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The Grim Zone

“I know I can do it” “The team are counting on me” “I owe it to myself” “I won’t let it beat me”

These are some of the things that people have told us that help them through the Grim Zone. Now I imagine some of you may be wondering what the Grim Zone is, I suspect you may even have your own name for it.

It’s the name we use to describe an uncomfortable experience, or completing an unpleasant task, you know you have to do it, but what you actually have is the overwhelming urge to do something else or be somewhere else. The Army provided some great examples of the Grim Zone. For example, being on exercise and being woken at 2am to go on ‘stag’ in the rain (basically go and lay in a wet ditch and guard the temporary camp in the wood from the enemy). This essentially involved laying perfectly still, in silence, while staring at the bushes in front, convinced that Elvis Presley was trying to sneak into the temporary camp, or whomever else my sleep deprived brain could imagine. However, it could just as easily be that task at work that you have been putting off – the one you really don’t want to do, but you know you must. You know the one.

The trick to getting through the Grim Zone and achieving your aim is to have a strategy. The simpler the better. Yesterday’s Grim Zone for me was a run in the pouring rain, not a pleasant experience and I really couldn’t be bothered. However, I wanted to get the miles in. I know that the bit that puts me off about being in the rain, isn’t necessarily being wet, after all it was pretty warm. It’s the psychological effect of feeling it on my head, therefore my strategy was simple – wear a hat (something I never normally do on a run). That simple step was enough to change my outlook and get me out of the door.

This is also what we love about Strengths, discovering your dominant themes and leveraging them can often be the strategy you need to get through the Grim Zone and prevail. This is what our Strengths Trail helps people do. It’s a challenging and rewarding environment for people to discover and then apply their strengths to a variety of fun, adventurous challenges (someone once described it as an escape room in the mountains). At the end of the 3 days, our attendees will have experienced incredible moments, contributed to a high performing team and will leave with effective strategies they can use to help them prevail in their pursuit of intentional excellence.

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