Raising Your Own Bar

By David BreslowJanuary 3, 2006, 5:00 pm
Everybody has one. Its effect on us can be subtle to the point that we are not even aware of it. Everybodys is different and it can change from situation to situation! What is it? Its called a comfort zone.
 
Whenever we take on a new project, try something new, attempt to set new goals or standards for ourselves we will, at some point, come face to face with our comfort zone. Its not a matter of if it will happen its a matter of when it will happen.
 
PERFORMANCE COMFORT ZONES
 
I work with professionals in sports and business and at every level comfort zones come into play. For example, when I ask a golfer what they shoot they might answer, I shoot in the mid 80s or mid 70s. This is a subtle statement of their comfort zone. A comfort zone sets us up to perform within its limitations and acts as a magnet pulling us in that direction. For example, around the 14th hole a golfer may notice they are shooting their all-time best score. When they become aware of this their performance begins to drift back to the point where their final score is somewhere around their usual score.
 
In sports and business, teams are affected by comfort zones as well. If the team is used to performing poorly their overall comfort zones will create hidden obstacles that cause them to continue their poor performance. People who excel have a higher comfort zone than people and teams who dont. They expect to perform well while those with lower comfort zones tend to have lower expectations. The irony is it often has very little to do with talent or skill. This is the power an established comfort zone can have on us. It affects performance in sports, business and life!
 
Are you comfortable earning the money you say you want? Are you comfortable reaching your personal or professional goals? As you know, New Years goals are notorious for being set and not pursued. In my opinion, they are not met because although they look good on paper there is something in the goal or dream that is outside our comfort zones so we find ways to sabotage ourselves instead.
 
ACTIONS DO SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
 
Our actions, not our words reveal our comfort zones. A limiting comfort zone can prevent us from taking the required action we need to meet our dreams. In my coaching/speaking programs I ask people to focus on actions and not words as being a reflection of the truth. Words, stories or excuses (blaming others, etc.) can create a smoke screen but actions (or inactions) are clear indicators of our comfort zones and much easier to identify. When we are honest about our own comfort zones we can rapidly uncover the hidden beliefs, assumptions and interpretations that cause us to be stuck and make faster shifts toward what we want.
 
HOW COMFORT ZONES ARE FORMED
 
A comfort zone is formed by experience which over time and repetition turns into a belief. Many of us are very good at proving our comfort zones are real by recreating the limiting experiences over and over again. Each time we do, we reinforce the belief sending subtle messages to ourselves such as, I knew this would happen or I knew Id only get this far. Over time our comfort zones become our unspoken expectations (this is where I always wind up!). A comfort zone is a state of mind and usually has little to do with your actual talent or skill. Its easy to prove them by using self-fulfilling prophecy (I knew it!) but why not break them instead?
 
BREAKING COMFORT ZONES
 
There are many great ways to help break comfort zones and in this short article I will offer just a few that Ive used with sports and business clients.
 
1. Be honest with yourself. This is the simplest and yet can be the most challenging step to take. The truth is; if you wont be honest about them it is very difficult to move past them. Be honest. If you have a fear or limiting belief about yourself or a task/situation, put it out there for yourself. There is nothing wrong with it; its just a belief and is not a true reflection of your worth, talent or skill.
 
2. Dont assume youre right! Dont assume just because youve proven your comfort zone by repeating it so often in the past that it has anything to do with today. It doesnt! Its only a memory based on past experience (I always do this!) and is no reflection on your capabilities right now! Take one small action step right now to prove this to yourself.
 
3. Start Small....All comfort zones can be broken and expanded. Pick ONE area and create a small but steady process that allows you to bust through it. For example, if you want to improve your decision making skills take small strides each day that will break that comfort zone. Decide to make 2 decisions each day this week and your comfort level will grow within a short period of time! If you want to increase your sales but have avoided the large accounts, call on 1 large account per day for the next 2 weeks with no concern about outcomes. Just take the action and your comfort level will expand, so will your list, your confidence and your sales!
 
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    Copyright 2006 David Breslow is a Speaker/Facilitator/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people perform at the top of their game. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and has spoken to corporations across the country. To reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net.
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.