Mike Partee

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Going to pass on the shrooms and LSD for this experiment but I hear what you are saying

aww...this thread was just about to get interesting :)
 

Mike Partee

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Here's something that comes to mind that personally made me uncomfortable,
but is really rewarding when implemented.

I don't know how busy your days are @Get Right, but when things get busy there's usually a nervous background static in the air that is extremely hard to disconnect from that wears me down over time.

I NEED free, unstructured time to just think, ideate, and clear my head to be healthy, and I'm sure many people do too.

You know what it feels like: an email here, a text there, a call, headers reading "URGENT" that aren't, etc... to the point where you get a tiny panic attack when new emails come in from customers.

In other words, I'd challenge you to disconnect entirely for a window of time.
Turn off the cell phone, close the computer.

It doesn't have to be a huge amount of time, but just enough time that you'd be worried contractors / customers / staff are trying to reach you.

How long can you go unreachable before you start getting nervous?

That'd be a cool experiment.

It's especially hard for extremely industrious people who are used to working on SOMETHING all the time, and might give you that "in your head" experience you're afraid of.
 

whiz

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Thanks! This is what I am after. It doesn't have to be a phobia, just enough to make me uncomfortable.

I am adding adding martial arts to my list because of your recommendation! This sounds pretty uncomfortable so I am in. Going to pass on the shrooms and LSD for this experiment but I hear what you are saying.

Just keep in mind that it's the people that matter. Not so much the art...

You can have a great experience doing martial arts. Just use judgment. If the instructor seems like a douche and there's a douchey vibe, find another school.

Some people are just insecure douches who love to pick on new people. If you feel that vibe, find a new school.

You should be welcomed, and people should be going easy on you and teaching you alot when you're new. They should love to share and help you grow.

Just find a school with really chill, respectful people. There has to be an air of collective learning. Everyone is there to become better.

Good luck
 

Get Right

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CCZ #2 - Get a Massage

Idea: Mine
How this is uncomfortable: I don't like strangers touching me (or so I thought)

Pre-Event Anxiety level (1-5): Level 3, Scheduling the massage the day before was the highest stressor. I had moments where I backed out of the booking portal. The morning of, it went down to a 2. Once again I just committed to doing it.

How it went: Thank goodness I found a great therapist! She could tell I was uncomfortable so she walked me through the process. Yes, I asked about underwear just because that was another uncomfortable thing to talk about. The place had a spa like feel with soft music and lots of smells from the eucalyptus family. The table was heated and comfy, I really liked the head holder thing. She started with my shoulders and funny thing was...it didn't bother me one bit! I tried to stay in the moment and only rarely did my thoughts leap to stupid stuff like did I clip my toenails. Near the end I forgot that I signed up for a foot massage also. I was really dreading this part. I mean, who wants to rub my feet! Oddly enough it ended up being one of my favorite parts.

Immediate Reaction(s): I felt taller leaving the spa for some reason. I had a little trouble focusing, like I needed lunch so I started driving with no real destination and just picked a place. Obviously my body felt pretty relaxed and my normal neck tension seamed relieved.

Reactions after an hour: It took about 2 hours for the focusing problem to clear. I just enjoyed the relaxed feeling and let it run its course.

Final Reaction: 4 hours later my body still feels relaxed. Mental state is clear with a extra side of chill.

Willingness to repeat (1-5): 4, I would do this again, see the notes for why its not a 5

Notes: I can't believe I had built this up to be such a big deal. Although nice, it was kind of anti-climatic. Everything was just chill during the appointment. I can see where having a great therapist can make the difference.
 

Get Right

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Push social norms.

Great idea, added to the list. I can imagine a little anxiety with this one.

I'd challenge you to disconnect entirely for a window of time.

Another great idea, added to the list. Would be fun to see what finally breaks me to pick up the phone.

CCZ #3 - (Call a business competitor)
My next task is to call one of my competitors and see if there is an opportunity for collaboration or referrals. I got the idea from Entrepreneur Magazine. The article was about "getting out of your own way". The idea was our mind sometimes block paths to success. I coupled this with another article about low hanging fruit. My idea is to call a competitor and see if he has low hanging fruit that doesn't interest him. Should be super uncomfortable but worthwhile on a few different levels.
 

Mike Partee

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CCZ #3 - (Call a business competitor)

Can confirm that this is scary as shit,
especially if you have a bad relationship with one.

Early on in my business I had burned a bridge with one, and called them about a year later to properly apologize. My heart was pounding just prior lmao. Ultimately, I'm glad I did though.
 

bilkar1985

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CCZ #2 - Get a Massage

You should try the "TANTRA" massage next time..and I mean the real, the correct one (there are "misunderstandings"). It will simply blow your mind :smuggy::innocent: :halo:
 

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amp0193

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Should be super uncomfortable but worthwhile on a few different levels.

While overseas last summer, I engaged with the owner of a European competitor of mine, who had thought of entering the U.S. market, but hadn't yet.

It was amazing how open he was about his business, let me tour his warehouse, showed me his new prototypes. I walked away with an offer to future discussion/collaboration on his U.S. efforts. If it's in a way that doesn't directly step on my toes, then I may be apt to provide some infrastructure/fulfillment/customer service for him. If he's going to enter the market somehow, it may as well be with me. Then I can keep an eye on what he's doing, and make some money off it too!

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

I think in a growing market, there can be more opportunity to be friendly. If company X increases the awareness of their products, they're increasing awareness of the niche as a whole. We're really helping each other out.

Good idea!
 

wade1mil

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Some ideas for you...
Eat the three foods you hate most.
Yell random things and do jumping jacks/push-ups in a crowded public space.
 

RazorCut

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Yell random things and do jumping jacks/push-ups in a crowded public space.


That reminds me of the laying down while in a queue and also asking for a 10% discount at Starbucks or other coffee shop experiments with getting out of your comfort zone.
 

RazorCut

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Can confirm that this is scary as sh*t,
especially if you have a bad relationship with one.

Years ago a competitor on eBay called me up (about 5 businesses had gotten into a price war on a range of products but we had the lions share of sales due to positioning and price). He said he had called all the other businesses and they had all agreed if I would go along with it to raise their prices back to normal (we had the competitive advantage as we sourced directly from China while they purchased through the UK importers). Which meant that we we still making moderate profits while they were pretty much at break even. Which I was well aware of as we used the same UK importer for other items we didn't import so knew exactly what they were paying.

I remember thinking WTF? What a cheeky bastard when he called. But within 5 minutes of his call I really got to like him even though he had become a real pain in the arse trade wise. He often used to call me up just to chat about business, ideas he had about collaboration and basically life in general. I got to actually look forward to his calls.

In actual fact I thought about him yesterday and what he's doing these days (it's probably been 6 years since we last spoke). He certainly got out of his comfort zone and I admired him for the action he took.
 

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Years ago a competitor on eBay called me up (about 5 businesses had gotten into a price war on a range of products but we had the lions share of sales due to positioning and price). He said he had called all the other businesses and they had all agreed if I would go along with it to raise their prices back to normal (we had the competitive advantage as we sourced directly from China while they purchased through the UK importers). Which meant that we we still making moderate profits while they were pretty much at break even. Which I was well aware of as we used the same UK importer for other items we didn't import so knew exactly what they were paying.

I remember thinking WTF? What a cheeky bastard when he called. But within 5 minutes of his call I really got to like him even though he had become a real pain in the arse trade wise. He often used to call me up just to chat about business, ideas he had about collaboration and basically life in general. I got to actually look forward to his calls.

In actual fact I thought about him yesterday and what he's doing these days (it's probably been 6 years since we last spoke). He certainly got out of his comfort zone and I admired him for the action he took.

Couldn't You have waited for them to give up and then scooped up all the market share?
 

RazorCut

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Couldn't You have waited for them to give up and then scooped up all the market share?

It would just have created a vacuum to be filled by some other back bedroom operation (they were small, low priced products but we sold probably 30 a day so it made financial sense).

Just checked on eBay and someone is using one of my old stock photo's for their listing. They have sold over 28,000 of them. lol

Sorry, @Get Right I've taken this off on a tangent back to comfort zone:

You said you wouldn't do anything that was potentially life threatening? I've ran off off a 6500' mountain strapped to a para-glider last year which might be a little extreme but how about a zip wire? Do you have a fear of heights?

I took my sons on the second longest zip wire in the UK a few months back. My eldest was totally out of his comfort zone on it which was funny as his girlfriend (whom I took as well) was really keen so he couldn't pull out. Especially being a macho bodybuilding personal trainer. lol

Zip wires are perfectly safe. This is the longest one in the UK (and Northern Hemisphere).

Velocity0073.jpg
 

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Great idea for a thread!

I see you already have done the cold shower, you could increase the discomfort by taking an ice bath.

Imo cold showers are great because they don't get comfortable over time because your bodys number one priority is to safe energy and it takes a lot of energy for the body to stay warm in a very cold environment.
Usually if you get out of your comfort zone often enough doing the same thing the discomfort will go away but with cold showers the discomfort stays especially if you hadn't a cold shower for a couple of days in a row.

On top of that cold showers have a lot of great health benefits.
 
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RazorCut

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Usually if you get out of your comfort zone often enough doing the same thing the discomfort will go away but with cold showers the discomfort stays especially if you hadn't a cold shower for a couple of days in a row.

I have a cold showers most days at my gym, but I welcome them as I stay in the sauna for as long as possible and the cold shower comes more as a relief.

-
 

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