In today’s rhetoric, it is common to hear the expression comfort zone. This space is a set of actions and environments we are comfortable dealing with. We repeat these situations in order to feel safe. Outside the comfort zone lies the unknown, full of experiences we don’t know how to deal with, which triggers us to feel uncomfortable.
On the Elevate Your Best Podcast #020 we talked about Change vs. Comfort. Change is something desired by us, even when we don’t notice it for what it is. We wish to become better at something, have new experiences, and live a better life. As surprising as it can be, many do not associate this with change. Yet, if we wish to change anything in our lives, we need to change. It is through changing ourselves that we can live an intentional life.
If you want things to change, you have to change. If you will change, everything will change for you. — Jim Rohn.
Fear vs. Excitement
In every conversation on the Elevate Your Best Podcast we seem to mention the subconscious mind. It happens that this part of our mind is responsible for manifesting our reality. It is the part that does the bulk of the work our being does. Depending on the beliefs we have installed there, things might be or not be accessible to us. Our conscious mind focuses on capturing signals related to our survival in the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. This is where fear meets excitement. Our comfort zone is safe. It relates to the things that are known to us.
When we tread outside of the comfort zone and start to deal with things unknown, fear may take hold of us. This is not always a conscious action. Sometimes our own mind leads us into self-sabotage. We stay in our comfort zone, dealing with familiar things, running from whatever is unknown.
In the past, everyone had a role in the community. It was hard to survive, we worked in groups of people that sustained each other. Nurturing an individual was costly to the group. It was an investment. This leads people to learn skills and adopt roles in the community.
Comfort in contrast to Survival
Nowadays our survival is nearly guaranteed. It is impressive the conditions in which humans can survive in our society. We tend to think that we couldn’t survive certain situations, but the homeless population in the US and other countries continues to rise. In São Paulo alone the homeless population grew 30% in the past two years. City streets are fille with people that never would have considered be in this situation. They adapt and quickly rearrange their comfort zones.
We tend to
- React in life.
- Allowing life to happen to us, not for us
- Falling into situations, instead of taking advantage of opportunities
When we are forced into a new position in life, we might struggle with the change and yet quickly get comfortable there. The challenge is to change on purpose. To live an intentional life. To not only create change but also seek it. Instead of moving away from fear, follow a path forward with excitement.
Moving from Comfort to Accepting the Uncomfortable
To change intentionally, we need to accept the uncomfortable. This is not actually a choice sometimes, as being reactive in life can lead to some uncomfortable situations. When this happens though, many take the role of the victim and act like life just randomly happened, without taking a look at the possible responsibility we have for our situation.
Accepting that uncomfortable situations will happen in life, we can choose to deal with uncomfortable things that will move us forward. The secret here is that the more we face those, the more familiar we get with them. If we commit to a path and follow it, as challenging as it can be, we will eventually get accustomed to it.
The same way we might get accustomed to going downhill and falling into some nasty places in life, we have the opportunity to get accustomed to going uphill and reaching some incredible summits. We can choose the uncomfortable we deal with. Going downhill or uphill. Nothing is stagnant in life. Everything is in movement and a constant exchange of energy. Guess what? At some point, the uncomfortable we choose to deal with becomes more and more familiar. The more familiar it gets, we get more comfortable facing it. Suddenly, we notice that didn’t take long for us to start getting comfortable with some new, nice, and exciting things.
Small Incremental Changes
The secret to moving forward, without getting our subconscious mind anxious into sabotaging our progress, is by making small, incremental changes. We can’t aim to change our location overnight. We can change our direction and commit to sticking to it until we reach our objectives.
Dealing with small incremental changes allows us to control risks, better access situations and results, and make important adjustments in our trajectory towards our goals. Being more properly equipped with the necessary tools and information about the path is also important. Prepare and get to know the lay of the land.
At Elevate Your Best, we call the person who helps us in this path Life Vision Outfitters. The guide that can help you recognize the path you are on and share with us the knowledge and tools necessary for us to reach our destination successfully.
We use tools like Notion, 3MIQ, and the Lifebook framework, among many others that are taken off the shelves as they are needed. Having a different perspective with the necessary experience allows us to spot the major changes we want to work on, and how to do that in a way that we can handle these changes. They can bring us results that lead us into celebrating our progress.
Celebration is very important, as it shows our subconscious mind that this new, unknown path is something we can be excited about. Remember: we humans, and all living things we are aware of, move towards pleasure and avoid pain. It is very important to produce results so we can stop and celebrate them. To keep us excited about the future, even though it deals with the unknown.