From Comfort Zone to Panic Zone

Friday, 4th February, 2011

28 Day Blog Challenge – Day 4

Have a goal you’re working on at the moment? Where does it sit?

… Comfort zone, stretch zone or panic zone?

  • Does working towards your goal feel very comfortable to you?
  • Does it challenge you so that you feel it’s stretching your skills / knowledge / talent?
  • Or are you totally panicked at the thought of working on your goal?

For a goal to excite, interest, grab and motivate you it needs to stretch you. Setting goals and targets are about moving you / your team forward, making improvements, trying new things, extending skills, etc.

If your goal is too challenging or too scary, something needs to be adjusted – to bring it back into the stretch zone, and thus, more achievable.

Try this …

  • Draw yourself 3 concentric circles like the ones above
  • Start listing things that you do, which feel comfortable to you, in the Comfort Zone; everyday stuff, activities you’re confident with
  • Then list things that totally panic you in the Panic Zone. A common one for people is public speaking / running big meetings (these  are work examples, but your list doesn’t need to contain purely work-related things)
  • Finally, consider what activities lie between the two, and could go in the Stretch Zone; perhaps some new things you are trying: a new hobby, using some new equipment, learning a new skill … Ensure your goals for this year are in this list and are stretching you!

Remember – what is in one person’s panic zone may be a comfort zone task for someone else. As you set and achieve stretching goals, the list of things in your comfort zone will expand, and you will see that what previously may have seemed impossible is now within reach.

Have fun stretching!


debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.