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Thriving during Tough Times Survival Tip #5: Expand Your Comfort Zone

The most important characteristic of survivors, in all contexts, is resiliency.  Resiliency capacity is built through the management of energy.  Nobody is immune to the effects of linear stress.  We all must learn to create waves of stress and recovery.  However, the waves are not meant to just maintain balance.  They should be created in a way that expands your capacity and supports growth.

Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, in their book titled The Power of Full Engagement, discuss the process of creating waves of stress and recovery in great detail and provide an effective framework for implementing it in your life.  I highly recommend you review you review their work.

“To maintain a powerful pulse in our lives, we must learn how to rhythmically spend and renew energy.”
                                                                                                                                                                    — Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

A key to resiliency in tough times is to improve your skills and make yourself more valuable in the changing marketplace.  It is not about creating an air tight bunker in your current comfort zone.  We must all pursue our best, be prepared for the worst, and expand our margin every day, every week, every month, and every year.  This is only way that we will become more resilient for our future challenges and opportunities.

When tough times hit, most of us immediately move into survivor mode.  Unfortunately, our particular survivor mode resides in a comfort zone that likely was not proactively developed to suit the necessities of our tough times.  Thus, the reactive survivor mode actually prevents us from maximizing our opportunities to survive and thrive in tough times.

“Because we are, by nature, proactive, if our lives are a function of conditioning and conditions, it is because we have, by conscious decision or by default, chosen to empower those things to control us.”
                                                                                                                                                                                      — Steven R. Covey

All too often these days, people are reactively activating their survivor modes and compounding the effects of the realities of these tough times.  To use Steven R. Covey’s terminology from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, now is a good time to create more space between the stimulus (recession) and your response (your survivor mode).

In that space, I recommend your commit to expanding your comfort zone in small but significant ways each day, each week, each month, and each year.  Ask yourself…

  • How can I improve my chances of surviving these tough times today, this week, this month, and this year?
  • How can I improve my chances of thriving in these tough times today, this week, this month, and this year?
  • How can I expand my comfort zone today, this week, this month, and this year?
  • How can I effectively rejuvenate and recover from the stress of the above efforts today, this week, this month, and this year?

Do this every day, every week, every month, every year and you will regularly meet your needs and feel confident about your future!

© Copyright 2009 Jon L. Iveson, Ph.D.

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