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Beating the Odds

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Perhaps you’ve seen the video of a recent daredevil stunt in which a kayaker plunged over a 180-foot waterfall.

This extreme sport says everything about how much you accomplish in your life and career.

Warning: I am not telling you to go out and ride over a waterfall. However, it is a good idea — in fact it is necessary — to do SOMETHING in your life to expand your comfort zone.

If you stay in a safe zone where no mistakes are ever made, you will never get a chance to do any real learning or experience any real growth. In fact, practicing things that are just out of the area of your competence is the essence of achieving excellence.

Professional athletes got where they are precisely because they got out of their comfort zone. There’s no better example than Tiger Woods, who yesterday won the Buick Open for the fourth time. Woods, remember, remade his swing AFTER he won a major title. For some people, winning a title marks the height of a career. For Woods, it simply meant that he was not yet as good as he wanted to be.

Every big-league pitcher has had to go through the process of learning a second or third pitch. They all grow up throwing as hard as they can. This is not enough to advance. At some point, they must learn a change-up or curveball. Some even go to the effort of producing exotic pitches like the knuckleball.

To summarize, getting out of your comfort zone is more than just a good idea. It’s absolutely necessary for growth. And you don’t even need to take a kayak over a waterfall!


One comment for “Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone”

  1. sadly Coach Tully most of us spend most of our lives in the friendly confines of our own comfort zones no matter what area of life it is -(sports,academics,career, family life, friendships etc.)

    Posted by kevin reilly | August 3, 2009, 6:56 pm

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