Everybody´s talking about how being outside your comfort zone is the way to go.
Anyone with the slightest engineering knowledge can deduct this!
Being outside your comfort zone means being nervous, anxious and basically spending lot´s of energy on «How do I cope?»-worrying. This worry is wasted energy.
Outside the zone is friction land. Being there will cause what I call «physiologic enthropy».
Actually, being too far outside your zone will cause a trauma, and you´ll need to get treated by my wife (she´s a psychologist)!
Where you should be to be at your most productive is inside the comfort zone, but on The Alert Side.
The Alert Side is where you need to stretch, where you need to be «on», where you learn fast but still is «in the zone», where you don´t spend your energy on dread and fear. Schematically you will find this as the area above the Challenge/Compentence-line in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow-diagram. This is the area that will bring the sense of mastering. Beneath the flow-line you´ll find the affirmative zone which is good for anchoring confidence but not for growing it. So stop push your self over the limit. Push yourself, alright, be alert, be conscious and focus on your target – one at the time!
It´s just like a wing in flight; a too steep angle will cause separation and turbulence. You will climb, for sure but it will cost you more in fuel than if you climb at a slower and steadier rate. So instead of over investing your energy in bursts, acquire good habits and focus steadily on you targets.