If you haven’t dreamed of a life of mediocrity, the key to success is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
If you aren’t living the life you want, the million-dollar question is, “Do you operate in the comfort zone, the fear zone, the learning zone, or the growth zone?” If you operate in the comfort zone or fear zone, you are destined for a life of mediocrity and will never live the life you dreamed of. That is unless you have dreamed of a life of mediocrity. Personal development takes you into the learning zone where you learn to flourish.
Staying in the Comfort Zone
Most people prefer to live life within their comfort zone, where they have developed a heightened sense of control and security. It’s the zone in life where they don’t have to evolve as human beings. Change for them is confronting, and their greatest challenge is to learn how to leave their comfort zone and jump into the fear zone.
The problem is, nothing grows in the comfort zone. Living in the comfort zone means sticking your head in the sand and pretending the life you live now is all you can expect. People who live there don’t realize that things go wrong. Let’s face it, how many people were prepared for a global pandemic in 2020? To prepare for things to go wrong, you need to jump right into the fear zone and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Think of your brain like a computer. Your stored memories are like all the files saved to the computer, and your thoughts are the documents on the screen in front of you (RAM). If the saved files in your brain contain negative thoughts and limiting beliefs, this will not only keep you in your comfort zone, this will sabotage your chances of success.
In the same way, you open a saved document in your hard drive, overwrite the document and save it again; you can reprogram your thoughts to help you overcome the fear you feel if you were to step outside your comfort zone. Personal development allows you to break through the shackles of negative thinking and limiting beliefs is the key to leaving your comfort zone.
Leaping Into the Fear Zone
Any journey in life begins with a level of ignorance and incompetence. For instance, as a baby, you had to learn to walk. It took many attempts and multiple falls before you could walk with confidence. The same with learning to talk; it took a long time to learn your first words, then put them into sentences and years of study and learning to read to speak to the level you are at today. Think about the job you are in today; how long did it take from being uncomfortable in the role to become proficient and comfortable in your skill sets?
It takes time to go from ignorance and incompetence towards a level of proficiency that you would be happy with. By accepting that you don’t learn everything you need to learn in life doesn’t happen overnight you are well on the way to living a life of your dreams not working for someone else’s dreams.
When you first step outside your comfort zone, naturally, there will be an element of fear. Nature gave us the tools to deal with fear when faced with life-threatening situations; it’s called the fight or flight response. The problem with the fight or flight response is because it is an inbuilt natural response to life-threatening situations; we react to perceived threats in exactly the same way as if the threat were real. For instance, the fear you feel when interviewing for a job or asked to give a speech in public can be paralyzing.
Where there is an element of risk, there is also an element of possible failure. Stepping into the unknown is scary because you enter into a world where you might fail. By learning to understand what is intimidating you allows you to overcome the fear of failure. When you learn to make fear your friend, you begin to move from outside your comfort zone, pass through the fear zone, and into the learning zone much faster.
The next step in getting comfortable with uncomfortable is to understand your reaction to fear and identify what it is you’re feeling. Experiencing fear doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish your goals in life. The more you accept and engage your fears with a healthy understanding, the less they will stand in your way of succeeding. Once you understand your fears, it’s easy to put in place strategies to detoxify your fears and move on to the next step, and that is to enter the learning zone.
Mastering the Learning Zone
Moving into the learning zone is where you get comfortable with being uncomfortable and personal development takes over. Dealing with uncertainty and managing ambiguity is all part of learning what it takes to succeed. Remember, nature prepared you to deal with the danger that is life-threatening through the fight or flight response. The problem of growing into yourself arises happens when you get hijacked by a fear that is non-life-threatening.
The passage through a zone of fear into the learning zone can last for some time where you become uncomfortable learning new skill sets. The key to successfully making the leap is to keep in mind that once you cross into the learning zone, you suddenly become aware of the opportunities available to you.
When you operate in the learning zone, you begin to let go of things you can’t control because all of a sudden, you are becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. You are able to identify your emotions, acknowledge them, and take stock of what is happening around you.
Because each of us has a unique set of needs, the one thing you must have as you navigate your way through the learning zone is supportive relationships to help you manage stress. If you live life in the fast lane, this is to your detriment because you won’t have time to nurture supportive relationships. Supportive relationships like success coaches accept you as you are and don’t pass judgment. They merely guide you to discover what is inherently inside you, the ability to resolve problems, overcome adversity, and tap into your inner strength. If you struggle with finding the right support structure you may need to reach out to a professional like a therapist or life coach.
With supportive people at your side, be that family, friends, a mentor, or success coach, as you ditch the excuses, you become aware of your blind spots, and embrace the barriers to success that keep you in your comfort zone. This support system allows you to learn how to become comfortable with uncomfortable and power your way into a new future, the future you dreamed of.
When you are in the learning zone you are constantly building new brain cells and strengthening the relationships between them. Weak unused neurons and the neurons that aren’t right for the job are pruned as you learn new habits and skills. Neurons that are exercised get stronger and develop more connections that fire faster as you master new skills. With new skill sets, you become more marketable and grow the confidence to succeed at anything new you choose.
Becoming comfortable with discomfort and jumping headfirst into the fear zone is what will catapult you into the future of your dreams.
Successful people have made this journey by taking the initial risk to leave their comfort zone. Those who struggle to make this shift on their own have found huge benefits in hiring a life coach or business coach to help them with their journey.
Be excited about moving into the learning zone.
Passage through a zone of fear into the learning zone can last for some time. It’s a combination of building self-belief and developing a powerful vision for the future where you make the leap and successfully. Once you cross the barriers between the comfort zone, the fear zone into the learning zone, you suddenly become aware of the opportunities available to you.
When you operate in the learning zone and become comfortable with being uncomfortable, you begin to let go of things you can’t control. You can’t control the weather, you can’t control the stock market, you can’t control other people’s emotions, however, you can learn to control yourself and your emotions. When you identify your emotions, acknowledge them, and take stock of what is happening around you you start to take responsibility for your life and ditch the excuses and the blame. Feedback about your blind spots is the turning point on your road to success and the point where you gain the momentum you need to get the results you want.
It can be confronting to learn about your blind spots. The good news is, with the right success coach beside you, they help lessen the discomfort because their role is to help you understand how these blind spots can be a barrier to success. Learning about your blind spots can also be enlightening and pleasant. There is a tremendous upside to learning about your blind spots because a success coach sees something you don’t, your strengths, and innate abilities you didn’t know possessed.
Imagine the possibilities when your hidden talents are unleashed upon your world as you progress into the growth zone.
Blitzing the Growth Zone
It’s only by crossing the line of certainty and familiarity, by becoming comfortable with uncomfortable you grow. The growth zone is the only zone in which you will be able to achieve exceptional success. This is the one zone where you will reach your goals and live the life you dreamed of.
The growth zone is not characterized by climbing mountains, leaping from tall buildings, or wrestling alligators, it’s living in a rich, vibrant landscape that prompts you to move out of your comfort zone to a place where you get to thrive not merely survive.
Any struggles you experience moving through these zones mean you are growing for struggles are good for you. Resistance manifests itself with behaviors such as avoidance, denial, or procrastination and paralyzes you into inaction. Resolve to live a life where create the memories you want and are proud of, not to live a life of regret. Stop blaming resistance for your inaction, get comfortable with discomfort, and move out of your comfort zone.
On a Final Note
Learn how the Strategez for Success Coaching Model helps you take the leap from your comfort zone all the way into your growth zone.
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