Is Explosive Change Possible?

Being married to a motivational speaker can be eye-opening at times. I've seen Kelly repeatedly take on challenges, often outside her comfort zone, at warp speed. It may simply be an inborn trait for Kelly to blow comfort zones to smithereens, but I've never seen her take an incremental approach to expanding her comfort zone in pursuit of a goal. 

I recently came across this video, by Steven Iwersen, that advocates expanding your comfort zone slowly to reach goals. Maybe Kelly is an anomoly, and Steven has a good point when it comes to most people. 

What's your view on taking on challenges and expanding comfort zones? Is explosive change possible for the average Joe?[schema type=”review” url=”” name=”Is Explosive Change Possible?” description=”Successful people do not reach their goals because they got out of their comfort zones or by taking short cuts. Steven Iwersen explains why getting out of your comfort zone could be a mistake and how you can use it to your advantage!” rev_name=”Don’t Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” rev_body=”Steven Iwerson takes an approach contrary to traditional motivational thought. He contends that progress toward a goal comes from incrementally expanding your competence and your comfort goal. This video downplays inspired leaps and explosive change.” author=”Steven Iwerson” pubdate=”2012-10-31″ ]


Bill Swanson is married to motivational speaker Kelly Swanson. As partner in her speaking business, Bill is keenly interested in all things related to motivational speaking.

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  1. Bill – sometimes what you think is explosive for me, is really incremental. I will often take a HUGE idea, but cut it down to a bite-sized piece. It may be a bigger bite than others take, but I don't change everything at once. I change tiny pieces at a time. 

    For example….let's say I wanted to change my branding to fit women only. I wouldn't necessarily go change my website, all my blogs, my headshots, my tagline, the titles of all my programs, and the way I do my shows. But I might decide to start with a program just for women. And then get a new logo made, etc. I start doing tiny little changes instead of one big one. 

    But, again, some of my tiny steps would be big steps to other people. And I would imagine that sometimes an explosive change may be the very thing to make you fly. Sometimes success comes when you take a big risk – not a lot of tiny ones.

  2. Enjoyed everyone's take on explosive change and comfort zones. Can't wait to hear motivational speaker Marilyn Sherman's spin as well! given her program on "Whose Comfort Zone Are You In?"  I agree with you Bill that Kelly Swanson is one of the best motivational speakers because she embraces explosive change. Everytime I turn around she's completing another out of the box venture. Children's book, new speeches, incredible poetic tributes, and now her Pride's Hollow show! Kelly never stops pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone. And Kelly I agree with you that you see it as small steps toward a huge dream, BUT you take those steps which is why it appears to the rest of us as explosive change.

  3. Hmmm.  Is it just me or is he (Mr. Iwerson) really just sort of twisting words and concepts around a bit.  As a motivational speaker, one of my topics that I speak on and LOVE passionately is one called "Innovate! Generate! Accelerate!"  And it's ALL about finding those creative solutions and answers –  outside of one's comfort zone.  How much? Maybe just a little for some people, maybe a lot for others.  He's saying, "Don't get outside your comfort zone.  Just push the boundaries a bit."  Right, but for some people – that FEELS like getting outside their comfort zone.  Sort of feels a bit like semantics to me.

    • Linda, good observation. Potato, patatoe. My conundrum, in watching Steve Iwersen's video, is the contention that change is incremental rather than explosive. I have a front row seat to someone who changes explosively. However, is his point valid for most people?

  4. It's fun to watch other people talk on a subject I'm so passionate about.  As Colette mentioned, I wrote a book called, Whose Comfort Zone Are You In? and I speak about how dangerous it is to stay in a comfort zone as it could lead to a rut and settling for mediocrity.  I gotta agree with Linda on this.  Steve is really pontificating here – because when you stretch yourself out of your comfort zone to try something new and increase your competence and confidence, you are now outside of your comfort zone.  He's really saying the same thing that we all are saying but adding some contrary views. Bottom line? If we want to continue to grow and succeed we have to stretch ourselves – stretch out of our comfort zone, expand our comfort zone, blow out our comfort zone..whatever.  As long as we don't jump out of ours and jump into someone else's! That's my whole point – follow your own heart and passion for what you want out of your life.  Like the greeting card says; Life happens right out of your comfort zone!!!!  smiley

  5. Thanks Bill for sharing the video.  I'm delighted to see that it has sparked some discussion.  Yes, my intent in the video is to address comfort zones from an alternative view.  The perspective came while I was speaking at a conference for civilian leaders in the military who are trying to lead long term employees that are reluctant to change.

    I too am one of those who is not afraid to jump out of the circle and try new things.  Explosive change is typically comfortable and I love what I learn from the experience.  But the majority of the population is not so inclined.  That's why I suggested growing the circle of comfort.  As motivational speakers our goal is to help people find the courage to take steps of growth – even those that need to approach it incrementally.

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