Comfort, Panic and Learning Zone

Any task or activity we do is in either comfort or panic or learning zone.
In order to make progress in any field from novice to expert, we need to always stay in the learning zone, because it is where we acquire skills.

Why we can not progress in comfort zone ?
= Because it consists of the abilities we already know and can already do easily. So nothing new we will learn.

Why we can not make progress in panic zone ?
= Because you are so anxious and you can no longer think. Activities in the panic zone are so tough that we don’t even know how to approach them. You may be in the panic zone when attempting something dangerous, far beyond your reach or under high stress.

Why we can make progress in learning zone ?
= Because the skills and abilities that are just out of reach; they’re neither so far away that we panic nor close enough where they’re too easy.

But, the main problem is how to identify the learning zone ?
If the task at hand is boring or too easy, it’s an indication that we’re not in the learning zone.
While the panic zone and learning zone may involve forms of “pain” and challenges, the panic zone is a place where we are lost and in the learning zone we are focused and open to new ideas.


boredom = comfort zone
losing focus = panic zone
growth, engaged, or enjoyment = learning zone

We’re neither bored nor uneasy; we’re learning.

As you operate in the learning zone, you will get more comfortable with the current skills and they’ll start to move into the comfort zone. As this happens, tasks that were once a part of the panic zone will move into the learning zone and the cycle will continue.

In bodybuilding, doing the same routine leads to a plateau (comfort zone) and it’s not until a new challenge is sought (learning zone) do the muscles have a chance to grow further.



About Ahmed

Software craftsman, programmer, developer, system/business analyst, DBA and PM.
This entry was posted in Deliberate Practice, Education, Learning, Productivity, Skills. Bookmark the permalink.

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