Book Cover - Book Review: Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence

Everyone fail to get out of his or her comfort zone at some times. For me, I have no problem tackling new technical challenges in my job as a software developer, but as an introvert, I fail miserably on networking and public speaking. Yes, I know getting out of my comfort zone is critical if I do not want to miss out important opportunities…

If like me, you feel discouraged rather than inspired when people say “Just take that leap!”, you will love this book. Not because it help you find excuses to stay where you are, but because it provides evidences that things are a little more complicated than “just taking that leap”.

In this book, Andy Molinsky help us normalize our reactions. He explains why it’s so hard to act outside our comfort zone and why it is so easy to avoid it. Seeing the problem in a new light really help to develop the courage to act differently.

As Richard Hackman says about the previous book from the same author, “[Andy Molinsky] has an extraordinary ability to write engaging examples and then draw from then the lessons to be learned.” That’s totally true. You’ll hear from managers, actors, students, moms, comics, politicians, and so many other people. Different stories, but always the same problem. On a negative note, these examples help the book reach an acceptable number of pages to the detriment of some redundancies, but this does not diminish the pleasure of reading this book.

In the end, there is no magic elixir in this book. “Just” hard work, strategy, and persistence. This is reassuring. In my opinion, a book on the subject could only be written by someone who faced the same challenges and struggled to overcome them. To quote the author: “I’m probably the last person who should be writing such a book. I’m terrible at stretching outside my comfort zone! But perhaps because I struggle at it, I’m attuned to the challenges and can empathize with the experience of others.”

About the author

Julien Sobczak works as a software developer for Scaleway, a French cloud provider. He is a passionate reader who likes to see the world differently to measure the extent of his ignorance. His main areas of interest are productivity (doing less and better), human potential, and everything that contributes in being a better person (including a better dad and a better developer).

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