Are You Captive in Your Comfort Zone?

I talk with people every day who want desperately to move forward, but can’t.

They have high standards for themselves and big dreams for their businesses. They also have a nagging feeling something isn’t right.

Many would-be achievers share a common challenge: they need help creating the escape velocity to break free of their own gravity.

Which Way to Success?

In my work as a business strategist, I’ve observed three distinct ways entrepreneurs chart their path to success. Each approach can all lead o positive results, but one route is definitely more effective than the others.

1. Follow the path of least resistance

This approach results in a long and winding road. Meandering from point to point based on the ease of the path ahead makes it possible to avoid conflict and discord. Unfortunately, it’s not an efficient way to get where you’re going.

People who follow this path are often unsure where they really want to go. Instead, they seize upon any opportunity that crosses their path.  Customers and employees often become frustrated with the lack of direction. As a result, they leave for competitors that have a clearer vision, slowing progress even more.

2. Creep along in your comfort zone

Entrepreneurs who stay between the lines sometimes get ahead, but they tend to take three steps forward and two steps back. Their pattern of growth is marked by springing forward quickly when inspiration strikes, then falling back when resistance appears.

Why the constant backtracking? It’s a byproduct of the assumption that when something new doesn’t work, it’s easier to go with what you know.

Sticking close to the comfort zone is a more tentative than purposeful approach. It’s indicative of a leader who fears the potential for failure, and as result misses key opportunities to accelerate business growth.

3. Take the direct route to growth

We all learned in school that shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but that doesn’t make the direct approach an easy one. Going full-throttle requires the fortitude to push hard against barriers. As a reward, you get to enjoy the rush of momentum that follows a breakthrough.¬†

Entrepreneurs who employ this approach often encounter resistance on multiple fronts. People who prefer the path of least resistance tell them “it’s not worth the fight.” Those who feel safest in the comfort zone beg them to slow down and “think about it.”

Instead of bowing to the naysayers, these leaders forge ahead.  They know what they want, and they go for it.

Are you struggling to reach your goals? If so, try investing a little time to think about your approach to growth. Ask yourself:

  • Do you imagine your style to be direct, but find yourself falling back into the comfort zone whenever things get rocky?
  • Are you full of great ideas…but then hesitate to execute on them?
  • Do you convince yourself that “it’s just too hard” to meet competitors head on?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you could be a willing captive in your own prison. It’s time to escape your comfort zone.

To accelerate success, take some risks and break free.

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