Escaping the Comfort Zone

By Mark Inboden

If you ever wonder why some companies and people are more successful than others, it might come down to one concept: Escaping the Comfort Zone.

I recently came upon a blog post by George Ambler that explained this concept. My two big takeaways (which might be different than yours after reading his post) are as follows:

1. Learning happens only when you are doing something new.

Mark Inboden

Mark Inboden

Wow, what a concept...I’m sure you didn’t know that! In reality, ask yourself: do I avoid things that are difficult or things I’m afraid of?  If so, you are living in your comfort zone, and you are not alone. Several studies in his article indicate that 80 percent of us live here. We like playing it safe and living in a “risk-free” environment. We like spending time on things that are “easy to do."  In reality, we and our businesses accept a level of mediocrity because we are doing things just like everyone else.

 2. Opportunities are created by wanting to learn and taking risks in doing so.

How many people are afraid of public speaking? Most likely everyone at sometime, but those who become good at it act in the face of their fear and often feel great afterwards. Their sense of accomplishment and realization that they can successfully talk in front of people is a great reward. They are more prepared the next time they are asked to speak, and they have increased their expertise and self worth.

The same concept holds true for a company. While it might be of comfort to employees and customers that UCEC has been around for 58 years, we will only survive if we continue to look for opportunities to learn new things. By listening to our staff, customers, and vendors, by attending trade shows, and by reading about innovations in other industries, we are challenging ourselves to get out of the Comfort Zone. Our core values and competencies remain the same, but how we achieve them and improve on them is constantly being explored. 

This week, take a moment and ask yourself if you are in the Comfort Zone. If your answer is "yes," it might be time to “step out” and challenge yourself to do something different. 

Mark is CEO and President of UCEC. 


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