If you have been wondering where I had been lately, let me tell you that I’ve been very busy, running an experiment that has allowed me to get out completely from the box or from the comfort zone. The Good news is that I have not forgotten any single one of you all, who follow Today is Friday one way or another. Today I would like to share a rather interesting experience with you, an experience that suggests the benefits of coming out of the box or out of the comfort zone.
Now, how all of this started?
A Life Coaching client asked my help with a rather peculiar situation. JT was aware I am vegetarian for some years now and he wanted to totally change his eating habits. The first conversation session was very interesting as it is when we first go over the goal and we define it in terms of timing and space. So this was that first meeting in a nutshell:
Hello Jac. I will cut to the chase. I need your help to change my eating habits.
– But of course. Count on me! I answered. Allow me to aks you some questions. Are you overweight? Is it due to a medical condition or disease? I need you to share with me what motivates this decision.
JT then happily said: The truth is that I have not thought of any specific reason. But what I can tell you is that it is not due to any disease or medical condition. Let’s say that this is a decision based on awareness.
I was kind of shocked as it looked as if I was the one answering using the same words. After few seconds I empathically told him that I understood perfectly what he meant as there was a moment in my life when I had the same motivation.
Well, and what kind of diet do you wish to follow? No junk food? No red meat? The usual, right? I asked.
– Not really. This time is something more drastic. I want to be vegan.
For a moment I thought he was joking as at that time I had been considering the idea of embracing that life style for months. Then one of the principles of coaching came to mind: It was not about focusing on the client, and less on the coach. The point is to focus on creating the relationship that is created between client and coach. I felt nonetheless that this was going to be a very special case as I was already feeling moved out of my comfort zone.
-I think that kind of diet is very interesting. I told him with energy. Are you sure you need someone to help you reach that goal? I can see you very enthusiastic and decisive about this.
-JT answered. I rather need someone to help me in those moments of weakness. I have tried this before and 3 days later somehow I fall again.
Alright then. I commit to working with you. I told him.
We started at once to talk about the work plan and we agreed on all the items.
Everything was moving smoothly until we reached the second session. JT was highly frustrated and seemed to be a totally different person compared with the first session.
In a rather challenging way he asked how committed I was as his Coach. Regardless how hard I tried to express and convey my intentions I felt he was not convinced with my degree of commitment with him and his goal.
Then the proposal I was waiting to happen, but did not want it to, came out. Totally voicing the way he was feeling, JT cut me short saying, If there is something in which you can help me is to go along with reaching this goal during at least two weeks. I need you to be vegan for two weeks.
Ouch! That reminded me of that popular ice water bucket challenge…
Actually, as a coach I had a couple of reasons not to take the challenge. Instead I let myself to be taken out of my comfort zone in order to strengthen the client-coach relationship. Certainly some colleagues would not agree with this decision. I also wanted to experience whether this was the client seeking support or just a tactic to try to bring an excuse in the game and to not honor his committment. I usually follow my 6th sense and this was not the time to not do so.
Truth be told. When I accepted to march for the goal together, his motivation level grew in such a way that at that time I felt I made the right decision, and actually, it was so.
By the end of the first week JT met 150% of the progress of the plan.
Now in my case, I experienced two weeks of health and well-being as I had not felt for a long time, and then I decided to embark in a 2 and 2 program: Two weeks living as a vegetarian and two weeks living as a vegan for a specific period of time, and continue to increase the pace until becoming 100% vegan.
So here are my conclusions from the whole experience.
When moving out of my comfort zone:
- I was able to motivate a client to reach a goal in record time.
- I was also able to experience an energy and mood that otherwise I would have not achieved should I have stayed inside the box.
- This allowed me to reach a personal goal to which I had been feeding with excuses for a time (a wink to you Rotilio).
- I realized that many times (or virtually, all the time) to embody what we want is the best guide to follow.
- I remembered that 1+1 is more than 2, because synergy is created when we work as a team to achieve our goals.
What about you?
Let me invite you out of the box or comfort zone. Here are two tasks for your benefit and for the Today is Friday community:
- Please leave your comment in the Facebook group or in this post if you have ever been out of your comfort zone, and how that experience was.
- Anyone can propose different activities to come out of the box or comfort zone. We will choose the most original and appropriate for anyone to adopt it for a week in what we will be calling the Out of the Box Club. So this is the first proposal for the club: Shower with cold water for a week.
Thank you all for accepting the challenge!
PD: I normally write in English but sometimes inspiration comes in mother language (Spanish in my case). On those cases I use tranxlation.com and I’m very happy with their services (It is not a software or apps; I like to use real people who can understand human feelings!! 🙂 )