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Reaching full potential: thriving through growth

reaching your full potential, reaching full potential, full throttle, outstanding, thriving, growth, acceleration, growth mindset,

“I’ve never seen you live up to your full potential.
You always reach the summit, but you never take off in flight.”

That’s the challenge I received from my best friend one day as we were talking about my career and life decisions. Proving… once again…  that she is — indeed — my best friend. Calling me out for failing to live up to my full potential. Reach a limiting belief or ceiling and then pull back.

Always fearful of going from good to great.

Never courageous enough to fully step outside of my comfort zone and learn to fly.

Because of this challenge, the past 18 months have been rife with challenges. I have stepped up and out of my comfort zone and into an arena of learning to speak my truth. Recognised when I am pandering to others expectations of me, rather than my own.

Eighteen months relearning to express who I am, aligned with my values and dreams. Choosing daily in favour of the life I want to build, not just the life I have.

Choice

“Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future.” —Marilyn Ferguson, Are you ready to break through the imaginary barriers holding you back? It starts off with a realisation that even though life throws us curve balls, we get the opportunity to choose:

  • What will I think?
  • say?
  • feel?
  • do?

And if the results of those choices do not live up to our hopes, dreams or expectations: we learn to make better choices.  We change our actions and responses to stimulus.

But, to do this, requires awareness. A mindfulness of our thoughts.  Recognising stimulus and reaction, two separate things.  Rather than reacting (without fore-thought), we must respond (notice the stimulus and choose our response). Consciously choose the response – what will I think? say? feel? do?

Stimulus – Response

When I am not mindful, an event happens, and my emotions, gut or thoughts simply follow the shortest neural network with a habitual response.  X triggers Y. And yet, I have a choice:

“Between stimulus and response… there is a space. In that space lies our power to choose our response.  In our response, lies our growth and our freedom.”
Victor Frankl

When, I am mindful, I pause before I react.  I give myself time to think – for my brain to engage.  I intentionally choose how I will respond.  During this pause, I have time to consider a heart response: compassion.  I can turn on my rational brain and think things through: “what options are open to me?”  This is an opportunity to delve deep into courage. I can ask myself what new response I would like to explore. If the definition of insanity is doing things the same way and expecting a different result, then mindful response must lead to new results.

This opens up possibilities for a different emotional response as well: How will I choose to feel about this? Will I allow this situation to trigger my anger? Or do I wish to express a different emotion, replacing anxiety with excitement?

The Power

This is where our conscious (and unconscious) power lies.  In the pause – in the space.

Most of us, however, simply react. And then we don’t like the results.  We blame the situation.  We blame other people.  And we fail to recognise that the results that we have are directly related to the choices and decisions that we have made.

Our power lies within that choice – within that decision making.  It is only when we own our responsibility – “I reacted, rather than choosing to respond” – that we can change the outcome.  “These results are mine: they are the direct result of the decision I made.” When we are able to say this, then we have a chance to change the outcomes!

We say “just breathe” – but do we do it?  How many times a day do you stop to breathe, just for a minute? Or three long, deep, easy breaths.  Before you check-in: how am I responding throughout the day? Am I choosing my responses, or simply reacting to stimulus? Do you need to do this every hour? Every two hours? When you first get to work, at lunch break and an hour before you go home?  What are you choosing?

Release

Unfortunately, most of us are afraid of releasing old patterns of behaviour and choices. When we choose a new course of action, and start making new choices that we have never had before: we will get new & different results.  Nevertheless, since we’ve never made these choices before, the outcome is uncertain.  Where will these new choices take us?

We have to release our knowing and certainty.  We have to be willing to embrance new labels and new identities.  In order to get to where you want to go, you have to let go of where you are.  What do you need to release and let go of? A “title” that I have held for the past 20 years and to which I have somehow attached “This is who I am”?  What if this is a friendship?

Cost – Benefit

“Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.” —Fernando Flores, Are you ready to break through your next barrier?

It is the same when we release an old habit.  While we know the bad consequences of an old habit, we also have benefits of that old habit.  If there weren’t any benefits, we would never have adopted this habit. Perhaps the benefit is “I can avoid my real feelings and anxieties.”  “I can keep on my mask.” Perhaps the benefit is that we can avoid responsibility – it happened and I reacted.  If it hadn’t happened, then I would not have reacted this way.

Nonetheless, in order to build the new dream, we have to release the old. We have to release the old excuses.  And release the old reactions to stimulus.  We even have to release and let go of the the benefits.  Sometimes, this is a case of releasing good in order to have best.  Are you ready to be great, and to do great work?

As we become proactive, rather than reactive, we identify the opportunities for change. What path are we choosing? How do we know that this is the right path of opportunities?

Is this the choice that allows me to reach the summit and choose to take off in flight as the best possible version of me that could exist in the world today?

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
― Brene Brown

Choosing our opportunities

Choosing “best” requires, that we have our values and vision identified. Best, in many ways, is an idea or definition that we hold in mind.  Nonetheless, it is also a value that we hold in our heart.  And I would say, that best also has an element of security & safety that we hold in our gut. For this, then, we need alignment.

“Are you motivated? Are you coherent? Is your intention aligned? Are you feet, tongue, heart & wallet congruent?  That intention shines through.”
― Peter Guber

For much of my life, I was busy studying and learning, trying to write my own path, follow my passions – but at the same time busy trying to please others.  And while I would learn and grow, and climb mountains, I would always stay on the ground, because I didn’t want to leave others behind. The need for acceptance.  Avoiding pain.

And yet, painfully unhappy.  While my heart wanted one thing, my head said another.  And I would play it safe.  Pulled so many different ways, never getting off the ground.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do, are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

I was miserable.

What I thought, what I desired, what I said and what I did – disjointed and clearly lacking alignment.

Alignment

We find alignment in mBraining when we allow our heart to listen and heed our head and our gut.  When we open the channels of communication to happen easily and effortlessly between our multiple intelligence centers. Honoring our feelings, wants & desires; listening to our rational & logical mind, allowing it to make meaning, analyse and record for us; and still listening to that still voice of instinct, safety, self-preservation and core identity.

I say “easily and effortlessly”.  But if we are used to the head and logic ruling the show, it may take consistent hard work to reach the stage of easily and effortlessly.  If our heart is constantly swamping us with emotional outbursts, or our inner critic is constantly chattering and overwhelming us with nasty chatter – you might not find alignment easy at the beginning. If you have patterns of safety and security hijacking your plans, you may need to spend more time incorporating fun and lightness.

But you can learn it!

Alignment: when your wants, needs, thoughts, and core self (identity) all agree upon one course of coherent action.

There is an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for.
― Saul Bellow

It’s not enough just to identify purpose and passions.  The plan for achieving these must also provide security and safety – the need for self-preservation must also be met.  Alignment happens when we live according to:

  • desires
  • feelings
  • wants
  • heart, head, gut, feeling, wanting, desiring, desires, analysis, analysing, planning, plans, goals, dreams, vision, making meaning, doing, executionideas
  • vision
  • meaning
  • identity
  • safety & security

And we move forward based on the alignment of all of this.

Reaching full potential

The only way that I can reach my full potential, dare to jump off the summit in flight, is when I am absolutely certain that everything is in alignment.  Head-heart-gut.  That my thoughts, feelings, words & actions are completely in alignment with my dreams and goals. That every part of me is on board and not dragging my feet.

We achieve our full potential when we listen to all of our inner wisdom.  Our”intelligence centers” have all been heard and are in agreement: head, heart and gut.  This inner wisdom is the amalgam of our desires, gut instinct, our mental intelligence, all working together to carry out our dreams, goals & plans with consistency.

“The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming. You cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit.”
Jim Rohn

Are you ready to maximise your potential and stretch your wings?

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Evolving wisdom: how wisdom emerges

Evolving wisdom: choosing the next right step forward, mbraining, multiple brains, head, heart, gut, gut instinct, heartled decisions, decision making process, direction, choices, choice, choose, generative wisdom, perspectives, views, considerations

I recently came face to face with some shadows of my past. While I took to blogging as part of my processing of my feelings, I also got in touch with two other mBraining coaches (Sarah & Wendy) that I regularly do sessions with and I asked for help to process my loss of direction. I needed assistance to get in touch with my naturally evolving wisdom.

I know the importance of dealing with these emotions and issues when they arise: one of the biggest mistakes I typically make is that I want to fix it for everyone else as well. Nonetheless, the only person that I can change and work on is me. I am responsible for how I respond and what I do.

Next right step

So, I found myself in a place where I needed clarity on “what is my next right step forward?”

The reason I turned to mBraining in this situation was that I didn’t just want to know “what do I think is the next right step forward?”.  I wanted to be certain that what I was choosing was really, truly, deeply me and my best choice.

In mBraining, we start with the heart:

  • what am I feeling? Acknowledge those emotions
  • what do I want or desire? How would I like to feel as I work my way through this?
  • what might be my desired outcome?
  • who do I need to connect with? Which important relationships are impacted through my choice?
  • what do I value in this exploration and choice?

From there, we then go to our logic, analysis, thinking & perception – the head brain.  And we allow it to do what it does best – create solutions, imagine scenarios, analyse data and information, make meaning of what we have sensed, seen, heard or experienced.

But listening to perspectives does not stop at the head. We must also listen to the intelligence of our “second brain” – the gut.  The gut is where we will find our mobilisation (motivation, courage & moving forward), self-preservation (immune system, security & safety), and our Core Identity (self / not-self).

Perspectives for evolving

Knowledge comes from but a single perspective; wisdom comes from multiple perspectives. Gregory Bateson, Evolving wisdom: choosing the next right step forward, mbraining, multiple brains, head, heart, gut, gut instinct, heartled decisions, decision making process, direction, choices, choice, choose, generative wisdom, perspectives, views, considerations
Knowledge comes from but a single perspective; wisdom comes from multiple perspectives. Gregory Bateson

mBraining gives us the opportunity to look at a situation and our response from multiple perspectives.

Ensuring that the how-we-choose-to-move-forward not only feels good but is also “a good idea”, brings in logic and analysis.  This logic is often missing from hair-brained schemes started by the heart!

Looking from the perspective of our feelings, desires and wants is only one part of the picture.  Likewise, if I tried to solve this only from the perspective of “what do I think” or “this is just a mindset problem“, I would be missing opportunities for wisdom to emerge.

Finally, checking to ensure that this meets our needs – proceeding safely and securely – is essential.  Our decision making process should overcome any obstacles or fears that may appear along the way!

So, amazing peers coached me through this situation.

What emerges?

The emerging wisdom, when I aligned heart-head-gut: I wanted to connect with my childhood friends and be there to support them. At the same time, I needed to stay on track with my plans and goals.  My head was full of words, that needed to come out. I needed to do some processing, and the best idea for me was to write my way through this.

Writing, for me, serves two purposes:

  1. It allows me to get all those jumbled words out of my head, and quiet down all those thoughts
  2. It allows me to share important stories and messages that others need to hear. I connect with readers: victims or family members that perhaps fail to understand what upsets the victims so badly.

So, when I sat with my perspectives, and multiple sources of intelligence, I gained clarity about what I wanted – connection and support of others; what I needed – stay on track with my goals and not get side-tracked by this;  and I asked my very creative brain to come up with ways to create this.

When I finished my coaching session on Saturday, I had achieved great clarity.

  • I wanted and needed to write.  And I would give myself the gift of writing until there were no more words spilling out of my head.
  • Additionally, I would reach out to my childhood friends, and check in with them – how were they doing?  How could I best support them?
  • And I would continue to focus my attention and energy on my goals and needs, rather than letting myself simply get “off-track” trying to “fix this” for everyone else.

At other moments in my life, I would have spent weeks “trying to help” all the others. I might fail to recognise that it was not what I wanted or needed.  Likewise, the anger and pain I felt might have pulled me down. But this time I recognised I could channel those feelings productively – connection and writing.

Usually, in the end, I wind up frustrated and feeling guilty.  Once again, I left to one side my goals and plans, to get involved in this “big issue”, while never actually accomplishing anything there either!  And I would have spent days beating myself up for not living up to my own expectations in either arena.

Evolving wisdom

Getting this clarity about my wants, desires, feelings & needs, and then choosing steps that would honor all of this, allowed me to move forward smoothly.

  • I have blogged.
  • I have connected with others from boarding school.
  • And I have focused my time & energy on my business.

Right now – there are no more words jumbled around in my head that need to spill out on paper.  My heart is happy for all the connection to others. And I am satisfied because I have spent productive time working on my dreams and goals.

mBraining – using your multiple brains to focus on all the important aspects of your life, finding the emerging wisdom that comes from multiple perspectives. And as this wisdom emerges, I evolve and grow.

 

 

 

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Heart-led goal setting: self compassion

heart-led goal setting, compassion, love, connection, wants, desires, feelings, emotions, self-care, self-love, love of self, love of others, creativity, thoughts, analysis, rational, critical, analytical, courageous, motivated, motivation, movement

And suddenly, in a flash, 2018 is ending & 2019 is upon us. I spent the first 15 days of December on Facebook talking about how to take your heart’s desires & convert them into heart-led goals. And the reason that I took 15 days to talk about this – not one hour – is that I think the topic is simply profound.  Yes, it’s profoundly simple. But it’s simply profound.  I don’t believe we are served by being ruled by our emotions.

However, if you want to live without regrets, then you need to live the best version of yourself.

NOW.

You can’t live a lie. You have to follow your heart.
– Paul Weller

Not some pipe-dream in the future of who you will become. But rather the person that you are – here and now. And the best version of you is the one that practices self-compassion. The person that lives connected, deeply & truly, with him/herself and others.  The person that consistently shows compassion to him/herself and others.

“Don’t think too much, you’ll think your whole life away. Just stop, close your eyes, and follow your heart. I guarantee you, it knows the way.” AnonymousSo often, we think that there is a battle between the heart and the mind. There is no need for any battle.  You have everything you need within you. If you are truly heart-led, there is no need for battle, because you completely understand the need to use your logical & rational mind in your decision-making to reach the best possible decision for yourself.

When you stop confusing passion and purpose with attainment – being with having – you stop seeking purpose in the outside world.  Then, you allow yourself to be guided deeply by inner purpose.  Just remember, that inner purpose may show up as being a multipotentialite – a hummingbird – not simply a singular purpose & passion.

The challenges of heart-led goals

Many of us, as I said already, confuse heart-led with “ruled by your emotions”. This is not what heart-led refers to.


Being lead by your heart is not about jumping from one project to the next, succumbing to emotion after emotion, or failing to include thought in the process of setting your goals.

Heart-led goals will consider the obstacles & challenges that need to be faced – understanding that there will be moments it will be hard.  There will be sacrifices to be made.  You may have to choose between better and best – and sometimes that choice will not be clear.

Heart-led does not mean to throw caution to the wind – because that’s not how you tap into the wisdom of your multiple brains.

Better than just head-based decision-making

 

Most of us have learnt to decide with our head brain – “the mind”. We look at our goals – envisioning, planning – breaking it all down into bite-sized pieces to execute. Then, we meticulously organise our time & energy.  We set priorities regularly.

But many times, these goals leave us feeling empty – as we are consistently and constantly living in the future, not actually in the present moment.

Because of the emptiness, we start to push ourselves hard – becoming more determined.

“Don’t let the mind tell your heart what to do. Your mind gives up much too easily.” AnonymousBut all this living in our heads – leaves us feeling unhappy & unfulfilled.  When we stop to ask ourselves “What really matters?” we feel that we have let ourselves down.

Your head is full of judgement. Over-thinking.

Your heart, on the other hand, can feel compassion & love.  For yourself. For others.   And that compassion allows us to feel, to forgive and cut ourselves a little slack.

Nevertheless, there is a challenge of aligning your over-all purpose with the actions that you take.  With consistently acting in a way that reflects those priorities.  When your actions are not aligned with that purpose, despair and stress set it.  Then we start to overthink and prioritise the wrong goals.  We feel stuck.  And we lack the courage to move forward. Many times, it feels like we cannot tap deep within to reach that courage.

But what about my needs?

One of your concerns about allowing heart-led goal setting may be that your mind thinks it needs to override your heart in order to take care of your needs.  And yes, your needs should be taken into account.  But, if you are truly lead by your heart – acting with self-compassion, not just ruled by your emotions – you will truly consider your needs.

And while you may have a need for security, when you listen to your heart (and even your mind), you realise that you are not truly comfortable in your comfort zone.  You have simply gotten used to the discomfort.

Better the devil you know.

Your heart knows when you are stuck in a comfort zone – uncomfortably comfortable, so to speak. You may feel repulsion or rejection in your gut. Or perhaps you’ve lost the fire in your belly.  Sometimes, you simply are feeling anxiety or a constriction in your throat.  In any case, you get used to living with this discomfort, of things being slightly off – because you have learned to feel secure in this place.  You know what to expect – even if it’s not really all that great.

The fear of the unknown is much greater than the fear of staying.

But is this who I really am?

“Following all the rules leaves a completed checklist, following your heart achieves a completed you.” Ray Davis

As you sit in that fear of the unknown – acknowledging the discomfort of the comfort zone you have created – as yourself this:

What matters the most to me?

Does the safety offered by your comfort zone truly outweigh the value of your heart-led dreams?

Ask yourself: “Are my actions aligned with my inner values?  Do I outwardly reflect – through what I am doing – who I am?”

When you outwardly reflect your inner values – respect grows.  Each time you fail to act in alignment with your values, you lose a little piece of self-respect. You feel disheartened. Life no longer inspires.

“When you follow the dream in your heart, you’re energized, inspired, and motivated.”
Dr. John F. Demartini

Are you feeling defrauded? Are you left with a completed checklist, rather than a completed you?

So, how do you set heart-led goals that are rational?

Create with the heart,
Build with the mind.
–Criss Jami–

Know that you possess, within yourself, an intelligence greater than simply your mind!

heart-led, goal setting, dreams, goals, coach, coaching, life-coach, life of my dreams, follow my heart, lead by the heart, heart led, visualization, visualisation, imagine, imagination, problem-solving, decision-making, happiness, satisfied, fulfilledYour inner wisdom – that which appears when you listen to your heart and then build upon that with all the resources of your mind – is a beautiful thing to explore! It appears when you follow your heart, and then ask your mind to put at this dreams & desires disposal the following amazing abilities & possibilities:

  • creating solutions
  • creating possibilities & opportunities
  • listening to the voice of the inner critic – tempering with self-compassion
  • identifying the obstacles
  • clearing the fears
  • listing your resources & abilities and
  • analysing methods & plans.

You have all of that within you.

Even more than this, you have the still small voice within that guarantees your safety & security, if you would simply tap into your deep identity of self.  Then – you will find that perfect balance between a human being and a human becoming.  A place of satisfaction that you are on the way to becoming who you dream of, while you are being the best version of yourself today.

The only person that holds the perfect solution for you – is YOU.

It already lies within you  – simply waiting to be discovered.

 

Introductory Call

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SMART Goals: transforming dreams

smart goals, SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound, trackable, dreams, intentions, planning, obstacles, resources

Many of us wait until the scramble of December 31st or the ease of the day on January 1st to work on our plans for the new Year.  Is that really smart?

Don’t settle just for a New Year’s resolution heading into 2019.  Your intentions should be so much more than simply

“Out of sight – out of mind.”

Play it smart!

As part of my December inspiration – 12 days designing 2019 Facebook Live Series – I talked about smart goals – those that you establish using the simple acronym S.M.A.R.T. Most people understand this to mean:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

And that’s all fine and good. But I would like to suggest that if that’s ALL that your goals are, then you haven’t dreamed big enough! Dare to make it difficult – to dream big!

If your dream or intention was easy – you would already have achieved it! If you already knew everything you needed to know – you would be there.

SMART goals, smart, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound, significant, stretching, synergy, meaningful, motivation, action-oriented, relevant, rewarding, results-oriented, tangible, trackableBHAG

When you are truly in touch with your heart, and you’ve given ear to your heart’s desires – when you’ve asked yourself “What do I want?” – you discover that this is a BHAG.

  • Big
  • Hairy
  • Audacious
  • Goal

So, I invite you to understand smart goals as being much more significant, meaningful, action-packed, relevant & tangible than a simple SMART goal. Achievable & realistic should not diminish your intentions. Don’t take outstanding and make it into mediocre, just because you asked yourself if it was “realistic”.

What does it take to turn a dream into a goal? In order to turn a dream into a goal, you need to dive into the details of what & how.  You need to establish mile-markers – how will I know that I am achieving this?  What are the markers that I will notice on the way?

If your aim is to get fit, you might establish a goal of running a 10km race on May 15th.  Your mile-markers might well be running two 5km races in March & April, as you prepare yourself physically and mentally for this new challenge.

If your S.M.A.R.T. goal is to have a better relationship with your kids, perhaps ask yourself:

  • how many times will you have one-on-one time with each child each week or month?
  • Where will you go?
  • What activities does each kid like to do?
  • What family outings might they enjoy doing together?
  • How will you know that you are effectively building a better relationship with your children? What will you feel? What will they demonstrate?

Write it up!

Take the time to write them down.

Clearly define “why”.  Find your “why” in your heart – what you truly desire. How do you want to feel in 2019?  How would you like to connect with yourself, your dreams, and others?  This why should clearly satisfy your deepest hungering and your needs.

The purpose of writing down your goals should also answer – which of these are achievable in the short term, mid-term & long term?  Long-term goals are not achieved in a month: so break it down into actionable steps. What achievements (mile-markers) are you aiming for each month along the way?

Plan it out – all the steps – otherwise, if you fail to plan, you will undoubtedly fail. Not just the ultimate goal – the process of getting there.  You might find yourself following a completely different plan – once you actually start taking steps along the way.  The plan the change. Circumstances will, no doubt, change.  But your ultimate goal – the “why” – will not vary.

But at the very beginning – it’s a very healthy exercise to write up – the goal, the strategy and the process of getting there.  You will learn so much about yourself, your fears & limiting beliefs, the potential obstacles you will encounter, and the resources you will need along the way.  This ensures greater success!

Buddy up!

All of that is not enough without taking appropriate action and following through.  Who will hold you accountable for completing your goals? Do you have a buddy or someone to talk to in case you lose focus or start to fail to follow through?

Situations & events will arise.  You will inevitably start to focus on putting our fires or dealing with day-to-day issues – getting lost in the trees and failing to see the big-picture of the forest.  Who is the person that will pull you out and remind you of the bigger picture?  Who will ask you the pertinent questions that will enable you to see that what you are working on today is leading you to achieve the year-long goal?  You need that person.  The one that ensures your consistent follow-through.

I am sure that your goal for 2019 is not “I want to be busy“.  So why don’t you get busy deciding what you will give importance to in 2019!

Be thoughtful.

Ensure there is clarity.

Make sure those intentions matter.

 

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Uncomfortably comfortable?

How long before comfortable becomes uncomfortable, uncomfortably comfortable, resourceful, unresourceful, emotions, feelings, positive, negative, good, bad, labels, process, processing, feeling, emotion, energy in motion

Imagine yourself with this beautiful view of the ocean, and like the girl in the picture, you’ve found yourself a comfortable place to sit on the rocks to admire the view.  And so, for a moment, you sit. In silence. Enjoying the moment.

But at what moment does this comfortable spot on the rocks begin to get uncomfortable?

Are you ready to thrive beyond your comfort zone? Has your comfort zone gotten sufficiently uncomfortable? Have you been sitting there fore long enough that you need to move? Do you start to notice your legs first, or perhaps your back where you are leaning against the rocks? Maybe it’s simply the back of your heel, where your foot rubs a sharp piece of rock or roots.

When do you decide that this perfect view and comfortable spot is now uncomfortable, and that it’s time to stand up and move on?

You know that you cannot stay sitting here, admiring the view -however wonderful- forever.  Some days it might rain.  The sun might become scorching hot. The nights might be bitterly cold.

As beautiful and comfortable as this spot is for a moment to enjoy the view, that moment is fleeting and gone, and it’s time to move on.

So it is with your comfort zone – that place you sit after a victory and achievement.  When you have reached a level of mastery.

Your comfort zone

Don’t get me wrong – I think that a comfort zone is a great thing to have! It’s a place of security and rest – a place where you are not exhausted or on edge.  There is a level of mastery that comes from performing within your comfort zone.

The problems arise when you are constantly within your comfort zone, and you are not working on expanding that arena!

If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat. Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir expressed this as:

If you live long enough, you’ll see that every victory turns into a defeat.

We need only look at history to see how empires rise & fall.

How great athletes either keep training and improving, or how another comes along and breaks their record!

Temptation

There is a temptation to rest on our laurels.

I finally made it – I’m here!

But if we stay too long in the same position, our muscles will start to atrophy.  And then we need to ask ourselves – am I still on the top of my game?

Am I innovating in my business – moving with the changing climate & conditions?

At any time, there is the temptation to think we’ve done enough.  But is the reading, growth and studies that you are doing keeping you ahead of the changes & innovations of your field of expertise?

Do these “upgrades” allow you to create something new? Are you continuing to expand your horizons and the size of your comfort zone?

Or have you allowed yourself to get stuck in a rut?

It’s possible to get stuck in a rut and not even notice it – you are busy checking off your to-do list, but not really getting ahead.  You are stuck in “busy”, with days just blurring into each other!

Free time? What for? I totally don’t want to do anything.  What is there to look forward to?  And so you become a person that is stressed, tired and unfulfilled.

Are you going to stay uncomfortably comfortable in your rut? Or will you make the effort to get out?  Are you stuck in your daily routine – that was helpful, but is now a rut? What changes do you need to make in your routine, so that you return to growth and progress?

I am a work in progress

Every one of us is a continual work in progress – it doesn’t matter if we are 8 or 80.  If we are not living & developing, we are withering.   It doesn’t matter how big or how old the sequoia is in the forest – if it stops growing, it is dying!

Like a lobster, we need to be continually shedding our skin so that we can continue to grow!  Are you continually uncluttering your life and letting go of your old view of yourself?

Perhaps you’ve put off your own well-being – “I’m too busy”.  Resigned to this fate – the current situation.  Have you pushed your goals & dreams away, because you just need to take care of the day-to-day?

Or perhaps you grew fearful of taking risks?  You’ve made mistakes in the past and paid for them dearly, and now you would rather just stay in your comfort zone.  With fear obscuring the clarity of view – you no longer know what you really want, so there’s nothing to strive for.

Fear can be compass

Like any other emotion – fear can be resourceful or unresourceful.  How will I choose to use my fear?  Will I allow it to be a compass that shows me what I hold dear? What is important to me?

Fear allows us to identify what we need to work on in our lives – it tells us “walk through here”. Even though we want to avoid it.  Fear tells us “this is important to me”. So yes, it is uncomfortable!

But the only way through, is through it!  You will have to move – face the fear.  That’s the moment to stop sabotaging yourself, and seek to confront fear.

We all know that it takes time and effort to effect change – do it anyways.  Expand that comfort zone – so that it includes something new.  So that your reach is wider than it was before.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

How many times will you face regret? I could have. I should have. I would have…

Stop shoulding yourself!

Should sounds like obligation – as if you had no choice.  But you do have choices – a choice to stay there, uncomfortably comfortable, or a choice to move beyond your comfort zone into the unknown.

Is it time to take control and stop allowing should to drive your life?

Every day is ChooseDay - how uncomfortable will you choose to get before you move?  When the time comes for you to make a change or to grow, the universe will make you so uncomfortable you will eventually have no choice.
–Iyanla Vanzant–

Maybe it’s time to envision –

What do I want?

It’s time to focus – what do I want to do?

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
                                                                                               — Marcus Aurelius

And then with that clarity – plan and organise, then take action.  In order to overcome what is holding you back, it only takes one small step at a time in a new direction.

Time spent focusing on things that you cannot change comes at the expense of the things that you can actually change and control.  Focusing our energy — emotional, spiritual, mental — on the things that we cannot control is ultimately a waste of resources and a losing battle.

Uncomfortably Comfortable

position, choose, move, comfortable, uncomfortable, seated, victoryIf your leg went to sleep while you were sitting down, you would simply get up and move around and shake it until it was completely awake and all the blood had come back to all nerves and movement was fluid once more.

Why would you not do this with your life?

Just because you were once comfortable in the place you are now, if it has become uncomfortable, it’s time to get moving! Start shaking things up!

Support moving forward

Start by looking at who is supporting you? Have you got the right network of people that will ask you the questions to get you focused on your next move?

Have you got clarity on what you want? How to plan & organise this move? What actions will be most effective in moving forward?

Which members of your family or friends can provide you with support and help as you move through this? Do you have a mentor or coach that will ask you the right questions?  Do you have a professional adviser to turn to when you lack information?

What is the next level you need to move up to in your life – personally, professionally, emotionally, or physically?

Don’t accept that just because you are uncomfortably comfortable that you have to stay where you are.  If the sun is setting and it’s starting to get cold, maybe it’s time to stand up and find a new place to rest.