A few months ago, a friend came up and told me she’d been offered to join a new department in her company. It was something radically different from what she was previously doing, so she was having second thoughts about accepting it.
“Isn’t that what you want? To get a change from what you are already handling? This will be a great break!” I beamed with enthusiasm.
“Yeah, but…” she rattled on, giving 101 reasons why she felt it would be a bad move.
As I listened, I began to sense an invisible shield surrounding her, keeping her closely tucked into a small enclosure where she felt she would be “safe” and “protected”. I tried my best to give her a You-Never-Know-Unless-You-Try pep talk, hoping that it would help her break out of the cocoon, when suddenly she blurted out “It’s easy for you to say that because you’re not in my position”. Click! The cocoon was locked. Tightly.
At that moment of time, I’d decided to keep my comments to myself. It’s hard to break a nut. It’s even harder to break someone out of their comfort zone cocoon, without them putting some effort from the inside.
As more and more similar cases surfaced since that last incident, my final conclusion is, it’s futile trying to break someone out from their comfort zone because such cocoon comes with a self lock mechanism. Unless a bolt of realization strikes them, something like an awakening call, they’ll never unlock and step out of their comfort zone willingly.
You’ve probably met some of these “cocoonees” before. Here’s the top 7 list of people whom I think will never step out of their comfort zone… errh, unless they start doing something NOW.
Often caught attributing other people’s achievements to their background or good fortune instead of their hard work, he usually says things like “If my dad is as rich as his, I’ll probably be as successful as he is” or “What’s the big deal? I could do better”. Well, envy breeds fury, isn’t it? If only he can use his jealousy to push himself out of the cocoon, I’m sure he’ll have a lot of achievement than to sit there and whine. He is also the first person who will be waiting (while still in his cocoon) to catch anyone scouring back into the comfort zone.
He is the type of guy whom his mom will plan everything for him. From the type of career path he should be treading on, the kind of people he should be going out with to the color of underwear he should be wearing (ok ok, I admit I’m a bit exaggerating). His mom did such a good job that there’s nothing much for him to worry. The irony is, it’s quite common for the Mommy to hand over the reins to the Spouse when she finally decide that he has grown up.
Timid chicken likes to cluck away, often saying things like “What if this…”, “What if that…”. He’s so worrisome and fearful of the future that it can be quite infectious. But the sad thing is, he doesn’t know and terms his fearful talk “a reality check.”
He’s always telling others he’s waiting for the right opportunity. But the truth is, no time is the right time. In the end, he’ll just keep on waiting. Even when the opportunity really strikes, he doesn’t know, because he never know what the right opportunity is in the first place.
He’s the type of guy who’s constantly doing research, trying to find the best business model, write the most comprehensive business proposal. Often, his research leads him to some feedback that it’ll not work, which entice him to conduct even more research. Before he know it, his entire lifetime is spent researching.
This is the type of guy who wants evidence in everything, such as proof that this new career path or choice of lifestyle will be best decision for him. He usually spends his free time asking people their results with the ventures or choices that they’ve made. More often than not, their so called “evidence” is not substantial enough to warrant the effort of him moving out of his hibernation.
Once Bitten Twice Shy Tortoise
Give this person some credit because he did come of the cocoon once. But he gave it all up just after 1 or 2 bad experiences. Little does he know that it actually takes more courage to walk back into the comfort zone than to just keep walking forward. Why? Because he will find Skeptical Joes waiting to pouch on him and say “See, I told you it wouldn’t work.”
-By Ellesse Chow