Why We Need to Keep Our Comfort Zone On It’s Toes?

backslidingAs I start the training for my fourth marathon, the Athen Marathon on Nov 9th, after a break of around 6 weeks, I have been finding training tough going.

This is after running over 2500km in training in the last 22 months, but the thing is, even though I have pushed myself well and truly outside of my comfort zone,  after just a few weeks my new comfort zone has started to shrink back to where it was before.

We don’t like change, and as we start to push ourselves into new areas, as soon as we stop we start to revert back to where we were.

It’s like our comfort zones are made of elastic. We can stretch them, even convince ourselves that we have made them bigger, but once we stop pushing or looking to maintain our new status quo, then the elastic looks to pull us back nearer to where we were when we started.

This is why, if we are not constantly pushing ourselves or working on our skill sets, looking to improve and maintain that improvement, then we quickly fall back.

People often say it’s easier to become number one than it is to remain there, and that because we need to keep exercising ourselves, if we look to rest on our laurels or take it easy now we have reached the top, then we get taken over by the competition.

This doesn’t mean we need to be flat out all the time, but we do need to keep things ticking over. It takes time for our new approaches to become a habit but when they do they become powerful allies, but if we stop or settle for a while, then this can become our new habit and we can find ourselves backsliding pretty quickly.

How often have you gone a diet, achieved your target weight, and then thought ok, now I can relax little and suddenly you’re piling the pounds back on, I know I have.

I mean it’s just one chocolate biscuit what harm can it do 🙂

It’s the same with our companies and teams, we need to keep our comfort zones in our sights, we can slow our progress a little to give the troops a rest bite, but we mustn’t let ourselves start to backslide.

We need to maintain positive momentum, no matter how small.

It’s like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill, once you have the boulder rolling it’s easy to keep it going, but if we stop or start to let it roll back, sooner or later we will find ourselves at the foot of the hill, and probably under our boulder.

I knew that when I stopped my running during my vacation it would be tough to restart, but hey it was only going to be 2 weeks or so, but then I got travelling, and pretty quickly it mounted to 6 weeks, and now I am paying the price.

Your comfort zone is not your friend and it’s always trying to return to it’s original state.

Check with your teams and your company, check to see whether you re sitting on your laurels, taking a breather, if you are you are in danger of back sliding.

Don’t let that happen, do something today to keep things ticking over, maintaining your current position, so that when you ready to move ahead you don’t have to regain lost ground.

Gordon Tredgold

#Leadership Principles

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