Episode 50: What I've Learned about Leaving My Comfort Zone

Episode Summary

When you do anything new and challenging (even new if it’s only new and challenging to you) you have to work against the protests of your own brain.  Your brain wants you to take the easy way.  Your brain wants you to stay exactly where you are and who you are—because it thinks this is the best way to keep you alive.

But our lives can be about so much more than mere survival. 

Life offers each of us a chance to grow and develop and innovate and evolve and create.  But in order to do any of these things we have to be willing to step outside our comfort zone and confront the natural  objections of our own brains.  

In this episode, I am sharing the lessons I have learned in creating and publishing 50 podcast episodes, in the hopes that these thoughts will help you as you go to do hard or new things in your own life—even things outside your current capacity.

While I'm sure your goals are different than mine, these principles will help you get out of your own way so that you can go after your own goals and dreams and plans in a big way.  

Episode Tools and Questions

Here are the things I have learned as I have created 50 podcast episodes.  I share them in the hopes that the things I have learned about myself and about my own brain will help you as you go to do hard things—things outside your comfort zone—in your own life.

The Motivational Triad

Remember that the instinctive primitive response of the human brain is to keep us alive by adhering to the motivational triad.  Which means that on default, the brain seeks for things that bring it pleasure, it avoids things that create pain or potential pain, and it does everything it can to save energy. 

But notice that all of the amazing things we do as human beings, in terms of creating and innovating and inventing and pushing the boundaries of our physical limitations, all go against that motivational triad. 

Simply put, when you do anything new and challenging (even new if it’s only new and challenging to you) you have to work against the protests of your own brain.  Your brain wants you to take the easy way.  Your brain wants you to stay exactly where you are and who you are to give you the best chance at survival.

But we were meant for so much more than survival.  We are divine beings having a human experience and that divine parts of us wants more for us. 

So our work is to overcome the human part of us and leave our comfort zone.  I hope these principles will help you do just that:

1. We live at an unprecedented time in human history.

Because of advances in technology and communication there has never been more opportunity to contribute.  Whatever you want to create in the world, whatever you want to invent or sell or share or offer, you can. 

And because of the time we live in, you can find an audience who is interested in your particular view of the world – you can be immediately transported into the lives that you can help in the ways that you want.  

2.  There is no such thing as "ready."

The most important thing I can tell you is that the feeling you are waiting for, like all our feelings, is created by our thoughts and nothing else.  If you want to feel ready you have to think the thoughts that create that feeling inside of you.

  • You can start by believing that you don’t need to feel "ready" to start. 
  • Employ Dan Sullivan's 4 C's:  Commitment, courage, capability, and then confidence

3.  There is no wrong way.

Whatever it is that you want to do in your life, what ever you want to accomplish— losing weight or having a better marriage or starting a business or writing the screenplay or selling your art—whatever it is, the idea that you’re doing it wrong will only keep you stuck.  The idea that you don’t know the right way to do it, keeps you from doing it.  There is no wrong way.  There is just your way.  And your way is perfect. 

  • Ask yourself, “If I knew there wasn’t a wrong way to go after my dream, what would I do?”  This question will allow you to see how thinking there is a right way is holding you back.  Just do the next thing.  Follow the breadcrumbs.

4.  Know that your brain will never stop protesting.

Self-doubt and fear and insecurity are all part of the process.  And that is never going away.   Your brain's job is to protest about anything that isn’t the status quo.  Anything different.  Anything outside fo the comfort zone. That is it’s job.  And what I want you to know is that just because your brain protests, is not a reason to stop or not begin in the first place. 

  • Instead of asking yourself, "Why am I doing this?" and needing an answer to keep going— Instead ask yourself, “Why would I not continue? Why would I quit?  What is the reason to quit?  If I quit, what was the point of yesterday?  What is the reason I would quit or stop?"
  • You can ask yourself, "What would my highest self do now?  What would my highest self want?  What would my highest self think?"

5.  It’s going to take all of us.

I love the thought that it’s going to take all of us.  I have needed all of my coaches and all my teachers and all of the prophets and all of the scriptures and all of the perspective and all of the writers, to show me the same things in a slightly different way.  To say it in their way.  To give it to me with their experience and their lens. 

The human experience is not an easy one.  For any of us.  And it's going to take all of us to help us navigate it and thrive in it and ease the suffering of it. 

I need all my teachers and so do you and so do the people that are waiting for you to put your work in the world.  There is no one that can do it like you.  And what you have to contribute is valuable.  Believe that it’s going to take all of us, doing it in our way, saying it in our way, writing it in our way, seeing it in our way, in order to maximize our human experience and learn the things we need to learn while we are here.

Episode Notes

Mentioned on the podcast:

"Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait."


Episode Transcript

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