Comfort & Chaos

Work (like life) has two zones – “comfort” and “chaos”. “Comfort” at work comes with experience, familiar faces, clear directions, consistent feedback, adequate resources, clarity, certainty, stability and familiarity. “Chaos” is the opposite – it’s inexperience, new faces, unclear directions, inconsistent feedback, inadequate resources, mixed messages, uncertainty and instability. Happy, high-performers learn to thrive in both the comfort zone and the chaos zone.

The Value of Chaos

Chaos is good! Chaos signals growth, progress and adaptation. It’s a new job or a new project. It’s a reorganization or a new boss. It’s a career change or your first job out of school. Chaos is not knowing what you want or where to start, but chaos always precedes growth. In work or in life, you can’t improve upon what you have without living in chaos. Before long, the unfamiliar becomes familiar; the uncertain becomes certain; and – with time – inexperience becomes experience.

Finding Comfort In Chaos

Chaos tends to trigger negative emotions. Inexperience lowers confidence. Uncertainty creates anxiety. Instability triggers fear. But people that perform better and live happier find comfort in chaos. They practice gratitude and mindfulness. They call on past successes and play to their strengths. They look for the good and have empathy for others. In times of chaos – gratitude, mindfulness, positive memories, character strengths and empathy are “comforters” that help people flip the negative emotions of anxiety and fear into confidence and positivity.

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