Break Out of Your Comfort Zone and Find Your Sweet Spot

by Gilda Bonanno

Several of my recent blog posts have been inspired by Daniel Coyle’s new book, The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills, which includes simple, practical tips based on examples and research from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds. He is the New York Times best-selling author of The Talent Code.

Tip #13 – Find the Sweet Spot is an essential part of learning new skills.  Coyle suggests that you "stretch yourself slightly beyond your current ability, spending time in the zone of difficulty called the sweet spot."

The sweet spot is right outside of your comfort zone, which I’ve written about often.  We build our comfort zone over time, constructing it out of habits, routines and thought patterns that allow us to deal with reality.

The problem is that too often, fear keeps us trapped in our comfort zone and prevents us from breaking through it to change, learn and grow.

Once you move beyond your comfort zone and into your sweet spot, Coyle suggests you reach into that sweet spot often, for deep practice, in order to improve your skills.

And this also applies to public speaking as a skill.  Whether you define your public speaking comfort zone as “I’m not great at public speaking, but I’ll never get any better,” or “I guess I’m good enough at public speaking, but not as good as I could be,” getting stuck in that comfort zone will prevent you from stretching beyond it into that sweet spot where you can take your skills to the next level. 
Yes, breaking out of your comfort zone and finding your sweet spot means that you have to face your fear of failure and deal with the discomfort of change, but it will be worth it.

Click on the video below for “Break Out of Your Comfort Zone to Live a Move Purposeful Life,” an excerpt from a keynote speech I delivered at a conference for the Project Management Institute, which explains how breaking out of your comfort zone can apply to different aspects of your life

Success Inspiration Speaker: Break Out of Your Comfort Zone to Live a More Purposeful Life
6 minutes, 10 seconds
If the video doesn't play, go to

For more on Daniel Coyle, including The Little Book of Talent and his blog, visit his website

For my other blog posts inspired by Daniel Coyle, see:


Gilda Bonanno's blog