We all experience some type of self imposed comfort zone at different times in our life. I am talking about those things that for one reason or another we believe are out of our reach.
Comfort zones can be highly personal to the individual, or they can be something that an entire group of people over a long period of time believes to be impossible.
Two examples of this that come to mind are as follows:
Believe it or not, there was once a time no one believed it was possible to run a 4 minute mile. Then came along a fellow by the name of Roger Bannister who not only achieved this feat, but actually ended up inspiring a number of people after him to not only accomplish it as well, but to beat the once seemingly insurmountable time.
The second example that comes to mind is the idea that space travel and exploration would ever be a reality. Can you imagine how far fetched the idea must have seemed, even to the first person who dreamed it up? Yet, history tells us it was far from impossible and is, dare I say almost commonplace now.
Certainly those are two extreme examples, but consider the mere fact that you went from a newborn baby to walking, or learning to read, and just about all the incredible things you’ve accomplished over the course of your life thus far. Inevitably you have had more than your share of comfort zones to work through. And in each case that is precisely what you did.
Friend, that’s the thing about comfort zones — they are meant to be overcome. As we stretch, grow and work our way past those things that at one time caused us to doubt our ability to achieve, something incredible occurs inside of us. With each new accomplishment we expand our beliefs beyond what we thought we were once capable of. This in turn prepares us to better take on the next big challenge which comes our way. We did it before, so we are far more willing to try the next time an opportunity presents itself.
It is important to point out that comfort zones are not a bad thing in and of themselves. They exist to protect us in a number of ways. The danger comes in when we allow them to go beyond what they’re intended for — to keep us out of harms way, and instead actually ending up keeping us from fully embracing and living the lives filled with greatness which GOD created us for.
Using small tasks to shatter through barriers…
I am convinced that if we had the natural ability to look at big ideas — big goals — the big things we long for — and break them down into smaller more manageable bite-sized tasks we wouldn’t have to deal with our self-imposed comfort zones getting in the way nearly as often as we do. Unfortunately though, it is a natural tendency to build things up in our mind. What can help greatly is to accept that with great rewards often comes extra effort on our part. Notice that extra effort doesn’t mean it isn’t something we are incapable of assuming we are willing to do what’s required of us.
It’s worth mentioning again that it’s normal to experience doubt and even fear when you’re entering into the unknown. In spite of that though, you still have to push through. Because when you do you will find that just on the other side is an amazingly incredible feeling of accomplishment.
Friend, every day you need to make a commitment to decide on a minimum of one thing that you’ll do which will move you closer to the completion of your particular goal and do it! Doing so is incredibly beneficial, but perhaps most importantly you will have shattered your self imposed comfort zone in the process. You will have stretched it to the point that you no longer fear that thing you did before. Now, going forward you will never have to look back and doubt yourself in that particular area again. Take a moment to really consider the sense of empowerment that feeling will give you.
Ask just about any expert in any industry or career field and get them to think back far enough and they’re sure to tell you that once upon a time they had areas of doubt that they had to work through to get to where they are today. The difference between where they were and where they find themselves now is it they moved forward in spite of the fear and got better over time.
The things which end up building barriers of fear in our minds often stem from past experiences, either real or imagined. When I was in elementary school my handwriting was so bad that it was suggested by a teacher that I learned to type. I saw this as a disadvantage as a young kid.
I suspect the image of having to carry around a typewriter the rest of my life, or at least the rest of my school years would be enough to unnerve just about any student my age. As it turned out, though my handwriting never turned out that great, it was good enough to get me by without my fears of having to tote a typewriter around in my backpack with me coming to fruition.
What’s interesting is that learning to type actually turned out to be an invaluable skill, albeit years later in the work I do now as an author and writer. In fact, I suspect that had I not learned to type, I would have been reluctant, if not had a much greater comfort zone to work through with undertaking my writing career.
I bet if you give it some thought you can think of something you had a resistance to, but overcame. Contrast that to whatever you might feel uncomfortable in pursuing now. Truly, just like you worked through it then, you can do it again.
To put it plainly, if you’ve done it once, you can do it again — and that my friend should give you great hope! I’ll give it to you straight, that’s not to say it will be easy, but let’s be honest with each other here — if it were easy, you wouldn’t value reaching its summit near as much as you will as a result of working, and stretching for it.
Give the steps below a try and you’ll be well on your way towards seeing more of the rewards that come to those who step out into the unknown.
Honestly answer the following questions.
1. What is one big thing I want to accomplish? What will it mean to me to accomplish it?
2. What are 3 things I can do this week to move myself in the direction of completing the item I listed above?
3. What one thing can I do today (or at the latest begin tomorrow) that will set me in motion towards getting started?
Make a point to repeat the steps outlined above each week. If you are consistent, and follow this simple plan you’ll find that you receive a whole lot more than the initial goal you set. You will have developed a mindset which knows, and believes that you have in you the ability to achieve unbelievable things. And Friend, that shift in your mindset can literally unlock a world of possibilities.
It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!