Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stop Rationalizing. Expand Your Comfort Zone.

It's often easier to rationalize away an issue or a concern rather than address it, particularly when the issue or concern is related to a personal failing of yours. Regardless of the facts or truth, you make yourself feel good by justifying why you do not need to do the hard thing that makes you uncomfortable. Living In The World Of Comfort applies to everyone, but especially to sales folks who are frequently required to do the hard thing such as meet someone new, ask for a sale, get to the final Decision Maker, tell a customer about a problem, present in public, etc.

If you can expand your comfort zone, you will gain skills and abilities by pushing yourself to do hard things that make you uncomfortable. Though recognizing an area to improve upon can be uncomfortable, it's how an individual gains personal growth and improves their skills and abilities.

You will either pay the price of discipline or the price of regret. You can't avoid paying one of those prices; and the price of regret is many times higher than the price of discipline. Doing the hard thing now prevents you from being in a worse situation later. For example, if you don't say "no" to junk food now, you'll pay higher prices later. You'll feel sluggish, you'll gain weight, your health will decline, you'll have to buy bigger clothes, and you'll develop low self-esteem.

How To Expand Your Comfort Zone
1. Apply constant pressure until you become comfortable with the activity. Extending your comfort zone by engaging in activities outside of your traditional comfort zone requires risk that can cause pain. As a result, it's human nature for people to want to rationalize away an issue or a concern. Consistent pressure and teaching expands the comfort zone.
2. Perform more repetitions. The more times you perform the difficult activity, the more comfortable you'll become with it. The more comfortable you become with the activity, the more your comfort zone expands. The more successful you are, the more likely you are to do that activity again.
3. Be cautious of trying to make too much improvement too fast. This can cause more harm than good, resulting in you losing confidence. Don't catapult yourself outside your initial comfort zone.

For example, a Sales Rep is afraid of public speaking and presenting to a group of prospects. They must frequently put themselves into public speaking situations (outside their current comfort zone) so they can gain the skills and repetition necessary to be comfortable with the activity. As they gain more repetitions and learn new skills, public speaking becomes part of their new comfort zone.

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.