“An interesting conversation”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Personal Development

I’ll call her “Jane Do”. She worked in an up and coming firm that had recently hand picked to be promoted to a leadership role, to lead a team of aggressive telemarketers. Expectations were high but the company director had faith in her and believed in “promoting from within” to ensure talent is developed and retained.


These newly promoted leaders were sent to a “Leadership Camp” facilitated by me in order to equip and motivate them for the task ahead. “Jane Do” immediately came across as a person with caliber, potential and a decent “head on her shoulders”. She fully participated in all the activities but, seemed measured, needing to be sure first before volunteering her insights and lacked a degree of spontaneity. She needed assurance, needed to “feel right and ok” before considering doing anything new and preferred the familiar. As you can imagine, this was certainly not what the director of the company expected of her in her new leadership role.


During one of the evening’s “challenge and grow” leadership session, “Jane Do” was asked to shared what was her greatest challenge in her new role. Her answer was simple, she said that she “is a person who wants to be in her comfort zone”; doing what she was familiar with. She disliked doing new things.


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

- Henry Ford



I told her that sounded “reasonable” enough. Most folks like doing the same thing everyday; day in, day out, for the next 20 to 40 years until they die. God forbid if they try anything new and loose the comfort of their “comfort zones”! So I proposed to her that she must be doing the same thing for the past 27 years (she was 27 years old.). That would mean she should still be crawling like a baby, eating baby food, wearing baby diapers and clothing, sleeping with her Mummy and Daddy, drinking baby formulas, getting a bath by her Mummy everyday, etc.


“No”, she replied. “Are you trying to be sarcastic?” she mumurred. “That’s not what I mean”, she said. “OK, tell me what you mean”, I inquired. “What I mean is that I only like doing what I know.” “Fine”, I said. “So doing “only what you know” is your “comfort zone”?” “Yes” was her answer. Then I inquired further……


“OK, can you further describe your “comfort zone”?  What are in its contents? How does it keep you comfortable? What does it feel, sound and look like? What are its rules? What does it allow you to do and not to do?  What do you need to do to maintain this “comfort zone”? Do you ever break its rules? Is anything “new” allowed into it or does it only have “old stuff” in them? What meanings does it give you? What are your beliefs about them? What do you belief about these beliefs?” To which she answered….


“A major stimulant to creative thinking is focused questions. There is something about a well-worded question that often penetrates to the heart of the matter and triggers new ideas and insights.”
- Brian Tracy


It’s about me feeling safe, that’s all. I have a need to be assured. I’ll never do anything that I do not feel sure of, that’s just the kind of person I am. I’ll only do things that I am sure of, confident of and that I am assured of by people around me.  I want to do things right. But there must be assurance. I need assurance to come out of my “comfort zone.” That’s the comfort my “comfort zone” gives me, the assurance that I am OK and safe.” 


“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

- Carlos Castaneda


“OK”, I said. . Then I asked, “Would these beliefs and meanings serve you well in your new leadership role and make you a resourceful leader? Would you make it a “necessity” that all your team members “honor and respect” their “comfort zones”? Would you then, as their team leaders, promise to “honor their comfort zones” and never get them to do anything that would violate the rules of their “comfort zones”?  


Now things got real interesting. There was a long pause, almost like the pause before an old fashioned western gun fight. Then she said, “No. I would not allow that.” Why? I inquired. “Well, because it would not be productive. It would mean that everybody would just do what they think they can do and not grow, try new things, be challenged or corrected and experience break through.” “Yes, that’s absolutely right”, I said. Then I continued…..


“The ill effects of thought come about when we forget that thought is a function of our consciousness, an ability that we as human beings have. We are the producers of our own thinking.”

- Richard Carlson


“So, what about you and your “comfort zone”? Are you a “comfort zone leader” or a pioneering, adventurous, fun loving, “willing to try” and “learn form my mistakes” leader? One who knows that “growth” and “break through” only lies outside ones comfort zone? Are you a leader with courage and resilience, who knows her gifts, talents, strengths, weaknesses and fallibility? One who has the assurance of a vision, purpose and intention to be the best that she can be and who will find the needed resources to learn, try and do new things and keep doing new things to evolve and self actualize?” Her answer was amazing…….


“Traditional thinking is all about “what is” Future thinking will also need to be about what can be.”

- Edward de Bono


“I am a good leader. I know this. Yes, I want to be somebody one day. I am talented, hard working, skillful, capable and helpful. I get bored with routine, doing the same thing over and over again. Someday I want to run my own company, earn my own income and be my own boss! I was excited when I got promoted but my uncertainty is that I may not know how to do everything my new position requires me. I need that kind of assurance”, she said.      



“Wow, did you hear yourself just now?” I said. She smiled. “That does not sound like the person I heard a few moments ago?  Right, assurance, that’s what you need? It sounds more like you need the resources of a mentor or coach to teach and coach you in the new “specifications and requirements” of your new position? Sounds like you may need the resources of new skills and strategies?” “Yes” she said. “Could that be arranged?” “Yes” she said. “Who would be that “resource”, I inquired? “It would be my new immediate boss, my supervisor.” “Good”, I said and continued…….  


“Complacency with our traditional judgment based thinking methods is not enough. Our existing thinking habits are excellent just as the rear wheel of a motor car is excellent but not enough. We need to put far more emphasis on creative and design thinking. Judgment and analysis are not enough.”

- Edward de Bono


“Now do you have any other challenges in your new leadership role?” “No”, she answered.  “Good. Just one more thing, are you willing to give yourself permission to feel assured as you venture out of your “comfort zone”? The assurance to be your own “best friend” and “cheer leader” as you have recognize your own talents, skill, capability, goal and vision to “run your own company” and “be your own boss”? “Yes,” she said. “Are willing to accept ownership and responsibility for the role of leadership that you are currently assuming as part of the journey to your goal?”  “Yes” she yelled.


“Confidence is not a guarantee of success, but a pattern of thinking that will improve your likelihood of success, a tenacious search for ways to make things work.”

- John Eliot, Ph.D.


Now, you maybe asking, what’s this whole blog about? Well, it’s about learning to have “an interesting conversation” with ourselves; gently challenging ourselves lovingly with ruthlessness honesty in order to self actualize and grow. You see, we are limited by the mental maps that we make in our heads about “reality”. These could be maps of ourselves, others, our future, our capability, etc. that we construct and live off. They then become our rules for living; they determine the game we will play, what we will “need”, look for, do or not do and how we will interpret events. “ Our maps determine what we can see or not see, what we feel or don’t feel, how we organize our skills (or fail to do so), how we portray to ourselves ( and others) our options and choices in the world, the programs that we build for coping and adapting, etc.” - Communication Magic , L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.  They, our mental maps, contain “the magic” to either create possibility or impossibility and for most of us, they remained unchallenged.  


“Again the maps control the magic. It always does. It does so due to the extent that human consciousness itself is a languaged consciousness.”

- “Communication Magic”, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.


Here’s my challenge to you, will you have “an interesting conversation” with yourself this week about ONE of your limiting maps? It could be about your work, your potential, your business, studies, your spouse, your financial situation, etc. Bring it to consciousness, challenge the hidden “self imposed” limiting thoughts, ideas, labels, presuppositions, beliefs, rules and understandings, much like the “interesting conversation” I had with “Jane Do” above. Be courageous, be open, be honest and be committed to your highest and best….you may just be surprised by the lights that come on! 



“How we language ourselves, our world, others, how to cope, etc. govern than how we play the games of life.”

- “Communication Magic”- L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.



“All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

- The Buddha


Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro – Semantics, USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois, USA.

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