Your comfort zone is where everything stays the same.
If you want to lose weight you will need to amend what you’re eating and do some exercise.
If you want to start a business you will need to put your ideas out there and begin attracting clients and selling.
If you want to find a partner you will need to get out of the house and begin to socialise in environments where this is possible.
If you wish to travel more you will need to book a flight or two.
If you wish to earn more money you will need to change your job, career or simply ask for a raise.
Anything that is outside of what you perceive already exists for you, requires first your thought and secondly your action. Nothing will happen without both.
You can sit and wait for the clouds to open up and money to start raining or for you to wake up one morning and be a few kilos lighter but realistically for something to change for the better, you will need to lean slightly outside of what you may consider comfortable.
A friend of mine recently started a new job and was complaining how much he was being stretched and thrown in at the deep end. He was stressed and miserable. He’d spent the last 13 years in a job that he was extremely good at but he absolutely hated. I’d say doing anything for 13 years, 5 days a week would make you pretty good at it but in order to grow and progress a change is required. Sometimes this change is huge, most of the time this change is difficult and challenging. I like to call this period growing pain.
This is not like the pain of loss or anger or resentment. This is a whole different kind of intense discomfort.
It is a scared of the unknown feeling. It is an ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ feeling. It is an ‘I’m not sure if this was a good idea’ feeling. And the only way to stop this feeling other than quitting is to push all the way through until the new uncomfortable thing becomes comfortable.
Start a new job, create a new business, move to a new city or country, meet new people, join the gym or whatever it is you would like to do but don’t. Trust me it won’t stay ‘new’ for long.
What we need to remember is the mind (as fantastic as it is) can also be an extremely tricky operator.
Within it is your ego which is designed to keep you safe based on all past experiences.
It doesn’t care that you want to progress and make more money and be happier and healthier and live a more fulfilled joyful life. Your ego has no interest in your desires to become a better person. Your ego is a construct of many things including defence mechanisms created by you as early as birth. This design is solely for the purpose of protecting you from death. That is all. To the primitive ego anything new represents the potential for annihilation so of course when you have the fabulous idea to leave your job to start the hair and nails business you’ve always wanted to create your fight or flight response will kick in pretty quickly. Your egoic mind will give you all sorts of reason as to why this won’t work, why it’s not a good idea, why you should just stick to where you are. Sound familiar?
The egoic mind does an extremely good job at protecting us from what it sees as a potential danger. Shout out to the ego for this amazing gift! Unfortunately the downside to this construct is that it also protects us from new potential advancements and experiences. It cannot tell the difference. It is still in its primitive state. It sees everything new as a threat.
Now the hard part is to become aware of this response. Self-awareness is vital when deciding to go for something that you want. The decision to go for something will trigger the ego response as it is designed to do. Knowing this, what will your reaction be? Will you give in to those last few slices of cheesecake? The ego will tell you it’s fine. Will you skip the gym this week because somethings telling you that it won’t make any difference? That’s your ego again. Will you sit in front of the TV every evening and then complain that you haven’t met anyone? Never mind your ego loves watching TV alone.
I cannot stress enough how tricky the ego is at convincing us that what we want isn’t really what we want. Even though it is!
Self-awareness if nothing else will give you a better understanding of yourself.
What makes you tick? Why do you do what you do? Why do you think the way you do? Ask yourself these questions and with this new found knowledge you will then be able to put things in place to help you move closer towards the life that you want and the changes that you wish to make.
Write these observations down. Look at how you react in certain circumstances and make notes of how you would like this to change. Make sure you write it all down somewhere you can easily refer back to it as you will need to. See where your beliefs about yourself or the goal may be holding you back. What thoughts are playing in your head when a decision to change things is about to be made? Do you have a sense of fear or anxiety around an area you wish to improve? Try and understand where that feeling originated. No need to overthink, just observe. Take some time to meditate on these questions and be kind to yourself. This is simply about observation and not an opportunity to beat yourself up for not being where you think you should be. Remember that acting this way is a form of self-abuse. I encourage the opposite.
Let me know how you get on with this. Take it slowly and make a point to write things down. Observe yourself whenever a decision or an action is required.
“The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves – that is the day you will find your way out.” – Michael Singer
Here’s to the journey of self – discovery.