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only jump off the cliff when you know you can swim
The comfort zone. A recurring theme in most of my coaching programs. In popular literature, it is considered the starting point for personal growth, before you enter your fear zone, learning zone and finally growth zone. I believe you should strive to be in a constant state of comfort, avoiding the fear zone while embracing learning and growth in a comfortable way.
Being comfortable means that you aware and mindful of the situations you may face, both unexpectedly and as expected. That you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and feel comfortable with them, that you truly know your self. The benefit of such a state of mind, is that you can skip the fear zone and be constantly ready to learn and grow – which reinforces your comfort zone and reduces the chance of entering the fear zone significantly.
However there is one pitfall to watch out for: climb Mount Stupid with overconfidence and fall of the cliff into the Valley of Despair.
don’t climb mount stupid
Everyone has them: a colleague or a friend that is so self-confident in knowing how it all works, but lacks the expertise and experience. This person is in, what I call, the overconfident zone: excessively or unjustifiably confident, unaware that there is more to it, and misperceiving the ability of others, who do have the experience and expertise.
Social psychologists and Nobel Prize winners, David Dunning and Justin Kruger refer to this state as the cognitive bias of illusory superiority results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.
In other words, the famous Dunning-Kruger Effect demonstrates that people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are. Essentially, low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognise their own incompetence. Low ability is obviously relative and refers to the area of their overconfidence.
Avoid the valley of dEspair by being mindful and aware (…oh poetry!)
Shakespeare had no clue, this is how poetry is written! Fortunately I am mindful and aware of my shortcoming and that I would not compare me to a summer’s day.
Knowing your weaknesses and strengths, as well as the way to enlightenment helps you to grow and learn. Your mindset stays the same and works as a magnet to pick up the bits and pieces of development on the way. Keep an eye on yourself, so that you keep on maintaining your comfort zone: observation is priceless.
This will help you to stay away from the fear zone and internalise your development in a more sustainable way – unlike when you act with overconfidence: then you may need to take a ride through the fear zone before you reach comfort.
But keep walking the way to enlightenment with comfort
Thrown into the lion’s den? Thrown in at the deep end?
It is up to you in which state of mind you are thrown in: with overconfidence into your fear zone, or with comfort into your learning & growth zone!
It’s only with comfort that you find the right way to enlightenment.
And only when you know you can swim, you should comfortably jump off a cliff.