About the comfort zone calculator

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About the Comfort Zone Calculator

WhatisMyComfortZone.com is an idea that Marcus Taylor had to help people learn about their comfort zones and understand the different ways in which they can grow it. For many years, comfort zones have remained an ambiguous concept. We all know that we have a comfort zone, but we don’t know what it is or how we can measure it – and as William Edwards Deming, the great statistician once said “you can’t improve what you can’t measure”.

The whole project is non-commercial, free for everyone to use, and developed for two purposes – to help people step outside of their comfort zones, and to learn more about the unexplored topic of comfort zones.

The creation of WhatisMyComfortZone.com wouldn’t have been possible without the inspiration, generosity, and valuable input from Derek Sivers, Chris Gillebeau, Ali Luke, Rob Lawrence, Vlad Dolezal, Maria Popova, Kristi, and Aisha Kellaway.

How the Comfort Zone Calculator Works

Designing this comfort zone calculator wasn’t easy, especially when you take into account that there is no pre-existing method of measuring a comfort zone, which meant that first of all we had to create our own method. Here’s what we came up with…

Step 1) Create a database of common challenges
We first created an extensive list containing thousands of challenges that are commonly outside of peoples comfort zones by asking a variety of people through surveys.

Step 2) Rate & Rank all challenges by how difficult they are

Once our database of challenges is sufficiently extensive, we then take the most commonly suggested challenges and ask 1,000+ people to rate each challenge by how difficult it would be to complete. The reason for this is that it gives each challenge an average weighting for how difficult it is perceived to be. E.g. ‘base jumping’ received a weighting of 8.12/10, whereas skydiving received a weighting of 5.97/10. The higher the rating, the more challenging it’s perceived to be.

The calculator uses the model to the left in combination with these weightings to make recommendations that are likely to be in a person’s growth zone, as well as being things that the person wants to do. If for example, a person has a professional comfort zone score of 35/100, the calculator is able to make recommendations slightly above that person’s comfort zone, but not too challenging that it would be in their panic zone.

Step 3) Assign a set of multipliers to different perceptions e.g. ‘have done’ = x4
We then assign a constant multiplier to the different perceptions you have towards each challenge. For example, ‘Have Done’ has a multiplier of x4, ‘Want to do & ready’ is x3, ‘Want to do but not ready’ is x2, ‘Not sure’ is x1, and ‘Wouldn’t do’ is x0.

Step 4) Multiply the challenge’s difficulty value by the selected multiplier
When you fill out the survey, the calculator multipliers the weighting value assigned to each challenge with the relevant multiplier to give a total score for that challenge. For example, if you selected ‘Have Done’ (x4) for skydiving (which has a weighting of 5.97), your total score for that specific question would be 23.88 (5.97×4).

Step 5) Add all scores together to create an overall score (and category scores)
Each of these scores are added together to create your overall score for each of the three categories. The calculator then works this out as percentages, and multiplies the three scores together, and finally divides the total by three to create your overall comfort zone score.

This means that…

  • The more difficult a challenge is, the bigger impact it has on your score
  • Your score is segmented by professional, adrenaline, and lifestyle, to ensure that you can analyse individual areas
  • The closer you are to having done a challenge, the higher your score is. Comfort zones are defined not just by the things you *have* done, but also by what you’d be mentally prepared to do, which is why it’s important to have an incremental multiplier system

We’re constantly developing this algorithm to ensure that it provides an accurate insight into how strong your comfort zone is compared to others.

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve the way in which this calculator works, I’d love to

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