Can You See Your Comfort Zone from Here?

Article by Kristine CareyI’ve been thinking a lot about comfort zones lately, mostly because I can’t seem to see mine very clearly anymore. Or more accurately stated, I can see it, I just haven’t spent that much time there recently.

What is a comfort zone? According to, it’s a situation or position where a person feels secure, comfortable or in control. Spending time in your comfort zone is easy; it’s like a warm little nest. Personally, you have your favorite foods, clothes, people you like to talk to and hang out with, places you enjoy going. Business-wise, your business stays in its nice groove and you just groove along with all the products and services you normally offer. A comfort zone is a very *ahem* comforting place and gives you no reason to do anything differently. Except that sometimes that’s not enough. You want more excitement, are hankering for new input, or want to take your business in a new direction. These things are not going to happen unless you leave your comfort zone. And that can be potentially challenging.

Here’s one example of a comfort zone in my business, one I’ve been focusing on lately. As you may know, my business is built mostly on referrals and my comfort zone is to entertain, inform, or inspire you with periodic articles in which I mention that I’m looking for referrals should you know of anyone. I love the way this works and have gotten to know and coach some very fun and interesting people as a result. Yet what happens if I want more clients than I’m currently getting — perhaps to grow my business, make a bigger impact, or expand who I’m working with?

  • Mention client referral request in the newsletter = easy
  • Email or call friends, colleagues and past clients and ask for referrals = uncomfortable, but I can do it if I have to
  • Join a networking group explicitly to get exposure to new clients and referrals and actually attend the meetings = waaaay outside the zone, which makes it feel hard

I know I’m not alone in this as I’ve heard from many of my clients about their comfort zone with regard to getting clients and expanding other aspects of their business. What to do about it, then? The bottom line seems to be that if you want things to be different, you have to do things differently. This means picking up the phone, or going to an event, or writing an email, or meeting for coffee. It means putting on an outfit when you may not feel like it, or doing what you know needs to be done whether you’re in the mood to or not.

And, it means stepping outside your comfort zone. It means being willing to put what you want to create in the world ahead of what makes you most comfortable. The good news is that you can do this in little bits and gradually expand what feels comfortable, and you get bonus points if you act as your normal self as you do it.

Now’s the time to go out and expand your comfort zone! Please keep tabs on yourself as you go forth: being a little uncomfortable is fine, you’ll live through it — just don’t freak yourself out completely, OK? It really can be fun, and profitable!

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