“GREAT THINGS NEVER CAME FROM COMFORT ZONES”
You can ask any one of our students (or coaches) and they will tell you that the definition of hard work at the Academy is “going past one’s comfort zone.” We’ve all listened and seen inspirational quotes that inspire us to get out and do something unfamiliar—something we wouldn’t normally do—but getting out of your routine is much more challenging than that. It’s so hard to break out of our comfort zone without the right environment, but it’s so good for us to achieve this. EMA believes that when our students RUN OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE when doing anything in LIFE, they will disconnect from their everyday mental routine and do extraordinary things.
Empower ME Academy believes that it is essential to push all of our students past the boundaries of their comfort zone through great coaching as well as mentoring. But what is our student’s “comfort zone” exactly? The comfort zone is a space where their abilities and actions fit a comfortable routine and pattern that reduces stress and risk. In other words, the ‘comfort zone’ gives them a state of mental security. Each student benefits in distinct ways from being in this state: general happiness, moderate anxiety, and lowered stress. Nonetheless, when we challenge them to leave their comfort zone, the results are astounding.
What Our Students Get When They Break Free and Try New Things
We at EMA believe that our students accomplish two important things when they’re willing to step outside of their comfort zone regularly:
Become more productive. Their comfort zone kills productivity on the court because, without the sense of urgency that comes from having goals and expectations, they tend to become relax and go through the motions. They lose the ambition to do more and discover new things. Learning to live outside of their comfort zone when they accept it can prep them for LIFE changes that will inevitably force them out of it.
Easier to push boundaries in the future. Once they start stepping out of their comfort zone often, it will get easier over time. They become used to the anxiety. “Productive discomfort,” as we like to call it, becomes more routine to them, and they’re willing to push further before their performance falls off.
Ways our pupils can run out of their comfort zone
Do everyday things differently. For example: eat with the weak hand, try a new food without asking for someone else’s opinion.
Take more time when making decisions if they don’t normally do so, or trust themselves to make snap decisions if that is not the norm. Rarely slowing down is all it takes to make you uncomfortable—especially if speed and quick thinking are valued in your game or personal life. Or, at times make a snap call to just get things rolling.
Do it in small steps. It takes a lot of courage to break out of their comfort zone. They get the same benefits whether they go in head first (starting fast) or landing on both feet (starting slow), so we encourage them not to be afraid to start slow.
The purpose in this is to motivate them to push past the mental blocks that tell them to do nothing or to stay in their comfort zone. Let’s be honest, trying new things is difficult for us as adults, so just imagine how our children feel. If it weren’t, breaking out of our comfort zone would be easy, and anyone would be able to do it all the time. The point of stepping out of one’s comfort zone is to welcome new experiences and to get to that state of optimal anxiety in a controlled (not to stress yourself out) state. So, let’s agree to make it a habit of trying something new every day, week, or every month. Furthermore, don’t limit ourselves to big, huge experiences because littles ones count too. Remember, it takes little things to make big things work.