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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

 By Richard Brody


Many people have difficulty trying to figure out or understand why they are not more successful than they are, or as successful as they wished that they were. I have worked with people who seemingly put in the training, time and effort, only to get less than stellar results from their efforts. Amongst many possible reasons for this, one that is often the stumbling block for many people is getting out of their own personal comfort zone.
What is a "comfort zone?" Most, if not all people, find certain tasks easier to do than others, and find certain things difficult and challenging, often resisting and avoiding those actions. Doing only what seems to come naturally is someone's comfort zone. It consists of the development of a specific attitude or attitudes, that often create either a resistance to doing certain things or taking certain actions, or avoiding them completely. Thus, the individual seems to repeatedly do things the same way, often creating a routine that simply puts him in a rut. In training people in these types of areas for more than three decades, I tell my audiences that the word routine is spelled "R-O-U-T-I-N-E" and that if you remove the letter "I" and the word "One" from a routine, and erase those letters, the word then spells "rut," and isn't a comfort zone directed routine nothing more than a rut.
I then challenge people to do certain things differently than they are used to, that are therefore a departure from their comfort zone. One of the exercises I use is called the "Elevator." In this demonstration, I bring a few people onto the stage, and ask them to enter from the front as they would in an elevator, and then stand and position themselves in imaginary elevator as they would in a real one. Nearly every time the same thing happens. All the volunteers walk straight onto the stage, and then, once in the "car," turn around and face forward. Observe this yourself the next time you go into an elevator yourself. Everyone faces the front. Why, because that is their routine and what everyone else does. Then I recommend that the next time the circumstance occurs, don't turn around, and face the rear, and watch the "strange" reaction of the other passengers.
Next, actually make eye contact with the fellow riders, and say "Hello." You will observe that most will do almost anything to avoid any type of real eye contact. Think of how this lesson can assist you in facing other obstacles that you place in your own way, simply because it's a habit.
One of the greatest faults of many leaders is their unwillingness or inability to change some of their personal routine and do some things that might be somewhat uncomfortable. However, isn't that really what leadership should be all about. Be a leader, and lead yourself first, and then you can help others.
Richard Brody has over 30 years consultative sales, marketing, training, managerial, and operations experience. He has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as a company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs, and regularly blogs on real estate, politics, economics, management, leadership, negotiations, conferences and conventions, etc. Richard has negotiated, arranged and/ or organized hundreds of conferences and conventions. Richard is a Senior Consultant with RGB Consultation Services, an Ecobroker, a Licensed Buyers Agent (LBA) and Licensed Salesperson in NYS, in real estate.
Richard Brody has owned businesses, been a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Development, as well as a consultant. Richard has a Consulting Website ( ); a blog ( ); and can be followed on Twitter.


  1. Yes, smiling alone to strangers is so hard. But, I am heeding my grandma's advice. Just smile because it is free and is the easiest way to make people smile.

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