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  • Writer's pictureLily

Finding The Learning Zone

Updated: 11 hours ago

A new job usually mean being a little out of your comfort zone. But there’s a difference between a healthy challenge and an excessive demand.

If everything’s feeling a little more like panic than stretch, this model might help!

Use this model to help you understand when, and what circumstances, push you into a ‘stretch’ zone and inspire learning, growth and transformation.

This can help you notice whether you are not pushing yourself far enough (comfort zone), or pushing yourself too far (panic zone) when it comes to making changes.

Here’s how to start identifying the things that fall into each zone:

Your Comfort Zone

This is where things are familiar, easy, you know what you’re doing to get


Be honest with yourself here, as you define when, how, and what is within your comfort zone.

  • What parts of this new job do I find easiest?

  • What parts of this new job do I find most enjoyable?

  • What kinds of tasks and projects am I always successful at?

Remember: Your comfort zone expands as you experience and try new things. Something that was challenging last year, might now be within your comfort zone.

Your Stretch Zone

This is the sweet spot for learning and growth. Here you are challenged, but in a way that is manageable and inspires change.

This should be projects, experiences, or opportunities that feel exciting even if they’re a little scary or uncomfortable. Ask yourself:

  • Which parts of this new role do I feel intimidated by?

  • Where in this new role do I want help or reassurance?

  • When do I think twice about speaking up?

  • What parts of this role do I spend a lot of time thinking about, or prepping for?

"Lily pushed me outside my comfort zone and invited me to look at things from a different perspective"

Your Panic Zone

When we start to feel stress or panic, our brains go into fight or flight mode. Decision-making is harder, creativity declines, we struggle to think expansively.

Reflect on what makes the dierence to you between an experience or opportunity that feels stretching, and those that create a sense of panic.

This can help you differentiate and get more comfortable leaning into stretching situations. Ask yourself:

  • Have I ever actively avoided tasks or people in this role?

  • What aspects of this role bring up strong emotions for me?

  • When have I felt like I can’t deliver or perform in this role?

Download your own version of the model to complete here.

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