I came across this article from perhaps my new favorite blog and it summoned all the things I was doing in my life to keep myself from getting to where I want to be. I’ve always had lofty goals and plans and I do my best to face my fears that keep me from doing all the things I want to do with my life. Thanks to Zen Habits for providing the inspiration and base for this article. I’ve written about this in the past from the point of view of Taking Risk, and our ideas seem to jive pretty well so I thought I’d reiterate and elaborate on both our concepts.
Most of us have changes we want to make in our life from health and fitness, to family, to professional goals. We talk a lot about how we’re going to make these changes but often find that they never happen. Life usually gets in the way, we have plenty of reasons that they’re not happening from kids, to work, to other commitments. Is that really the case though? Are we really giving up on the thing we so badly want to accomplish because we have other things going on in our life? It’s as if we had nothing to do all day…THEN we’d get it done. So we wait, for that rainy day where we’re trapped in our house with no power to start. But then the internet isn’t working so we couldn’t possibly get started then.
What’s really going on is overriding fear. Our bodies thrive on keeping us in homeostasis. That means doing everything possible to avoid pain, discomfort, failure etc. So while we so badly want to get started with a new project, or learn to speak in public, or lose weight, the fear of any kind of discomfort steps in and says “ah ah ah” not so fast. That would mean being uncomfortable. It could be physical or mental discomfort but it’s definitely going to be there. I can’t imagine a time in my life when I’ve stepped out from behind my wall of comfort to progress somehow and found the progress “easy.” Unfortunately, it’s the fear of this discomfort that stands in our way to making progress. In fact, the reason I’m writing this entry is because it’s been too long and I’ve been “scared” to start up again due to my lapse in writing. I hope you’ll all forgive me.
We understand what’s happening, so let’s address how to work on overcoming it:
Do it now. Just a little bit, it could be 1 minute or 1 hour but do it now. Don’t wait. Tomorrow, do it again without question. This means doing it, not talking about it, not reading about it but flat out doing the “thing” you want.
Come to terms with it. It being the potential for discomfort. It will happen, I promise. And it’s OK. Discomfort is a signal that you’re growing. Be proud of this and celebrate the fact that you just did something new. After all this is what keeps life fresh.
Learn from it. Discomfort and failure are great learning tools. They teach us what happened when we did it a certain way so that next time we can course correct and create a different outcome. This is GROWTH! Enjoy the feeling and next time, come back for some more failure! When I coach, I frequently challenge my clients to a point of failure. Never because I want them to fail but I want them to know their potential and from the ashes of failure, one can rise like a phoenix to create wonderful change.
Repeat. Start back at numero uno. The more you learn from it the better you get. The better you get, the happier you’ll find your everyday experience with what you wanted to overcome. The happier you are with the day to day experience, the more you’ll want to come back for more.
Understanding that we all come from the same place, that all of us face pain day in and day out helps to realize that we’re capable of so much more than many of us think. We have a wealth of opportunities that our body and minds provide. Get the two to work together, and you’re going to see some amazing results. Please, share your story of how this goes for you with others. Positive change begets positive change.