Why Not Live an Uncomfortable Existence?

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Live your life to the fullest.
Make the most of the opportunities in your life.
Be an active participant in your own life.
Enjoy what you have while it lasts.
How many times have we heard these things or similar being said - not only to us but to people around us and, in some cases, by us to people we know? So what is it that holds us back? What is it that makes us reluctant to do other things or to change or refine certain aspects of our life? What is the key ingredient that usually holds people back from making the changes in their life? Fear.
Yep, I said it.
And you probably did too.
Fear is the number one cause of lack of progression.
Fear of what? In most cases, fear of failure.
It is easy not to place ourselves in a position where we can fail, so the easiest thing to do is to keep ourselves in a safe position.
That way we cannot fail.
So what is it you do to overcome this fear of failure? What do you do to accept the challenges of life? What needs to be done so that there is understanding and acceptance that there will be challenges, obstacles, and setbacks along the way? Learning so that you know you will make mistakes but that you will learn from them and become better because of them? How do you do all of this and more? Practise.
That's right, you practise.
First you need to understand a key point in all of this.
It is not always the failing that you dislike.
It is sometimes the feeling you get when you fail.
It is the feeling you get when you are uncertain of what it is you are doing.
It is that feeling you get when you are out of your comfort zone -- on the high wire with no safety net, flying the plane without a parachute.
It is the feeling you get when you think about what others may think, do or say when you make mistakes.
Think up any situation that you feel uncomfortable in and you will see what has just been outlined -- breathing gets shallower and faster, heart starts to race, perspire a little.
Then you start thinking about being uncomfortable, so it continues to get worse.
Sound familiar? How do we overcome these feelings, these fears of failure? We practise getting out of our comfort zone.
That's right -- we put ourselves in this situation and we do it regularly.
My good friend, Graeme Alford gave this idea to me:Comfort Zone Exercises -- one short term, one long term.
The Comfort Zone Exercises can be whatever you need them to be, just so long as they make you feel a little uncomfortable and they get you out of that comfort zone.
The exercises don't have to be relevant to anyone but you.
Some of the great things about these exercises are: 1) you learn how to operate when feeling a little unsettled out of your comfort zone, and 2) you realise that at any time you have a choice to walk into or away from anything you want.
Here are few examples, but remember your comfort zone exercises are only relevant to getting you out of your comfort zone.
Short Term -No coffee for a week -No dessert after dinner -No chocolate -Give up alcohol and cigarettes for a period -Have lunch with work colleagues you don't particularly get on with -Take a Toastmaster's course and MC the annual work Christmas party -Take singing lessons and start practising the national anthem -Take a high speed driving course -Don't eat until you are hungry.
No, I mean really hungry -For a short period, wear clothes that are not really you -Take diving, caving or learn to fly classes Long Term -Take public transport to work for one year -Exercise for 30 mins three times per week for a year -Sit on the committee of your local sporting club for a season -Be a volunteer at a local homeless shelter -Get out of bed one hour earlier each day -Walk to work for a year -Drink nothing but water for a year -Take an education course in something that you know you are not strong in -For one hour each week for one year, do something you do not like to do As you can see the Comfort Zone Exercises are only restricted by your imagination.
The key is to think about the things that can and will make you uneasy, and then just gradually put yourself in those situations.
In some cases you will complete your exercises first go.
In others, you may need to repeat them as you might fall a little short on your first attempt.
The significance and benefit of comfort zone exercise is that no-one else is making you do it; it's just you and your desire to develop your own skills and abilities.
The greatest benefit will be the increase in self-confidence that you will attain from the entire undertaking.
Your confidence will rise because you have, at least, attempted to get out of your comfort zone.
It will also increase because you got out of your comfort zone by choice.
Your choice! Your confidence will soar as you complete your comfort zone exercises and as you acknowledge the ability you have developed to attempt and successfully complete new activities in your life.
The Journey Continues!
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