THE STRETCH ZONE – Life’s Curved Ball

Of one thing we can be certain; life has a way of testing us in all sorts of different ways, in different contexts, with different people, often when we least expect it – taking us outside our COMFORT ZONE.

Life must have a sense of humour as just when we think we’ve got life sorted and we’ve got a bit too much swagger it seems to throw us a curved ball – not so funny when we’re on the receiving end.

Besides death (and taxes) the only certainty in life is uncertainty and the threshold of our STRETCH ZONE seems to be a not-too-distant reality just waiting to nudge us outside our COMFORT ZONE.

The nice thing about being on the receiving end of life’s curved ball is that it wakes us up, sometimes unceremoniously, but it wakes us up nonetheless. And when we wake up lethargy is displaced with vitality, complacency with purpose and stagnation with achievement – and we begin to discover our best!!

Question: In what way is life testing you and taking you outside your COMFORT ZONE at the moment?

THE STRETCH ZONE – Our Day-to-Day Experience

Over the past 15 years I’ve asked countless seasoned leaders whether they see themselves as confident and they either say ‘no’ and then negate that saying ‘yes’ or they say ‘yes’ and then change that to ‘no’.

Regardless of whether it is ‘yes – no’ or ‘no – yes’ this response is such a consistent pattern reflecting our day-to-day experience of confidence at the threshold of our COMFORT ZONE.

In The Stretch Zone I call this pattern circumstantial confidence where our confidence seems to come and go depending on our circumstances at the time.

The trouble with circumstantial confidence is that our confidence is less dependent on ourselves and more dependent on our circumstances. And, being circumstantially dependent, we are not really in control of our confidence and never really know if it will be there when we need it most – not very reassuring!

Question: To what extent is your experience of confidence circumstantial with it coming and going depending on your circumstances at the time?

Our Best when it Matters Most!

There are those moments in life, personally and professionally, when something really matters and every fibre of our being tells us that we need to be at our very best – that moment is the STRETCH ZONE!

While anyone can be at their best in their COMFORT ZONE, it seldom matters. When it really matters the pressure can be relentless – and being at our confident best is easier said than done.

Inherent within the STRETCH ZONE are all sorts of unknowns and our confidence is so often hijacked by fear and doubt that we’ll end up in the PANIC ZONE – that place of dread where we feel we have ‘lost it’!

Our best, when it matters, is directly dependent on our inner state at the threshold of our STRETCH ZONE. When hijacked by fear and doubt we hold ourselves back. When we deal with our fears and doubts we step across the threshold and our best follows as a distinct certainty – that is confidence in the STRETCH ZONE!

Question: What does the STRETCH ZONE look like for you and how would you describe your inner state at the threshold of your STRETCH ZONE?