Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone

I saw this quote flying around Twitter yesterday and it got me thinking – what does life feel like once you leave your comfort zone, and how can you get comfortable in that space?

I’m in my comfort zone, so what?

Maybe you’ve finished work for the day or you’ve finished all your chores this evening.

You’ve got a glass of wine or a cuppa on the go, your favourite programme’s on the TV and you sit back on the sofa…take a deep breath…and relax, content that the world is at peace. It’s a fairly nice place isn’t it?

Then you remember you’ve been meaning to hang that curtain pole, fix that loose cupboard door or start searching for a new job because you leave the office every day thinking “I don’t want to be here”, and your relaxed state somehow becomes slightly tainted.

As I talked about in my last post Procrastination…Procaffination…Proactivation it’s our nature as adults to do things we enjoy doing and stay in our comfort zone, putting off the things we don’t like doing or don’t want to do but know we have to do.

So what’s going to push you out of your comfort zone?

How much do I want that end goal?

One of the biggest drivers is the emotional value you place on achieving the end goal.

When this emotional value is high enough you go that extra mile, you make sacrifices and compromises, you drive really hard towards achieving what you want to achieve. In short you push yourself beyond your comfort zone.

But the path towards that goal is not always a road of positives. There are times where things don’t go to plan, you end up down cul-de-sacs, you feel unfulfilled. Some things along that road are in your control, others aren’t.

Either way, that road is a path of ups and downs, lefts and rights and some dead ends. However if you want to get to your destination – your end goal – you keep on striving to find a way to get there, some way some how.

So how can you ensure you get comfortable being uncomfortable as the US Navy say?

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

For a start you know that there will be uncomfortable moments beyond your comfort zone. Accept that fact. Knowing what lies ahead always helps you feel more comfortable about any situation.

Next instead of seeing what’s ahead as a path of positive and negative experiences, see them as experiences which you can learn from. To help with this ask yourself these 3 questions each time you feel you’re stepping out of your comfort zone:

  • What did I learn about myself?
  • What did I learn about my environment and how it reacted to the actions I took?
  • How am I going to implement what I learn to help me hit my end goal?

Life is a road of continual learning and only by stretching ourselves can we learn more about ourselves and what we are capable of. Reflecting on your learning experience will help you be better prepared for the next step on that road, and your answers to these 3 questions will help you do that.

Finally, share what you’re doing with someone you trust. Could be your partner, your best friend, your coach. Whoever it is, sharing your story as you walk that path will help you feel like there’s an outlet for you to discuss your experience, which is always a positive and motivating thing when it comes from someone who cares about your success.

Graham

_________________

If you found this blog post useful or know someone it could be of use to, share it with a friend or colleague.

Send the web address above, or head to FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. While you’re there, Like or Follow the page for regular updates from Ispire Motivational Coaching.

 

 

Share

Procrastination…Procaffination…Proactivation

Procrastination

The act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.

It’s like the devil and the angel of your conscience summed up in one word and boy that devil really is a little monster. Chipping away telling you “It’s alright, you’ve got time. You don’t need to do that task just yet teeheeheehee”.

The fact is the things you procrastinate over are usually the things which:

  • you either need to do but don’t like doing,
  • you don’t want to do but know you have to do, or
  • you have a somewhat fluid deadline for completing and it’s only when the hard deadline nears that you pull your finger out and get on with it.

But you have the power to make procrastination a thing of the past, and here’s two ideas to help with that.

Procaffination

The inability to make a decision until you’ve had a cup of coffee.

Coffee, tea, mocha, water – the act of physically getting these before starting a task is actually a very good tool for trading off a perceived like against a perceived dislike (as well as providing some all-important hydration).

When getting these drinks what you’re saying to yourself is “I’m going to give myself 5 minutes to do something I’d like to do before I go and do that task I need to do which I’m not over the moon about doing”.

The trick here is to remember you’ve made this deal with yourself and stick to it. Don’t let 5 minutes become 10. Don’t let 1 ‘like task’ become 2 or 3.

Instead, do your 1 ‘like task’ then go straight into finishing that task you could procrastinate over, and use the next ‘like task’ (check WhatsApp, Twitter, etc) as your reward when you’ve finished.

You’ll feel a whole lot better about approaching the ‘need to do’ task knowing there are things you’d like to do before and after it.

Proactivation

The act of working towards something you’re passionate about achieving and just getting on with everything (also a word I’ve made up).

Consider for a moment the times when you’ve been busy working on a project or task that you’re really enjoying and want to do…

Now think about how you felt when one of those ‘need to do’ menial tasks (the type you normally procrastinate over when you’re not that busy) had to be done…

My guess is during all the things you were enjoying doing the menial task was ‘just done’ with minimal fuss. You may even have struggled to recall even how you felt about completing that menial task. There’s a reason for this.

When busy with things we enjoy doing, we still recognise the importance of ‘need to do’ tasks but don’t take the time to consider whether we like them or not.

So find something you’re passionate about wanting to achieve, something that will fill your day with things you enjoy doing that will ultimately lead you to achieving your goal, and go do those things.

You’ll live in the moment, enjoy what you’re doing because you want to do it and you’ll procrastinate a whole lot less.

 

Graham

_________________

If you found this blog post useful or know someone it could be of use to, share it with a friend or colleague.

Send the web address above, or head to FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. While you’re there, Like or Follow the page for regular updates from Ispire Motivational Coaching.

 

 

Share

What’s in a Goal?

With the New Year bringing desires to change and achieve something, here’s my recipe for defining and achieving a goal.

 

Ingredients*

1 Goal

4 pints of Resources

2 gallons of Support

8 gallons of Patience

Even more Self-Belief

1 pinch of Lady Luck

 

Method

1. Take one thought of something you’d like to achieve (the Goal), preferably something that you’re passionate about seeing the result from pursuing.

2. Carefully measure out what Resources you’ll need to achieve the Goal.

3. Reality-check the Goal and Resources by letting them rest for a day or two.

4. Know who you are going to call upon to support you through your pursuit of your Goal and share your Goal with them.

5. Be Patient and retain Self-Belief as you whisk it all together.

6. Work hard, have fun and enjoy – Goals cook better that way.

 

*Actual volumes may vary

 

Graham

_________________

If you found this blog post useful or know someone it could be of use to, share it with a friend or colleague.

Send the web address above, or head to FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. While you’re there, Like or Follow the page for regular updates from Ispire Motivational Coaching.

Share

Inside the mind of a champion

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/30523006

Here’s a brilliant article inside the mind of cycling champion, Sir Bradley Wiggins, and I couldn’t agree more with his thoughts on what it takes to be a champion.

My thoughts on each section are as follows:

Be ambitious from an early age

Sir Bradley had that focus on his goal from an early age.

If there’s anything in life you want to achieve no matter how far away it might seem, having that goal and focusing on it is the first step to achieving it.

The rest is focus, hard work and determination.

Be ahead of the game

Sir Dave Brailsford talks about marginal gains – the process of analysing your performance, your tools, your mental preparation in order to find 1 or 2% you can improve because when summed together, you achieve more.

With Wiggins it’s this feeling and belief that doing something extra, something above and beyond what his competition is doing which gives him his edge.

Find the things that give you the edge in what you do. The positive energy this brings is worth more than it’s weight in gold to achieving your goals.

Distract yourself on the bike

Dr Steve Peters has generated a lot of interest in his chimp theory and for some this works, providing an anchor to rationalise what goes on inside.

Sir Bradley found a different anchor, his kids.

What’s key is you find a way to rationalise what you’re going through, albeit through an object or a person. It will help you contextualise what you’re going through, helps you put perceived obstacles to bed and keep focussed on achieving that goal.

Think rationally when it’s hurting

Achieving a goal isn’t easy and you can go through a whole load of emotions. Being on top of your game both physically and mentally is necessary to achieve.

It’s perceived to be easier to focus on the physical preparation, because the results are tangible – “I’m fit enough to do this”.

Without focus on the mental preparation, you’re leaving 80% of your ability untapped. So don’t focus on just the easy stuff (this is where a coach like me comes in handy).

Learn how to bluff

Often in pursuit of a goal, there are others after the same thing.

Sir Bradley shows how by being mentally and physically prepared and believing in this preparation, he didn’t have to concentrate on whether he had the ability to achieve his goal.

He was able to retain his awareness on his surroundings, his competition, and act and react appropriately to put them off their game and keep focussed on his.

Be calculating when the heat is on

Sir Bradley says it all really. When he’s in business mode, he’s not thinking about what the world thinks, he’s focussed on doing what he needs to do to get the job done.

He’s not making excuses, he’s not doubting himself.

He’s believing in his preparation, his tools and himself, and it’s all about executing that plan with a needle-like focus in that moment where his goal is within reach.

As I said, a pretty good article which explains some of what it takes to get to #1.

Graham

_________________

If you found this blog post useful or know someone it could be of use to, share it with a friend or colleague.

Send the web address above, or head to FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. While you’re there, Like or Follow the page for regular updates on future posts.

 

 

Share

Reaching your goal, even if it’s 600 million km away

As you may have seen or heard yesterday, history was made when European Space Agency scientists successfully landed a man-made research vehicle on a comet 600 million km away.

Pretty cool stuff that’s being compared to man landing on the moon in its’ size of achievement for mankind.

Now put yourself in those scientists’ shoes 20+ years ago, with a goal of landing on a comet.

Would you have believed it could be done?

Seems a little far-fetched, ‘impossible’ maybe, and no doubt some people at the time doubted those scientists’ ambition.

But those scientists believed it could be done; planning, executing and recalculating their plan to make the ‘impossible’ possible.

Sure it took 20+ years and they will have gone through a roller-coaster ride of emotions, but ideas as grand as landing on a comet can take this long.

So next time you think something is ‘impossible’, consider some of what was needed in order to land a vehicle on a comet and make your plan to make that ‘impossible’ possible.

(and if you need a hand developing that plan, give me a call).

Graham

_________________

If you found this blog post useful or know someone it could be of use to, share it with a friend or colleague.

Send the web address above, or head to FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. While you’re there, Like or Follow the page for regular updates on future posts.

Share

Limitless Thinking

I was chatting with a successful mate of mine tonight who had come up with another great idea for a product. Then he started doubting himself, finding ways which mean the idea can’t come to life.

He comes up with lots of these, but somehow his passion wanes when he considers the details of bringing such an idea to life.

So tonight I asked him 3 questions:

1. How passionate out of 10 are you about this idea?

2. What’s going to be the thing that makes the customer say “I want this”?

3. What’s stopping you making this happen?

He couldn’t answer them straight away, so I followed up with this:

You have a unique gift to be able to come up with tangible ideas that could change peoples lives in some way. Most people can’t do that.

You have the technical ability to make those ideas come to life.

But what you do is doubt yourself shortly after having those ideas. From what I’ve seen it’s when some realities – sometimes financial, sometimes other things – kick in, you doubt yourself and then the idea doesn’t always come to fruition.

If your passion for this is 10 before you think of the hurdles, follow it with your heart and your head, you’ve proven to yourself before you have the ability to succeed.

If you think you’ve understood the customer need to say ‘I want this’, then you’ll tailor your marketing to suit that need.

And when you list what’s stopping you, for each one work out how you could work around or over each thing on that list. I bet 95% are conquerable and the other 5% you’ll scratch from that list.

Great success involve limitless thinking, so be limitless.

He was very grateful for this. So much so he said I should share it on my blog so others could benefit next time they have an idea.

So with his permission, here you go – Next time you have an idea, answer those 3 questions (or call me to help you answer them)

Graham

_________________

If you found this blog post useful or know someone it could be of use to, share it with a friend or colleague.

Send the web address above, or head to FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. While you’re there, Like or Follow the page for regular updates on future posts.

Share