WHY Is This Important? What is potential? It is defined as "capable of becoming". We are all born with it....so why do so few reach it? There's a DANGEROUS spot where many reside.....called the Comfort Zone.
Many that reside in the comfort zone, belief this is safe. Many would also believe there is little to no risk inside the comfort zone, and believe they have "security" there.
Those in the comfort zone believe:
If you stay within your comfort zone you don't have to work as hard.
You don't have to challenge yourself.
Your don't have to learn new things.
You don't have to do things that you are unsure of.
Although some of these would be accurate (don't have to learn new things, challenge yourself or do things you are unsure of) in many cases staying in the comfort zone will actually require you to work harder because you are struggling. Struggling to keep anything from changing. However, change in life and in business is constant. If we are not growing and changing, we will struggle to maintain.
The problem with the comfort zone is it is like a drug that keeps us stuck. Those within the comfort zone don't realize the negative effect of it.
It leads you to just "surviving" and struggling to do so.
You may feel stressed over lack of results.
You may have a feeling of helplessness.
You may feel you are a victim of circumstances.
You don't have anything that excites you.
Life is dull.
You are unmotivated.
Others you care about may outgrow you.
Ask yourself, do you want to stay stuck just surviving in the comfort zone, or, do you want to take a step outside of what's comfortable to create more freedom in your life?
Taking a step out of the comfort zone is not as hard as most would imagine in their minds. Look at the X at the center of the diagram in the photo. This is where you are right now. To take a step outside of where you are right now, you must make a DECISION to do so, regardless of any fear or nervousness you may experience. So often people wish and hope and sit on the fence and can't decide on things. If you want to start living into more of your full potential, you must learn to make powerful decisions that lead you towards your goals, and then stick to those decisions, even if you feel fear. This is a temporary feeling that disappears when you take action, but you will not actually understand this until you take the action and can look back with your new perspective. Ask yourself if you want to spend your life in fear, struggling to stay "safely" in the comfort zone, or if you want to rid yourself of this feeling? Taking one small step outside of the inner circle expands the circle and makes it bigger, as demonstrated with the next X. Each time you do this, as you can see, the circle gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
The great thing you will experience is that although it can be scary to take that first step, once you do, you prove to yourself what you are truly capable of. This builds your self esteem and your confidence, and gives you the courage to do it again. When you do this continually and look back 6 months, 1 year, 5 years later, you won't believe how much you have grown, and also how stuck you were previously. You will feel more free than you ever thought possible.
Write down one small step you could take to step out of your comfort zone today. Regardless of how small it is, realize you have just widened your circle of comfort. Each time you have the courage to do this, that comfort zone will keep expanding. It's up to you to decide how far you will grow.....
WE HAVE ALL heard this phrase from reading Dr. Seuss books. How many actually took these words to heart and live them daily in their lives?
I know of a young man living these words. He works in a bank.
When he started at the bank, he started part time as a teller, and wanted to move up. He studied the company training manual on his lunch hour and after work. He spent the first year working in 5-6 different branch locations, going wherever he was needed.
He volunteers to fill in for employee’s that are sick or on holidays by driving to different cities to fill in for them. Whenever there is a need to be filled such as this, he is the first to volunteer to go.
He volunteers to represent his company at community charity events, by attending on his days off, getting up and speaking to the crowd about the company he represents. He does this to practice his public speaking to become more comfortable, as well as a way to give back to the community he lives in.
I saw a picture in our local newspaper of volunteers at one of the events. He was the only one, out of about 40 in the picture that was dressed up….everyone had t-shirts and casual pants on, he was in a suit because he wanted to professionally represent the company he works for. He stood out, not because he is 6’4″ and towered above everyone in the picture, but because he has this vibrant positive personality, great smile, and was dressed the part of who he is portraying.
He wears a suit and tie every day to work, even though it is not expected. On dress down day when everyone is wearing jeans, he wears a pair of dress jeans, shirt, tie and jacket.
It may seem like he is a more mature worker, however, he is 25 years of age. He does all of this not because he has to, because he wants to. He is going the extra mile because he understands this principle…why fit in when you were born to stand out. It is no surprise he is excelling at his career, and was promoted to assistant branch manager after the first year.
Clues for success in life and in business are all around us in everything we do. Many times, these clues seem so simple they are overlooked. Pull out a Dr. Seuss book, and share a quote that may have inspired you that other’s may have missed…..
Wait, wait, wait......it's not the right time! Many people live their life on hold. Always waiting for the right time. Never moving forward and taking the actions they "say" are important to them. Something has come up. They change their mind because something is more pressing. Start and stop...don't start at all. These are common patterns of those that are always waiting for the "right" time. It;s like being underwater searching for air. Eventually you are going to run out of time and if you don't learn to embrace the moment, you miss out on all life has to offer.
This affects every type of decision in all aspects of life. Every day you can hear people discussing timing. The time isn't right because_________. Interestingly, it can be boiled down to some of the same basic things.
-not enough time
-not enough money
-I don't know how
-the kids are too young, I will wait till they are older
-I'm too busy with the kids, they have sports, music, etc.
-It's too soon
-It's too late
-I don't have _________
What most don't recognize is these are all excuses, that come from a fearful mind, and not being clear on what you really want in life. This affects everything from how we eat, to fitness routines, to relationships, to the work we do. The interesting thing is that we use the same excuses for all of these. Let's look at an example.
"I need to lose weight" - I don't have time to go to the gym...I work F/T and am too busy with the family. Once the kids are older I will get to it.
A few years pass and the kids are now older - "It's too expensive to join the gym, I have too many expenses with the kids sports etc."
A few more years pass and the kids are now grown - "Those exercise classes are for the younger folks, I can't keep up"
This is just a brief run through of how something as basic as working out plays out over the years. This could be anything in life though. Let's look another situation.......
"I want to change jobs, I don't like what I'm doing" - I have too many bills, I can't risk it now.
10 years pass - "I've been here so long and now I have 4 weeks holiday I don't want to give up"
10 more years pass - "I can't change now, no one will hire me at this age"
You can take any situation and observe how this plays out in your own life, or by observing others. How many people are living a life of regrets? How many are over complicating the decisions they should be making? We often hear elderly people giving advice to "have no regrets". There is a huge clue in this - they clearly recognize they would do things differently if given a second chance....by why wait and put yourself in this position?
A simple formula I have used in my life is being very clear on what is important to me. This applies to my work, my relationships, my health and fitness, everything. Once you have the clarity, then ONLY make decisions that support what you want. Someone once said to me "I don't buy my own excuses, so I won't buy yours". That was a very powerful lesson for me and I took it to heart and started living my life by this principle. We cannot achieve what we want, if we are buying our own excuses.
I have learned if we are waiting for the "right" time for something, that usually never comes, because there is ALWAYS something else, another excuse that gets in the way. THERE IS NO PERFECT TIME!!!!!! The difference between those that create the desired result and those that don't, is not buying your own excuses and making the decisions and taking the actions necessary to support what you do want. People that achieve the desired result have all the same "timing" excuses, however, have learned not to buy those excuses and take action anyway, despite the timing not being right. Finding a way where there doesn't seem to be a way. It is a simple distinction but a very powerful one.
Do you have a tough time with decisions? We hear, or say, things like "I'm not sure what to do, or which way to go". We seek the advice and/or approval of those around us in order to make decisions and many do not have the confidence to make a decision without checking with someone else. Have you ever wanted to make a decision to go a certain direction but upon checking with someone else you took a totally different path because you found more confidence in the other persons opinion than your own? You don't need a crystal ball or a guru....you have the answers within your heart.
If you find yourself changing direction or not following through on what you want, this should be a "red flashing" warning light for you, and where many people steer wrong, and wonder why they are not feeling happy, fulfilled or successful in their lives. The reason is, you do not feel you are in control. You are living your life by someone elses agenda, ideas, rulebook or definition. Trusting your gut (or intuition) is vitally important for success. Our intuition is there to guide us in the right direction. The error many make is letting their heads get in the way of where their hearts are guiding them. This shows up in different ways, however, there are solutions that will help you get around it and become more proficient in your decision making.
-Someone close to you advises you to make a different decision - This is one of the biggest reasons people do not make effective decisions. Ask yourself is this person experienced in this particular area? Do they have the results in their own life to give them credibility in giving you advice? Thank them for their kind concerns, but understand they are not qualified to advise you.
-You are on the fence and don't know what way to go - Ask yourself what will change if you do make the decision, and what will change if you don't. You will most likely determine nothing will change if you don't make the decision. That is a sign to reassess if you want a new or different result. Nothing changes by continuing on the same path doing the same things, while expecting a different result. As Einstein said, this is the definition of insanity. You can also look at the reason you are hesitating - is it from fear or limiting beliefs, or are you allowing #1, someone close to you giving you advice and you are not trusting yourself?
-You feel anxious, worrying you will make a mistake - Stop looking for guarantees. We have the answers within our hearts. Trust yourself and then pull out all the stops to go forward in the direction your heart is telling you.
-You put off making the decision - This comes down to trusting yourself. It is one thing to sleep on something to weigh all the options, it is another thing to procrastinate and stay on the fence. Not making a decisions one way or the other, is making a decision to stay stuck.
-You trust others opinions more than your own - How can anyone know more about what is right for you, than YOU? A great exercise is to journal...get your thoughts on paper and be willing to be totally authentic with yourself. Journal about what you truly want in your life and then be willing to ask yourself what you need to do to create it. Then, be willing to leave your fears, limiting beliefs, past conditioning behind, make a bold decision that supports what you want, and take the action steps necessary to create it.
-You base your decision on other people's failures - You have heard "stories" about this or that happening to someone else, very often THROUGH someone else. We CREATE our own realities. It does not matter if someone else had a bad experience with something. Learn WHY they did, and use that knowledge to go forward without falling into the same errors. Usually it is a lack of commitment, planning, making effective decisions, their own fears and limitations they have put on themselves that has caused them to fail. They are not YOU. Learn from things others have done that are effective, don't give in to the excuses those that have failed use.
Looking at all the options and then trusting your gut based on that information is a great combination for decision making. A simple question that will assist with this is "will this decision bring me closer or further away from my goal?" If it would bring you further away, you are making the wrong decision, quite often a fear based decision. This is the time to course correct, and make the decision that brings you toward your goal. This simple question was life changing for me. It allowed me to shine the light on errors I was about to make so that I could make a conscious decision to course correct.
Something important to recognize is that making bold powerful decisions and trusting yourself does not totally eliminate the feeling you may not know what to do, and may have fear associated with it. It is part of the process. What you will learn though, is that when you are willing to make these type of bold, courageous decisions, trusting yourself, and take the next step that supports your goal, you will figure it out along the way.
BELIEF is necessary to succeed in all aspects of life. No matter what we are engaging in, without belief we will not have the desired result we are looking for.
-Selling a product or service - The most effective sales people are those that absolutely believe in what they are offering. Energy is transmitted throughout the dialogue a sales person has with a client. Two sales people can be saying the same words, even following a pre written script....those that actually believe in and are excited about what they are offering will always outperform those that are just selling to make a living.
-Relationships - Everyone has experienced a relationship that didn't work out. If someone is in a relationship with a person that does not have common goals, beliefs, values, etc., the chance of the relationship lasting dwindles as the belief in spending a lifetime together just doesn't seem possible. On the other hand, when you are in sync with someone, believing you will have a long term relationship is just automatic, you don't even have to think about it. It is effortless and just flows.
-Losing weight/getting in shape - This is an area of life so many struggle with. We hear phrases such as "it's in my genes", or "I've tried, but I can't lose weight", etc. If one does not believe they are capable of being in shape, they will find every excuse in the book to support that belief. On the other hand, those that believe they can reach their desired weight, will make decisions and take actions that support their goal. These people make sure they grocery shop responsibly and don't buy food that would temp them. These people think about what they are cooking, eating, they make conscious decisions to exercise regularly and don't buy their own excuses. They believe they are capable of reaching their ideal weight and then make decisions that support this.
-Sports - People engage in sports everyday, and then some don't. What is the difference? Some fully enjoy the sport they choose and regardless of how proficient they are, or how busy they may be, they believe it will bring them joy so they want to spend time engaging in it. On the other hand, someone that has no interest in sports, will have no belief in their ability to spend time participating in something they don't have interest in.
-Cooking - Would you invite someone over for a big fancy dinner? If you wouldn't you might believe you are not a good cook and are not capable of putting on a fine dinner for others. Those that throw dinner parties don't have to think about it...they just believe they will put on a great dinner.
If you are engaging in something and not experiencing the result you desire, ask yourself where your belief is? Do you actually believe in what you are doing? If not, it may be time to course correct, and either learn what it takes to be more proficient, or take a new direction. Getting authentic with yourself in this way removes a lot of underlying challenges such as stress, unhappiness, feeling inadequate, etc. Build your belief, and you build your results....
Have you ever had a great idea but didn't act on it? Have you ever looked back years later and recognized that you should have acted on your idea? Have you ever stopped to identify what actually stopped you from taking action?
Over the years, from personal experiences, and from studying this extensively, I have learned that FEAR is one of the top reasons people don't take action on their ideas.
You may have said one or more of these things....
-I don't want to make a mistake
-I don't want to look foolish
-I am afraid to take the risk
-What if it doesn't work out
-It's not normal, no one else is doing "it"
-What would other people think or say
-I don't know where to start
-I don't know how to do it
-I don't have what I need (money, time, knowledge)
FEAR negatively affects every single aspect of our lives. The problem is, most don't realize they are frozen in fear, that they are holding themselves back, and they are fully capable of creating what they desire. In addition, when we are surrounded by others that settle, we buy into the belief that it is just normal. We believe everyone "does it", and this belief comforts our conformity.
A very revealing exercise is to list some things that have cost you over the years and bring a awareness to how you are holding yourself back. I have a couple of personal examples I will share with you.
-Real Estate - When we bought our first piece of real estate, over 30 years ago, it was a 2 bedroom condo. We paid around $40,000 and everyone we knew thought we were crazy for spending that kind of money on what was actually a 2 bedroom high rise apartment. My husband and I had a conversation and discussed how we actually thought it was a great way to get into first time home ownership and discussed how it would be great to buy 10 condos as an investment "if we had the money". THIS is exactly what most do and stop right at that point, believing "if" the money was there you could take action. We did it....because we didn't know better and we were afraid of risk. The 2nd excuse we bought into was people already thought we were crazy to buy one, imagine what they would think of us if we bought 10! We put more value in the opinion of others, than in trusting our own intuition. Those condo's are now selling for a minimum of $175,000.
What if we had of figured it out, and realized that you don't have the money for something like that just sitting around. You think from an entrepreneurial perspective and figure out how you can raise the capital to make the investment. If we had of acted on this idea, and found a way to raise the $400,000 required, and rented those condos out over the last 30 years, we would have earned a minimum of $540,000 on EACH one, for a total of $5,400,000! In addition we could have sold them today for an additional $1,750,000 for a total of $7,150,000. Not a bad return for a $400,000 investment. That was our first lesson in not acting on a great idea.
-Creativity & Innovation - Around the same time, I had an idea about inventing a lawn chair with a hole for your face to fit through if you were lying on your stomach. I was recently at the beach with our family, and our daughter was attempting to read a book while lying on her stomach. I told her about the idea I had and how I didn't act on it, and have since seen this very thing somewhere in a magazine. Although I don't have a dollar figure, i can just imagine what this could have equated to.
AWARENESS is a powerful concept. What we were lacking in those days was awareness. We can now clearly see that we should have bought those condos. We cannot do better, or make better decisions if we don't have an awareness. The great news is, we can learn from other people's experiences and use to our advantage. Ask yourself what it is costing you play it safe and not take action on YOUR ideas? The idea might be in any area of life. Real estate, starting a business, relationships, creating something innovative. Ask yourself, are you going to give in to the fear like most do in society, or, are you going to actually find a way to figure it out now that you have created the awareness and realize you CAN find out a solution as long as you are not giving in to fear.
Remember, nothing great is achieved by playing it safe. You have to get in the game and go for your dreams.......
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! On this Canada Day, I thought it appropriate to share some powerful inspiration from one of Canada's most successful people, Jim Carey.
One of the things about the truly successful, is the clear understanding of the personal responsibility of reaching back to help others. No matter what industry you are in, this principle applies. We often put celebrities and those that are in the limelight on a pedestal, and believe they possess some super human traits that most don't. The truth is, successful people have simply learned to take action on what they want to create. Successful people have all the same fears as anyone else, but push through despite those fears and take action. Most would be amazed at the fear, shyness, insecurities, lack of confidence, the uncertainties, etc., that successful people feel. However, despite all of this, those that create success push through and take action anyway. It is a choice, a choice anyone can make.
I came across this short 1 minute video of Jim Carey. I was curious to hear what he told the graduating class during his commencement address.
Jim has a way of teaching through humor, which is a powerful way to remember the message. Many times in life and in business, we spend so much time analyzing, and being serous, we complicate the process. Many of the most successful, understand the importance of enjoying the process, and having fun along the way.
For those interested, you can view the full 26 min version here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V80-gPkpH6M
At the beginning of his talk, Jim talks about planting a seed to move forward in life, with enthusiastic hearts and a sense of wholeness, and questions if the seed will have a chance to take root? There is a powerful distinction in this question.
Every experience we have contains seeds of possibility and opportunity. Successful people have learned to identify the seeds contained, and to take actions on ideas that grow from these seeds. This requires an individual to be willing to listen to their voice of intuition, their own hearts, and be willing to go against the mainstream popular "accepted" opinions of the masses. We are conditioned to "fit in". This is not where success is created. The most successful do not fit in. The most successful are willing to get outside of the box of what is considered "normal", and are not concerned about fitting in. Those that accept "fitting in" will experience the same type of results as those that have also accepted fitting in. A powerful concept that all successful people understand is the willingness to put this type of traditional thinking aside, and go against the perceived "norm" to create something different.
What a powerful message Jim gave by sharing an experience from his childhood and using himself as an example. When we are willing to share our authentic stories and adversities we have faced, we demonstrate through our actions how powerful the principles of success are, and how we can purposely create the mindset for success. This gives anyone that is willing to walk this walk, the opportunity to make a difference, to inspire others, just as Jim did in this speech. What an honor and a legacy to leave to touch lives in this way....this goes beyond the success experienced in the individuals chosen field.....
Debbie Ruston - Entrepreneur - International Trainer, Visionary Leader