Tag Archives: Personal development

Your Comfort Zone Is a Kill Zone

Break-Out-Shell-Woman-smI just came back from a speaking engagement. I had tailored the talk a bit: first, because I had less time than normal and second, because it was a new, special market.

Even in the short time I presented, I found myself talking more than usual about our comfort zones.

It didn’t occur to me how important a topic it was until several people came up afterward to thank me and when asked “what touched you the most?”, they replied quietly and thoughtfully, “the comfort zone part”.

I looked up the definition of a ‘kill zone’ and found it to mean “the area of a military engagement with a high concentration of fatalities”.

So, based on this premise, your comfort zone has created, swept under the rug and buried “a high concentration of fatalities”.

Think about it. Your comfort zone is a vast wasteland of…opportunities you let slip by, dreams you didn’t pursue, relationships you were afraid to develop, jobs you didn’t take, dead-end jobs you didn’t leave, calls you didn’t make, gigs you let someone else win, important conversations you stuffed, trips you didn’t go on, stands you should have taken but didn’t, differences you could have made but ignored, fears you let dominate and prevail, personal growth you didn’t experience.

Have I said enough? Are you squirming yet? I am.

Comfort.2We all have a comfort zone. We often don’t even notice it. We delude ourselves into thinking it’s a happy, safe place.

And at some level, it is. But at what cost?

If you could trade that safety for deeper relationships, being fully expressed, earning more money, being seen and making a bigger difference in the world, living a thrilling, fulfilling life experiencing what might seem like magical serendipitous moments, creating the life you dream of, would it be worth stepping out of that comfortable, dream-killing zone?

Here are 7 ideas to break you out of your kill zone comfort rut.

1. Find something on your bucket list and do it this week.

2. Call the person you’ve been avoiding, have the conversation you’ve been afraid to have and do it in a way that honors both of you.

3. Commit to a goal so big and public it scares you.

4. Be more controversial on important issues that matter to you.

5. End any relationship that is no longer serving your greater good.

6. Stop waiting for permission.

7. Stop waiting to feel ready or confident. Take the action you’re dreading; confidence and readiness will appear as a  result.

Do any of these and feel your power. Do all of them and expect a miracle (or two or seven or more)!

5 Ways to Use Fear to Fuel Your Financial Freedom

Comfort-squareMost humans resist the idea of stepping directly into the things that frighten them. Of course, there are  some things that warrant fear and deserve avoidance action (crime, fire, hurricanes, etc). But those are things we don’t tend to encounter regularly in our daily lives (hopefully).

Fear, none-the-less, is often present and yet not always warranted. If you are reaching beyond your comfort zone, you’ll likely feel afraid. That does NOT mean, you shouldn’t reach. You should always reach.

Here are some specific strategies you can use to take that fear and turn it into freedom, financial freedom or personal freedom.

1. Do the scariest thing on your to-do list the first thing in the morning

This will free you up immediately. Even if you don’t get the result you wanted, just the fact that you confronted your fear and took action will build your confidence and allow you to tackle other things on your list that will now feel easy and breezy.

2. Ask your inner guidance what the fear is trying to protect you from.
Then figure out a different way to salve yourself that allows you to take the action you need to take. For example, if you’re planning a conversation with someone that you’re a bit nervous about, sit quietly with yourself and determine what action or reaction you’re anticipating with worry. If it’s a reaction from the other party, start your conversation with “I need to share something important with you but I’m afraid that (insert the thing you’re afraid they’ll feel or do) “your feelings will be hurt” or “you’ll get angry”. This will do two things 1) empower you to speak your truth and 2) disempower the likelihood of reaction you were afraid of.

3. Know that when you’re about to step off a ‘virtual’ cliff that you’ll either land on solid ground or you’ll learn to fly.
This action just takes faith. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” If the idea weren’t possible for you, the idea wouldn’t have come to you. The Universe is now just waiting for you to take action on it.

Goethe said “What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

There is some controversy that Goethe actually said this (www.goethesociety.org/pages/quotescom.html) but whoever said it, let it set you free.

4. Design strategies or tactics that will minimize the potential for the thing you’re scared of to manifest.
In the corporate world, this is called Anticipatory Planning, Scenario Planning. Attempt to foresee potential problems and develop solutions to them before they become real, current problems. Once you work your way through what might happen and what you’ll do next or what you might do to reduce the likelihood that the thing will happen (as in point 2), your confidence will improve and you’ll handle the situation with more grace, ease and confidence.

5. Ask for help.
You are not alone in this world and you don’t need to face every fear by yourself. As your friends, colleagues, boss, family, spirit guides, God etc. for assistance, support, courage…whatever you need.

Be specific. Ask for what you want.

These tips will work asking for a raise, having a difficult conversation with a friend, stepping onto a larger ‘platform’ in life, confronting a vendor or client, going after a promotion or big prospect. They just require that you take some forward-moving action rather than retreating into your fear or comfort zone and letting your freedom, financial or otherwise, slip between your fingers.

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.  ~George Addair

Be aware of your fears, but not beholden to them. Use them as stepping stones to your future and a brave new world. Loretta Love Huff

 

7 Key Steps to Achieving Mastery

balance-masteryAccording to Merriam-Webster, “mastery” is defined as: 1) knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well, 2) complete control of something, 3) possession or display of great skill or technique.
Here a 7 key steps to achieving mastery…

1. Decide.
I’m becoming more and more aware of the power of the decisions we make in our lives. Without a decision to do something, life moves on somewhat aimlessly, resigned to dealing with the outside incidents and internal states through at us.
Decisions however, alter the course of your future. Once you make a decision to do something, to master something, the path to achieving it becomes more clear. You may not know all of the steps, but deciding is the first one.

2. Focus.
You have to concentrate your energy in the direction of the area you want to master. This might start with taking a class or practicing, but the key component is the focus. You may need to re-prioritize your activities and how you spend your time. Mastery, unless you’re already, naturally, extremely gifted in that area, doesn’t happen overnight.

3. Delegate
Get rid of the other things that steal your time, drain your energy and suck your soul right out of you. Life must continue, but for you to focus, you’ll likely need other people taking care of some of the tasks that don’t require your talents or that have slipped to a lower priority status now that you’ve decide to master something.

4. Take risks.
Mastery won’t happen inside your comfort zone. You’ll need to press the edges of what you know and step outside of them frequently. You won’t discover new horizons if you stay in territory you’re already familiar with.

5. Evaluate.
As you progress, regularly take time to step back and ask questions like
“What can I do better?”
“Is there a more efficient way to get this done?”
“If I weren’t attached to doing it the way I currently am, what else might I try?”
“If I were a master at this already, what would I do?”

6. Improve.
Incorporate the insights gained from your consistent questioning of your process, progress, skill level, mindset shifts about what’s possible. Do it one more time. Do it a different way. Do it more quickly. Reach for your goal.

7. “Rinse and repeat”.
Mastery is a continuous process. Even once you think you’ve achieved mastery, you’ll see there is farther to go. I’m reminded of the process of cleaning or weeding. You get started and work to remove what shouldn’t be there. You think you’re almost done, but now that the area is more ‘clean’ you notice dirt and weeds that had previously been obscured by the massive about of dirt and weeks that were there when you first started.

Mastery is like that. The better you get, the more you’ll see how you can improve. Rejoice in that process.

Enhanced by ZemantaIn case you want to see mastery in action, watch this YouTube video

How to Maintain Your Sanity in a Hectic Job or World

WEBCSI attended a webinar hosted by the World Business & Executive Coach Summit today that was aimed at coaches but provided some useful tips for anyone rushing from project to project.

The question under discussion was something like ‘how do you manage energy when you’re dealing with back-to-back meetings?

I remember those days in Corporate America when that’s how I (and most of my colleagues) spent most of my/our days. We often lamented ‘How are we to get our work done?’

The suggestions from today’s session were very helpful but still might pose a problem in implementation in that back-to-back meeting scenario.

Here are 3 ideas shared by Pam McLean and my assessments about how to implement them in a fast-paced world.

1. Preserve time before your meeting
Gather your thoughts. Invest time at least the day prior to your meeting to consider how you want to present yourself and the important points you want to make. Think about the other attendees, their concerns, aspirations and likely mindset. Notice any anxiety you might be feeling and acknowledge it . Recognize it’s there to help you prepare and be your best.

2. Remain present throughout the session
If the content of the meeting is contentious, it’s likely that emotions will get stirred. Do you best to keep breathing slowly and consiously. Draw your breathe in all the way down to your belly-button. Exhale slowly to relieve your own tension. Keep aware of any sensations you’re experiencing in your body. As you focus your attention on them and breathe, they will mellow out.

3. Create reflective space after the meeting
If you can do this immediately after the meeting, that’s ideal, but sometimes not so realistic when faced with back-to-back sessions. Even when you have breathing room, there will be the temptation to put off the reflection to later when you’re less ‘busy’. Don’t do it. Take a afew minutes and ask yourself, what did I observe about myself? What did I learn? What could I do differently? Of what am I proud?

Taking a few minutes before, during and after important interactions will help you become more aware of yourself, your interactions with others and the ways you can be more effective in presenting your ideas and influencing those around you.

 

5 More Facets of Being Extraordinary

extraordinary2My last article on being extraordinary received such rave reviews, I thought I would continue with a few more simple ideas.

1. Bring people together. Don’t separate them.
The world is filled with real and potential conflict. Conflict is a way of life. It won’t be avoided so long as people have different values, motivations, wants, goals, thought patterns and desires (the list goes on).

Conflict is inevitable. However, an extraordinary person seeks not just to fan the flames but to bring resolution to the issue. (As the ‘revolutionaries’ of the 70s used to say, ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.’)

Complaining and protesting have their place but true progress is made with people collaborate and create solutions that meet the needs of the parties in conflict. Positions are hard to meld. Interests, on the other hand, once thoroughly uncovered can be addressed. When groups or individuals are at odds over something, strive to discover their underlying interests and needs. Focus on them, not the ‘solution’ each of them is arguing for.

2. Respect people’s partners.
The last article spoke about the importance of respecting people’s property and not taking what isn’t yours. This idea builds on that one. While people aren’t property, respecting existing relationships will deter a whole lot of ‘mess’ and drama.

A colleague of mine found herself on the verge of a triangle – 2 triangles really. She and her attraction were both married, neither happily. But before they ‘jumped in’, they both ended their relationships so they could start with a clean slate. It was still hard, but at least they didn’t muddy their existing relationships with an extra person. Realizing how unhappy they individually were, they courageous decisions, untangled their commitments and then moved forward together.

3. Don’t waste other people’s time.
One of the bullets in the last article had to do with making the world a better place. It seems that the way some people feel empowered is by usurping the energy and time of those around them. If you ask people for things you don’t need or create processes that are unnecessary, just because you can, you’re doing damage. You’re wasting valuable resources, time and energy just to build yourself up. Don’t do that.

4. Avoid fascination with other people’s problems.
Unfortunately, an entire genre of ‘reality’ shows are dedicated to telecasting people’s troubled lives. People who watch have said that seeing the issues others face make them feel better about their own lives. I know that’s possible, but here’s another alternative.

Do proactive, positive things in your own life and feel good about that rather than measuring yourself as ‘superior’ to people who can’t get it together. Shape your life the way you want. Set the bar high and get to work. Living vicariously while judging others poorly isn’t a good way to move forward.

5.  When someone else is happy or successful, celebrate and enjoy it.
The ‘cheap’ approach is to be envious and diminish their success. It’s the counterpoint to the bullet above. If they’re ‘all that’, they must have cheated or they must be bad humans.

When people accomplish great things, especially things you’d like to have, you must appreciate it, even if you don’t like the person. Doing otherwise tells the Universe you don’t like success, you don’t value having a lot of money, you don’t want to get promoted.  Don’t be a hater! Celebrate the success of others and keep doing what it takes to create that success for yourself.

I heard this great line at my conference last week, “If you’re not getting recognized as fast as you believe you should, make sure you’re doing everything you can to be WORTHY of recognition.”