Do Not Be Too Comfortable In Your Comfort Zone!

Freedom

Everyone has a comfort zone, one which we very often prefer not to step outside of because it makes us feel… well uncomfortable (of course). But what if we stay there all the time? Do we develop? Do we grow as individuals?

How Comfort Zones Stifle Success

Have you ever entered a room full of people you didn’t know and your first thought was to turn around and leave?  At a meeting, have you been asked at the last minute to get up and thank the speaker?  These are examples of what many consider as being outside their comfort zone.So, what is a comfort zone & what’s wrong with living in one?

Roy T. Bennett put it like this,

The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

ComfortZone
It seems that psychologically, we’re programmed to seek comfort, but unfortunately comfort isn’t really the best thing for us if we want to have success.

Their comfort zone is the state which highly successful people try their best to avoid; they are constantly trying out new ideas to see what works out and what doesn’t. When their plans don’t work out as expected, they use these experiences as learning opportunities to progress closer to their goals.

So, when you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, take some deep breathes and calm your mind. Don’t freak out but look at this as a new opportunity in front of you, a new action to take, that just like any other action, requires a process that happens one step at a time. Look on that first step as a gift, a chance to try some small thing that might lead to a great journey that you’d miss if you don’t take that first step!

Yes, starting something new is usually scary and it might bring about doubt. That’s normal. Change will cause a lack of ease because it’s unfamiliar territory, nonetheless, the unfamiliar can become familiar once we embrace it. So how can you embrace jumping out of your comfort zone?

You can start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What do you really want in life, what is your dream?
  • Why do you want it?
  • Are your current actions helping you move towards that dream?
  • What can you change so that you are working towards it?
  • Do you want your dream enough to make those changes even if they are not comfortable?

By now you know what you need to do, so do you feel ready? If you answered yes to that, now is the time to implements those changes, the ones that can launch you into success.

break freeIf you want to experience the freedom of being a complete action taker who is willing to do anything, regardless of how scary it may be, you have to find something of major significance to drive you. I promise you that having a fluffy goal with no emotional backing (for example, a certain amount of yearly income) is not a driving force, it is more of a nice-to-have.

The driving force I am talking about is something much more personal, much more sacred to the individual. It is a representation of you, your beliefs, your morals, values and everything else that defines you at the core of your being.

Think Olympic champions (and hopefuls) who make huge sacrifices just to compete at this high level. Without having a driving force inside them, how would they commit to the years of dedicated & often painful training that is needed, putting aside the social life & friendships that others take for granted?

Very few people ever take time to define this for themselves, so they never truly tap into their driving force. That is why we see so many people living complacent lives, accepting mediocrity and frustration instead of aggressively pursuing something that makes them come alive. Because of this, it never occurs to them that they should be stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things.

 

Do You Have Shiny New Object Syndrome?

First posted on Medium at https://medium.com/@trish_39797/do-you-have-shiny-new-object-syndrome-b783c38281f8

Shiny-objects

I’ve just finished reading Shaunta Grimes medium post titled “Three Ways to Combat Shiny New Things Syndrome – Because You Actually Do Need to Finish What You Start”.

This really gels with me because I, too am a good starter of new things but not a very good finisher and can sometimes get stuck early in Act II, which is pretty pathetic when you think about it. The only positive I can console myself with is that I find new ideas that have huge potential easily & often, I just need to learn how to pick one, set a goal for that one and stick with it till I reach that goal. Perhaps then that “thing” can become part-time or secondary while I explore a new shiny object. Rinse & repeat, as they say.

And even though Shaunta is a writer and her shiny new things were probably new subjects to write about, her strategies apply equally to anybody whose shining new things could be jobs or hobbies, sports or self-development courses, anything at all that they like to do or learn about. For me it’s usually some new software for graphics & animation or some new plan for making money.

The Cost of Shiny New Things/Objects Syndrome

Chasing shiny new things can be expensive for three reasons. Firstly, because if you only just start out all the time and never finish, you never get to the stage of getting any return on your investment, only the expenses.

The second cost is time and I believe it is an even higher cost than wasting money by not finishing things. You can always get more money somehow, but no-one can buy time. 24 hours a day for however long we live is what we all get equally and it’s all we can ever have. Lost time cannot ever be replaced & that makes time the most precious resource any of us have in life.

The third cost is lack of self-worth. You look on yourself as a failure and let’s be honest, you are a failure with regard to not reaching your goals, but it tends to take over your thoughts about yourself and you can start to think of yourself as a failure overall, just like a boy whose autocratic father, on receiving his son’s report card with 3 A’s & 2 B’s but one D in the father’s field of expertise, then calling his son a dunce and a failure.

Looking Back

Photo by Riccardo Mion on Unsplash

Having reached my 70’s, I look back and can say that I’ve had a very interesting life with highlights like offshore sailing, flying a light plane for several years, jumping out of one at 10,000 feet, with a parachute of course since I’m alive and writing this!

But what I haven’t got is financial security in my senior years for various reasons, some not under my direct control, but nevertheless, the decisions I’ve made in the past have created the situation I’m now in.

Looking back, it’s easy to see where I didn’t spend money wisely, didn’t finish some of the training paid for and started but not finished; wasted time learning things that would have more efficiently been outsourced to someone already experienced in that field (but it was interesting learning these new things!).

Being Disciplined

Being brutally honest with myself, I lacked self-discipline for many of my years and still do to a lesser extent. The strategies I use now are a lot like those in Shaunta’s article and I list them here as it may be a useful guide to others in their quest to defeat the “Shiny”syndrome.

1. Expectations?—?set some for each day. Whatever your current project is, make a commitment to move forward in some measurable way. I like to write down a list either at night or first thing in the morning of what I want to achieve each day. My daily commitments go on that list as well as meetings & reminders so I don’t forget them.

2. Start each day with a positive mindset and when I say start, I mean before you get out of bed make a conscious decision to have a good day. Perhaps you don’t believe it, but your attitude to everything that happens to you is your choice. Things that happen are often not your choice, but how you think about them is. Waking up and saying to yourself “It’s Monday. I hate my work” is not going to result in the happiest or most productive day.

Shaunta says not to let your inner critic take over. For me this means that if I start feeling like I’m a failure, I take my mind on a brief journey remembering my successes and things I’m good at. We’re all good at something, so find yours. They don’t need to be huge, even something simple like being friendly and making people smile can have a more positive effect than you’ll ever know.

3. Be accountable to someone.

You’ll probably hate this idea; I always resisted and have only recently agreed to do this with someone I know well, but I believe it will help me to stop getting side-tracked by some of my interests. We can still have interests, so long as we keep doing our current project for the committed time each day.

4. Write down the Shiny New Things that come to you.

Even though you’re not going to follow them immediately, keep a record of your ideas because you might need them later, or some of them anyway. Knowing you have them stored safely for the future lets you free your mind to focus on your current project.

I’m not saying I’ve totally overcome my desire to keep trying new things straight away, because I haven’t, but I’m better at focusing on the task at hand now and since time is running out, it’s really now or never for me.

Habits for Success

Success Is Built On Daily Positive Actions

Small Habits Matter

Let’s talk about success.

More specifically, let’s talk about what it takes on a day-to-day basis to become successful.

When you break it down, success is built on daily positive actions.

As long as you do something every single day to move you in the right direction and work on building those success habits, you’ll get there. And it will happen sooner rather than later as those daily actions start to build on each other and generate momentum.

Forming Positive Habits Is Easier When You Break Negative Ones

People develop bad habits during their lifetime. Some are really difficult to break. But if the bad habits can be broken it will make forming positive habits that much easier.

Take smoking, for instance. There aren’t too many people that will disagree that this is a really bad habit. This includes smokers. Exercising is a good habit, as long as you approach it correctly. Yet, it will be very difficult for smokers to adopt the good habit of exercise because the smoking interferes with their ability to breathe. This is a crucial aspect to exercising properly.

Another example is procrastination. Most people universally agree that this is not a great habit. While it’s not as life-threatening as smoking, it can be a cause for companies to fire someone who engages in it. If people want to be more productive and they tend to procrastinate, they will need to break that bad habit. The good news is that procrastination is much easier to break than smoking. Also, just the nature of breaking it makes someone automatically more productive.

Of course, not every bad habit is going to be offset by a good one. There are certainly plenty of bad habits that may not have any effect on good ones. They can easily coexist. For instance, if someone is a smoker, that doesn’t automatically make them a procrastinator. Therefore, they could already be very productive in their work. Some may argue that taking several breaks for smoking can have the equivalent outcome as one who procrastinates. But not everyone who smokes takes multiple breaks per day, so it is a weak argument at best.

One way to approach positive habit formation is to think about how many hours you spend awake every day. If you increase the number of positive habits, something has to give. Let it be the negative ones. Unless those negative habits are done in your sleep, like snoring, in your waking hours, you either have to forgo those negative habits or you simply cannot add any more of the positive ones. The rewards for taking on more positive habits should easily overtake the loss of the negative habits.

You shouldn’t try to change your habits all at once. It takes time for your brain to adjust to new behaviors. Do it one habit at a time or perhaps lose one bad habit while gaining a good one, etc. As you feel you have mastered the good habits, add others into the mix.

How to Deal with Obstacles to Creating Success Habits

You’ve decided that you want to achieve a goal. You want to be successful. A plan is in place and you are creating the habits you need. Your plan includes possible stumbling points and you have identified ways to overcome them. That’s great you are setting yourself up for success. However, what do you do when the unexpected happens and an obstacle occurs that threatens to derail you and your plans?

There are certain things you can do when this happens.

First it is important that you remember that most obstacles that will happen are created by your own limiting beliefs.

Think Positively

Positive thinking is a key success habit in itself. If this is not already a habit of yours then you should consider creating this habit first as it is crucial for all other habits and goal completion. All successful people are positive. They know who they are, what they want and how to get there. They are also willing to work to achieve their goals.

Relax

While it’s quite natural to become stressed when something unexpected occurs it is important that you have planned for this eventuality and have strategies in place that can help you deal with it calmly. Staying calm and relaxed is crucial. Breathe deeply, focus on yourself and the moment. Tell yourself it is just a blip and you can cope with it. Remember, that one of the key factors for success is flexibility. You must be open to change. Even unexpected change!

Take time out to do something else if you can. Perhaps listen to calming music or take a walk. Exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel good. Consider doing meditation, yoga, tai chi or self-hypnosis.

Persevere

You are in this for the end game. You are not a quitter as quitters don’t win. At the start of your journey to creating a new success habit create a positive affirmation to use for exactly a situation like this. That way when something unexpected happens you can use it to reinforce your determination and focus ensuring that you solve the problem and continue towards achieving your goal.

Actively Seek New Opportunities

When something happens that puts a spanner in the works and causes you to stop in your tracks, take the opportunity to learn from it. Is there something that needs to change or be done to get your plans back on track?

Re-evaluating your plans and strategies along the way is an important part of goal setting. Remember your plans should not be rigid and nor should your end goal. Are you still on the right path or is there something that needs to be changed?

Dream

Whether you think of it as dreaming or visualizing keep your goal in sight. Your journey to creating success and new habits started with a dream and you need to keep that in your mind.

Visualize yourself living the life you are working to create. See yourself using your new success habits to help you plan and create a new future for yourself.

Remembering what you are working for will help you stay committed, focused and taking action.

There will be times on your journey to success that you stumble or fall. It is essential to remember that these are temporary set-backs. Your attitude towards how you deal with them will be the key to whether you succeed or fail.

Groups Can Help You Develop Better Habits

When it comes to forming new habits, there’s no doubt that getting support from others can help. This is one big reason why support groups are created. There is strength in numbers as the saying goes. When you join a group of people who have similar goals as you, they can offer tips on what they did to overcome challenges or to break through barriers.

When selecting your groups, you want to look for ones that are as similar to the habits that you want to adopt. If it is not a fit, you are going to have trouble getting help from the members. For example, there may be a group dedicated to becoming healthier but their main focus may be through exercise. If you are looking for a group that focuses on eating well, this may not be the right group for you. It’s not that the group is wrong for focusing on exercise, it’s just not what you were looking for.

Finding groups can be as easy as searching your favorite search engines. Simply use the name of the habit followed by the words “groups”, “forums” or “blogs”. You can try all three in separate searches. When checking out the groups, make sure that they are fairly active and engage frequently. Otherwise, it could be a waste of time.

Facebook can also be a great place to find people who have formed groups similar to what you are looking for. You can start out by searching for the habit or topic. If you want even better results you can try the following phrase, “people who are looking to” followed by the activity. You could also do the same with, “people who are looking for”, etc. As with forums and blogs, make sure the groups you choose are active and have enough members to make it worth your while.

Meetup.com is another website that you can use to find groups of people all trying to accomplish similar goals. They require the groups to actually meet in person as part of its terms of service. But this can be a great way to get to know people and develop new friendships. If a particular group you are looking for doesn’t exist, you can create your own as long as you follow the terms of service.

Joining groups to help you create positive habits can really help you succeed in adopting those habits. The groups will have people that have experienced what you are looking to accomplish.

Teamwork