We all have fears that stop us from stepping into our potential. It’s what we’ve come to call the comfort zone – the place where fear is minimized to allow for daily life functioning. But we don’t always realize just how much we give up for the sake of comfort.
In an effort to minimize our greatest fears we can be sacrificing our heart’s deepest desires. In the name of comfort we sacrifice potential.
It reminds me of a quote by Tony Robbins that says (paraphrasing), the dance of life happens between our greatest fears and our greatest potential, which translates into life happens outside your comfort zone. Sounds good in theory, but how do we move through our terrifying fears to break free of limitations and embrace our true potential? Here are a few of my thoughts:
Tip #1: Every Person Experiences the Same Human Struggle
With every person born there is a basic human struggle between ego and potential. The ego operates much like a computer operating system – it has a set of rules and programs that is the basis of its function. That’s great if it’s operating from an effective set of rules and programs – but it doesn’t always do so.
It’s no secret we are a product of our environment: the beliefs we are exposed to as children often set the tone of a lifetime of experiences. In other words, the operating system most of us are functioning from was created long before we had conscious choice to reject the limiting beliefs that came from other people. (That’s the kicker – Most people don’t even realize their limiting beliefs aren’t theirs!)
The struggle comes in when we’re operating on limiting beliefs that tell us one thing, when we crave another. We crave individual expression and expansion, yet our operating system tells us it’s dangerous – or we’ll fail – or we’ll face rejection or criticism. We crave something better, but the fears that make up the boundaries of our comfort zone stop us from going for it.
I believe this is the struggle that every single human faces to some degree or another. We all have fears. Yet, only the ones who have achieved great things have decided that their potential (life outside the comfort zone) was more important than listening to the fears (life inside the comfort zone).
“Let fear be a counselor and not a jailer.”
Tip #2: To Change the Results You Must Change the Actions
If you’re not operating from possibilities, you’re operating from limitations – there is no in between. If the results you’re currently seeing are not pleasing or satisfying then you must change the actions to bring about different results. This often means you must begin making choices from outside your comfort zone. Think of it this way – everything you have already experienced (and may not like) is the result of making decisions from inside your comfort zone. You’ve been there, done that and the results may be disappointing. To create different results, you must do something different. Remember, the comfort zone is based on limited beliefs. To create a different experience, you must take action from different beliefs…the beliefs that exist outside your comfort zone.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
Tip #3: It’s About Learning to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Let’s go back to expanding on the struggle that every human being experiences: it’s the struggle between ego and potential. The ego only wants to have experiences that it knows how to deal with because its main concern is to keep you safe, healthy and whole. Your true potential, which is limitless, is the contrast of the ego.
Anyone who has ever accomplished anything great has done so with great risk. Not necessarily physical or emotional danger, but at great risk as far as the ego is concerned. See, the ego doesn’t know how to deal with new situations based on new beliefs – it only knows how to handle situations it’s experienced.
The process of doing something you haven’t done before is the great risk because you are stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping into your true potential. If it feels a lot like stepping out into mid-air – it’s because it is. You are literally stepping into new territory.
To create different results you must step out of your comfort zone so you’re taking action from a different set of beliefs. Stagnation is comfortable….growth is uncomfortable.
Darren Hardy, Publisher and Editorial Director of Success Magazine, has a great quote. He says: “Your installed beliefs are your visual prism.”
All that you are and have experienced is the result of beliefs that have built your comfort zone. Mastering your life and fulfilling your true potential comes down to how willing you are to get uncomfortable.