It’s the beginning of the school year. Some students are excited. Some are dreading it. Some are going to a new school. It can be a nerve-wracking and scary time of year for many. For most, they are going to be stepping out of their comfort zone in the next few weeks at a new school or grade. And that’s okay!
Many people with whom we work say they spend about 90% of the day in their comfort zone. They also describe their comfort zone as easy, comfortable and safe. So what does this mean? At Challenge Discovery, we see our comfort zone as a three dimensional model, not just “in your comfort zone” or “our of your comfort zone.” Instead, we are in our comfort zone, learning zone, or panic zone. That learning zone is the sweet spot and where we are challenged to try new things, we are growing, and we are, of course, learning. Unfortunately, we don’t spend enough time in the learning zone in our day-to-day life. At Challenge Discovery, things are different.
Our comfort zone is the area where we feel most at home. Things are normal. We feel confident. We feel competent. But we aren’t learning. We aren’t being stretched or challenged. And we definitely aren’t growing.
When we go too far from our comfort zone, we enter the panic zone. This is where we feel anxious, nervous, scared or uneasy. We desperately want to be removed from the situation or quit. Unique to this zone is the physiological changes that occur in the body (faster heart rate, sweating, difficulty breathing) associated with the “fight or flight” syndrome. When in this zone, a person will more than likely move into “flight” mode and attempt to go back to his comfort zone.
But we are forgetting about that middle zone, the learning zone. This is where we grow and we’re challenged to become more confident and competent. It is the zone that requires a conscious effort and hard work to enter and remain there. The more time we spend in the learning zone, the bigger and bigger our comfort zone gets because we are learning, growing and changing. At Challenge Discovery, our goal is for our participants to get into the learning zone. But not by themselves. With the help of their team. Whether at our ropes course or at your location, that is our goal.
When you were at Challenge Discovery, do you remember stepping out of your comfort zone into the learning zone? Do you remember being challenged as an individual and as a team? Do you remember the growth that occurred when you did this? Again, it’s okay to be out of your comfort zone. So good luck with the beginning of the school year and we hope to see you out at the course again, pushing yourself and your team even further. Contact us today to make that happen!