GaryVee and The Psychology of The Comfort Zone

GaryVee put out a new video on Instagram today. I recommend that you watch the whole clip before reading the rest of this article – what happens is remarkable and moving, and any description I could write of it would take away its power.

To some, it looks as though Gary is forcing this poor woman, Laura, to do something that she doesn’t want to do. But something deeper, more positive is happening.

What Gary does in this clip is what any great coach, professor, mentor, or clinical psychologist does, which is to get people out of their comfort zone by helping them to break down any self-imposed limitations. The trick to doing this well is to not usurp the feeling of achievement from the person that’s being helped. In other words, to guide them to the goalpost instead of giving them the goalpost.

Laura has been a writer for 12 years, but she feels her career is going nowhere. The next step for her, according to Gary, is to talk about what she writes about through videos on TikTok. Gary is encouraging her to push her work in a direction that makes her uncomfortable, a direction that moves, as Taigo Forte calls it in his viral blog post The Rise of the Full-Stack Freelancer, “toward areas of uncertainty and discomfort [in Laura’s case, video], instead of only toward existing strengths [the written word].”

This clip raises some questions about content creation.

  • Are we imposing limitations on ourselves that don’t exist?
  • If so, how do those limitations shape the story we tell ourselves?
  • How can we move our work toward areas of uncertainty and discomfort?
  • What are our areas of uncertainty and discomfort?

Gary’s content creation philosophy challenges statements like, “focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.” We can take what we’re interested in, and apply it to other forms of content creation that we’re not comfortable with – which is exactly what Laura is being encouraged to do.

Gary tells Laura that, “the most uncomfortable shit leads to the best shit.” Say what you want about his choice of words, but there are real, deep truths underneath his provocative, in-your-face style. If we allow ourselves permission to push our work in a direction that makes us uncomfortable, the opportunities for growth are endless.

We can stay in our lanes, creating content around what we’re most passionate about, while moving ourselves into the lanes that we’re less comfortable in. For Laura, it’s taking the subjects she writes about into an area she’s less comfortable with, so that her work can be exposed to the audience that she wishes to connect with.

People often misunderstand GaryVee because they think that we need to be like GaryVee. But Gary’s core message for us is to create content around the things that we love, and to do so in a way that’s most true to ourselves. Less faking, more making.

 

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