You Want Me To Do What? — Performing Beyond Your Comfort Zone

In today’s modern fast-paced and ever changing world, professionals are often asked to perform tasks that are beyond their “job description”. Often they think, or sometimes might even say to the person making the request, “You want me to do what?”. They simply don’t want to move beyond their comfort zone.

The reality is that when we are challenged to do things beyond our comfort zone, there is a natural tendency to pull back, either from fear of failure, or because the person is feeling they already have too many “to dos”. However, most high-level performers know that it’s only when you move into the area of the unknown, taking on a task that is outside your normal realm, that you really start to grow professionally.

I once held a senior marketing position, working with a great team of professional sales representatives. Each year the director of sales would give each representative a section of the Yellow Pages phone book and ask them to start calling businesses to see if they were interested in the service packages we were offering. It was classic sales cold calling. This one year he asked me if I would like a section of the Yellow Pages to start calling and selling the service packages, and right away I was thinking to myself, “You want me to do what?”.

So there I was being asked to perform a task way out of my “job description” and move into an area of discomfort, challenge but also opportunity. I smiled graciously and said yes. So I picked up the phone and started calling the numbers I was assigned.

I think I only made one sale that day, but it revived my selling skills that I hadn’t used in some time, plus it gave me a new perspective on how I could start supporting the sales team through my marketing efforts.

Moving out of the comfort zone is necessary in order to keep people and teams growing within organizations. The moves don’t necessarily have to be grand or large, but just enough to get people feeling like they are stretching themselves beyond their current level of performance. With the correct support from leaders and managers, people will start to acquire new knowledge, new confidence and motivation.

Turn Your Knowledge into Action

1)     As a leader or manager, how are you prepared to help people and teams move beyond their comfort zone?

2)     What are the current areas of discomfort and potential growth you experience within your role?


If you would like to learn more about how I can assist your organization to elevate performance, please contact me at 416-429-1247 or email at

All the best in achieving your highest performance.