Exploring culture, countries and comfort zones
Whose comfort zone are you in?
Iwas employed full time as a corporate trainer when I had the opportunity
to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a professional speaker—on my
own, running my own business.
I called my dad, my mentor, to tell
him about it. “Will you have a long-term contract, guaranteed number of
dates, paid benefits?”
No, no and no were
I had a good job, making
decent money, he reminded
me. “Stay where you are,”
It took every ounce of
courage I could muster, but I
decided to follow my dream,
take the leap and give it a go
on my own. I learned a year
later that my previous
employer sold the company,
and my former colleagues had
to relocate or get new jobs.
When I tell that story in my keynote,
I ask the audience what has always
been a rhetorical question: “Can you
imagine if I stayed there—in my com-
fort zone—just because my dad said I
had a good job?” One day, a woman in
the audience hollered back, “If you had
stayed, you would have been living in
your dad’s comfort zone, not yours.”
Her observation made me realize
that my message was not just about
getting stuck in or stretching beyond a
comfort zone; it was about knowing
whose comfort zone they were in.
That night I renamed my program
“Whose Comfort Zone Are You In?”
and completely revised it.
What about you? Are you as excited
today about your presentation or business as you were when you first got
“the bug”? Who’s your sounding
board? Do they help you find your
true intention, or do you turn to people who just tell you what to do?
(Which may mean they’re telling you
what they would be comfortable
doing.) Are you making a difference
that matters to you, or are you doing
what you do to please or impress
Your answers are the first step
in going beyond the borders of your
own comfort zone. The only thing
worse than getting stuck in your
comfort zone is to break out of it
and land smack dab in the middle
of someone else’s.
Marilyn Sherman inspires people to get
out of their comfort zone and get a
front-row seat in life. She can be reached