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Could Staying in Your Comfort Zone Cause Anxiety?


In every job there are tasks we’re good at, we’re comfortable with, and that we enjoy doing. These tasks are always at the top of our to-do list. We get gratification, personal and professional satisfaction from completely these projects successfully. No wonder they are our go-to projects – everyone wants to feel like they’ve contributed positively to the company.

On the other hand, there are tasks that make us uncomfortable and that we may avoid. These could be things where there is high-risk for rejection, confrontation and require us to do something outside of our comfort zone.

At Sandler we use the Extended DISC model to recognize our strengths and weaknesses for not only how we communicate but also how we approach our work. There are those of us who are task-focused and detail oriented, and those of us who feel working with people or working in a group setting comes more naturally to us.

When we have tasks ahead of us that push us outside of what comes naturally, it’s easy to push them to the bottom of our to-do list. We don’t always recognize this as avoidance or procrastination. We may hesitate to do a task, and then rationalize why we can’t do it. These are the tasks where we continue to think, “I’ll take care of that tomorrow.”

What we may not realize is that every new behavior is learned, and the sooner we trying things, the sooner we’ll get more comfortable with it, and master that behavior. The problem is if we don’t tackle it for the first time, we’ll continue to procrastinate and feel negative about it.

After days or even weeks or avoiding what makes us uncomfortable – does facing that task get easier or harder? The longer you leave it, the more painful it feels to finally take care of it. What are the things that frontline service people avoid? Making outbound calls? Asking about money? Saying ‘no’ (even in a nurturing way)? Asking questions? Whatever the avoidance behavior, there is no cure like changing your behavior.

What would happen if you simply ripped off the bandage and took care of the easily avoidable as soon as it goes on your list? How much anxiety could be avoided when that uncomfortable task doesn’t sit on your to-do list day after day? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you do it and the result is difficult or negative?

When faced with a comfort-zone issue, ditch the head trash and rationalize why it would be easier to get it over with, instead of rationalizing why you can take care of it later. Would implementing this behavior modification make your frontline service team more productive?