What zone are you in? Comfort or effort? Why is it important to know? Because the comfort zone is not always so comfortable, and the effort zone can be stimulating. So where are you and how can you move towards a territory of creation, discovery of your potential, evolution…, that of development.
How can you succeed in getting in action, leaving your comfort zone to progress and deploy your skills, your objectives and your desires? The first step is to make a diagnosis. Am I in a comfort zone or an effort zone? Then ask yourself how to evolve and put yourself in a posture of development.

« Choose disconfort over regrets »

Caroline Hercz

Comfort zone or regret zone? Why break out of your comfort zone at work?
For example, I am in a comfort zone when I have been working for several years with the same team, in control of my environment and my skills. I have the recognition of my peers and my hierarchy, I feel confident. But in the end… Don’t I get a little bored? Aren’t I frustrated because I didn’t get this job, like my colleague who was able to move and change divisions? Or am I not weakening my team by keeping it cozy without challenging it too much? Another example is Philippe, a manager, who likes to work intuitively and spontaneously, that’s his strength, being reactive without ever preparing anything. His comfort zone. But for his colleagues and his hierarchy, it is distressing. Without clear guidelines, he maintains a form of confusion and that hurts his credibility. Staying in one’s comfort zone means taking the risk of not being able to access certain opportunities, adopting repetitive behavior or not questioning oneself, losing one’s motivation or not ceasing to complain, not developing one’s skills or those of one’s collaborators, seeing one’s creativity and energy diminish or losing one’s confidence. With a possible consequence: bore out. And you, are you in a comfort zone because you really chose it or because you couldn’t or didn’t want to make an effort…?
The effort zone… A risk and an opportunity

For example, I am in the effort zone when I have to take on a position with several steps to climb in a new environment, with a new team to build, with new skills to develop in order to succeed in my mission…

The effort zone can be stressful, exhausting. I try to please everyone, I am in search of credibility which pushes me to work more and more, to want to be perfect. This takes me away from my authenticity and prevents me from accepting to ask for help. The risk of burn out can become a reality…

However, the effort zone is a challenge zone. It is exciting, stimulating, it pushes to constant innovation, to the search for solutions. And it is this that will allow you to leave the comfort zone to be in the development zone and progress.

This is what Sophie, a seasoned leader experienced. Too focused on control, she couldn’t delegate, it was too anxiety-provoking. To help her, I suggested methods and concrete tools that allowed her to detach herself from the daily routine and micro-management. She thus moved from a comfort zone (control) to the effort zone (accepting not to control everything, to let go, to trust), her collaborators gained autonomy and she found time to implement the long-term strategy of her company.


To become aware of these stages, to better understand what is going on within oneself, it is necessary to know yourself well. To be able to question your own behavior, to manage your stress, and then to move forward. Thus, it is sometimes useful to be coached. And to know how to discern the zone in which we are.


Les clés pour sortir de sa zone de confort
  • Know how to recognize your stressors: what puts you under stress, irritates you or makes you angry… 
  • Know yourself better: rather perfectionist, disordered, in the emotions or control…
  • Learn to manage your emotions, develop your emotional intelligence
  • Identify your motivational levers and strengths
  • Have a project, an objective, develop a long-term vision
  • Don’t change everything at once, go step by step and understand your strengths to build on a solid base. For example, if you change jobs, maintain your zone of excellence, if you take on a larger team, keep your leadership style for a while before evolving
  • Get out of your imposture complex, accept to make mistakes
The keys to getting out of your effort zone
  • Take a step back, broaden your perspective, adopt a “helicopter” view of your situation
  • Accept to learn one step at a time, calibrate your level of demand
  • Manage your strategic agenda (See our article Why following the rhythm of the seasons can help you better manage your professional issues)
  • Find a balance between credibility and authenticity (See our article How to trade your flip-flops for your suits without losing your authenticity?)
  • Accept to ask for help
  • Get out of a blocking perfectionism
  • Surround yourself with resource people who recognize your value, your skills and tell you so
  • Write down the positive things every day, celebrate your successes
Self-coaching: some questions to ask yourself to help you…
  • What keeps you in your comfort zone?
  •  What are the advantages/disadvantages of staying/leaving your comfort zone?
  • What motivates you? What is the level of satisfaction from your activity today?
Caroline Hercz Human Place

Caroline Hercz

Executive Coach

Recommended Posts