Have you tuned into the Olympics?   Elite athletic performance is always a refreshing shift of focus from the rest of the news for me. Watching the Olympics is always inspiring to me.  Every four years the feats accomplished expand!

It causes me to pause and think about peak performance in anything.  Often we hear great things are accomplished by getting out of your comfort zone.  However, getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t always move you toward GOLD or and can cause you to quit.

Olympic Gold is achieved by being solid in your comfort zone and is fueled by a clear intent.
Being out of your comfort zone results in wobbly performance.

When an athlete loses his center (comfort zone) he loses his edge.  So do you.

If you find yourself frozen when needing to expand your comfort zone, maybe it is because your intent isn’t compelling enough and/or you are making too big a leap.

A compelling intent trumps fear.

Many years ago I took my young daughters mountain biking.  I chose a very ‘easy’ trail.  It was suppose to be a fun way to spend the weekend and learn a new sport.  That was my intent.  However, it was NOT my daughters’ intent.  It turned into one of those experiences that you find yourself in way over your head and no easy way out.  Sure we did something difficult and survived.  But, I pushed their comfort zone too far and disengaged them forever as far as biking goes.

Same with me and public speaking, it wasn’t until I had a compelling intent that I radically increased my comfort zone.

Comfort zones are expanded best in small increments.

Returning to my biking example, in hindsight, doing a regular biking trip or a very short mountain biking experience would have been a better incremental step.  Small incremental success creates a solid comfort zone.

When it comes to speaking I incrementally increased the size of the audience.

So, how is it relevant to you? 

When you freeze up or avoid attempting something new, clarify your intent.  What is it you want?

Giving feedback to an employee – intent is to increase performance and realize your vision.
Public speaking –  what do you intent to accomplish? Why is important to you?
Making that phone call – what is the compelling motivation?

Then, incrementally, take the steps to get there, expanding your comfort edge. Spiral Impact it by seeking knowledge, practicing center, and asking for support. Perhaps lingering discomfort or avoidance is a sign that your intent is just not strong enough.

Go for your Gold!  Get clear on your intent, then expand incrementally for Gold performance.

Let me know your thoughts!

With energy!  Karen