Just Connect

Allow your red zone to fade away

The red zone/blue zone framework had been on my mind a lot recently. As the world becomes more volatile,uncertain, complex and ambiguous (or VUCA as it is known in the literature)having an active red zone is an increasing liability.

Meditation became popular as a way to quieten down the red zone and, more recently, mindfulness practices also can help to quieten down the red zone and may go some way to diminishing its presence.

In my view the most effective way to cause the red zone to fade away is to shift our attention away from ourselves and towards the outside world and, particularly, towards other people.

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An external focus means that when something occurs we can more easily treat it as being part of our environment, yes, for sure we need to do something about it, but we don’t need to allow our red zone to trigger.

With practice we gain increasing detachment from what is occurring outside and our primitive brain’s instinctive and impulsive reaction to anything that is new or different, even if not directly threatening– the basis of the red zone trigger.

Using sustained attention, when our attention is directed towards something specific, or relaxed alertness when we are simply open to our environment, will both gradually reduce our red zone’s presence until one day you notice that it is not triggering.

Finally, you will be operating all the time in the blue zone.

John Corrigan