Escape Your Comfort Zone!

Copyright © 10/2023 ❘ The Enterneers®

Step out of your comfort zone and embrace change and further development. If you aim to empower and motivate your organisation and its workforce to make significant changes, you yourself must feel empowered and motivated. The better you understand your personal habits and behavioural patterns as well as the strategies to successfully overcome your own hurdles on the way to change, the more successful you can be as a leader in facilitating change among others. Venturing beyond the comfort zone involves taking small but consistent steps. Anyone can cultivate this skill and many have already succeeded in doing so. In the end, some tend to return to their comfort zone because permanent change can be exhausting.

The way to an above-average increase in success is through significant changes. Those who set high success goals for their personal development should always expect to make a considerable investment in personal transformation. This also applies to personal success in the effective application of Enterneering®. Those who have not succeeded in implementing effective Enterneering® within themselves and their personal environment with their previous habitats and behavioural patterns will not succeed without considerable changes, even with the very best of intentions. Managing such changes means that you must conquer yourself and your own comfort zone. It’s important to note that remaining in a familiar environment does not necessarily equate to being inevitably unsuccessful or unhappy, since success is always a matter of individual definition. If one follows the 'comfort zone model', one must move out of one's familiar environment and leave entrenched structures in order to develop further. How do people with a high level of responsibility for the further development and change of others or organisations want to be successful if they do not succeed in taking their own step out of their comfort zone?



What does 'comfort zone' actually mean? How can this state be identified and under what conditions does it arise? It can be assumed that every person has his or her comfort zone and usually strives to occupy and maintain it. The comfort zone is marked by traditions, familiar patterns, ingrained routines, and situations with little uncertainty. The comfort zone is thus the diametrical opposite of change. Through its familiarity and compatibility with personal inclinations, it provides people with a sense of security and sovereignty. It is probably even a component of the human survival strategy.


People tend to be afraid of change. Staying in your comfort zone means knowing what you have and what to expect.


Comfort zones are unique to each individual. They are shaped by a person's personality, values, and experiences. People react very differently to certain situations. What triggers panic in one person may not be a problem for another and is therefore still within their comfort zone. That is why it is very useful to know the limits of your comfort zone. The following zone model has been defined for an effective discussion on this topic. It describes state ranges or transitions between individual comfort levels. Each of these levels or zones can be attributed to certain characteristics.



The comfort zone is characterised by familiarity, a sense of control, and habit. Within this zone, self-confidence and a routine corresponding to personal strengths and inclinations develop.


Driven by imminent, announced, or hardly avoidable changes, there is a threat of leaving the comfort zone. The associated uncertainty, foreseeable efforts, and threats are compensated for by excuses, denial, withdrawal, inhibitions, or irrational actions.


Triggered by inner insight and conviction or by excessive pressure to suffer, a sufficiently high readiness to change arises. The change is initially experienced as unfamiliar and strenuous. Ways of thinking, emotions, and behaviour patterns previously experienced as safe are no longer useful or need to be overcome.


After the change has occurred, a reorientation takes place, which is inevitably connected with a learning process. Getting to know the new situations, circumstances, or environments experienced through the change represents an option for expanding awareness and the previously perceived comfort zone. Personal fear thresholds or obstacles can be sustainably reduced or overcome. Situations previously perceived as unsafe and stressful can be approached and processed in a healthier way.


Once one has left one's comfort zone to such an extent that previous habits and inclinations hold little significance any more, two manifestations can occur. Firstly, individuals may find the new state too burdensome and unsatisfactory or perhaps even a danger. They may strive again to revert to familiar patterns within their own comfort zone, avoiding further changes. In contrast, individuals may experience a sense of positive goal achievement. In this state, self-confidence and satisfaction increase and individuals remain open to further change and personal growth. This can also create a new comfort zone in which continuous development is an essential component.

Leaving one's comfort zone means overcoming personal fears. One should neither underestimate this nor believe that one does not have fears. Every person carries certain fears or inhibitions. Not everyone would label these characteristics as fears or personal inhibitions and yet in many cases the effect is identical. Those who reflect self-critically will realise that it is often the excuses and the procrastination of efforts that mark the reaching of the limits of the comfort zone.


Fear of wrong decisions, risks, and failure
This form of fear acts as a limitation in personal development. Anyone who aspires to increase their success significantly or beyond a known level must overcome this fear. Hardly any business decision is free of risks or errors. Without mistakes, learning according to the cause-effect principle is hardly possible and only where there are risks, there are usually also chances for significant increases in success. Trying to achieve one without doing the other is unlikely to yield success.


Fear of increased effort and strain
The word fear can also be replaced with timidity here and still the result would be the same. In the corporate world, there is often a fear of supposedly additional effort, which superficially does not make an immediate quantitative contribution to the desired result. As a result, such efforts are often postponed to a later, more suitable point in time. It can usually be observed here that solid arguments are quickly listed that justify such a postponement. It can be considered a personal strength if one recognises this pattern and consciously confronts it.


Fear of rejection and disappointment
Who does not know the feeling when one's own idea, of which one is absolutely convinced, does not reach the target group or is even actively rejected? Many entrepreneurs know this feeling all too well in business life. Nevertheless, this should not be a plausible reason to not follow one's convictions or refrain from pursuing ideas, expectations, or objectives. People who never experience difficulties in their lives or are recognised and liked by everyone are like roundly polished pebbles at the bottom of the river. They can never change the direction of the river or significantly influence its force.

Stepping out of the comfort zone takes on added significance when implementing Enterneering®. On the one hand, many people with corporate responsibility must leave their personal comfort zone in order to act authentically and effectively in Enterneering®. On the other hand, they often need to move parts of the business organisation or the entire organisation out of their comfort zone. Entrepreneurs and executives must also be familiar with this topic in the context of change management in order to be successful in both.



The golden rule is: If you want to consciously move out of your comfort zone, you should always start with small steps. Smaller steps not only protect against serious frustration but also allow for more effective correction or adjustment during development. Following the zone model outlined above, it is important to aim for smooth transitions between the individual zones rather than attempting to master big leaps. One should leave one's comfort zone slowly and consciously and get used to the unfamiliar conditions and the associated uncertainty. It is also crucial to realise that the goal is not to change the comfort zone, but rather to foster continuous improvement. It is therefore important to recognise which elements are worth preserving or require continuous improvement and which require short- to medium-term change. The following approaches have proven helpful on this path:

Developing self-motivation
In order to move out of one's comfort zone, a strong motive is needed, the achievement of which is not possible through the mere passage of time. Only an ambitious goal, the achievement of which has a high personal appeal, will be strong enough for this. When formulating this goal, a good portion of egoism may also be involved, because, after all, one must still be happy to identify with it even when faced with great challenges.


Ignoring the interference
When it comes to leaving one's comfort zone, it is crucial not to give too much importance to the opinion of others. The focus should be on one's personal comfort zone and a very personal guiding principle or goal. If you grant too much weight to the opinion of others, you make yourself vulnerable to criticism. At this point, it is once again important to ignore the opinion of others or not to overvalue it. One should consciously decouple one's own goal and the desired success from the goals of the organisation. Attention should be paid in combination with other daily tasks and processes because this form of egoism quickly turns into a negative pattern.


Visualising motives and goals
It is up to each person to decide where and how to formulate and write down their personal goals. Those who formulate such goals only in their minds will inevitably find that these goal images and the linked associations change over time. However, since a concrete goal can only be achieved if it remains unchanged, it should be visualised in the same way. Whether as a so-called bucket list, bullet journal, or success diary, it should be manifested.


Changing basic patterns
As a first step, it has proven effective to make a change in one's elementary habits. A practical approach is to change the daily rhythm and combine it with a meaningful extension or adaptation. For example, one can start the day 30 minutes before the usual time daily and use the newly gained time for exercise, meditation, or inspiring activities. Probably one will be a little tired of this and will have to push oneself to do it on some days. That is exactly the first step. You have already consciously left your comfort zone. This small step will also help you to overcome your own limits in a targeted way. If you do this consciously and reflectively, then you develop the skills to expand your limits on other occasions as well.


Changing work habits
Leaving the comfort zone in the context of
Enterneering® may involve consciously incorporating additional or new topics or elements into the work routine as part of the implementation. This will inevitably lead to displacement competition with other previous activities and content. Here, it is also important to act with smaller but steady steps. If this is successful, individuals not only expand their comfort zone but also address changes in prioritisation and delegation of tasks. This is an important step in successfully leaving the comfort zone in combination with the implementation of Enterneering®.


Engaging other people on newly defined issues
Many people with corporate responsibility first must leave their own comfort zone in order to successfully lead their organisation through change. In implementing
Enterneering® this is the case most of the time. An important development step is to actively address unfamiliar, novel, or even unpleasant tasks with other people within the organisation. If these are topics that were not previously on one's list of favourites, this further development quickly becomes evident to others and shows its impact. The associated overcoming marks the successful shifting of one's own boundaries of the comfort zone and the authenticity in Enterneering® within the organisation increases.


Acting consistently
Successfully leaving one's comfort zone requires more than a single attempt or three small steps. In order to ensure that you do not fall back into your previous habits after a short time, you need to be consciously consistent in your actions. This can be achieved by scheduling recurring appointments, assessments, workshops, or routines. You should not only be honest and consistent with yourself but also with those around you. Therein lies another small step of overcoming when it comes to maintaining self-set goals even under unfavourable conditions such as scarcity of resources, lack of attention, or competing goals.


Making change visible
If you want to successfully lead other people and organisations through change, you usually must start with yourself. One must commit to it and should make this fact visible. This form of manifestation should be anchored both within oneself and in the surrounding environment. There are many different ways to do this. For example, one can change previous routines, sequences, formats of communication, or events.


Knowing the consequences of failure
It is always helpful to be able to assess the consequences of one's actions. This applies to personal changes as well as structural or organisational changes. It also helps to better understand and put into perspective the activities involved in leaving the comfort zone. It is not uncommon for this approach to lead to the realisation that certain consequences that appear negative at first glance can be put into perspective. This awareness can contribute to an increase in security in one's own thinking and actions.


Ensuring balance
Those who are professionally involved in personal change and emotional development should establish an appropriate balance. For this to have the necessary effect, it should be a balance outside of everyday professional life. No matter what form of compensation is chosen, it should be implemented just as consistently as the pursuit of the change goals.


Involving companions
Especially in everyday professional life, it is not easy and sometimes even inadvisable to involve a trusted person in the topic of personal development or change. However, this should not lead to a situation where all considerations, processes, and decisions are made in isolation. After all, it is also a matter of a fair amount of self-reflection, constructive criticism, and retrospection. External feedback can sometimes be a very important impulse to raise one's head at the right moment and sharpen one's own view.


Ultimately, it is not significant whether one believes in the comfort zone model or is more oriented towards the principle of the personal change curve. In essence, it is about understanding and recognising the impact of change on people and oneself. Anyone who wants to or must deal with change in an active and target-oriented way should have the necessary basic knowledge and personal skills to do so. Above all, however, the most essential qualities are willingness, perseverance to do so, readiness to face setbacks, and making adjustments.


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