Max is a small dog. He only weighs 11 pounds. He definitely feels his limitations.
One of the things he doesn’t think he can do is push doors open.
This is him earlier today. I had gone outside and he followed me but I had left the door partially closed and he felt stuck.
Max has struggled with doors for all three years of his life.
It has created funny situations.
For instance, I sometimes realize that I haven’t seen Max for a while and I wonder where he is. That is, I used to wonder where he was. Now I know to go back to my bathroom and let him out.
Max can push the door to get in; but he doesn’t think he can push it open to get out. Strangely, he keeps going back to my bathroom, even though he ends up being stuck.
So I have started working to teach him to open the door.
Today, I went outside; but left the door partially open. He wistfully looked out the door at me but didn’t even try to push the door open. I encouraged him to come outside with me. He stayed put, unwilling to try to open the door.
Basically, he refused to leave his comfort zone, even though it limited where he could go.
And after several tries and lots of encouragement from me, Max finally opened the door a little bit more and came out!
Are you like Max? Is there something you are convinced that you can’t do? Is there something that keeps you limited by staying in your comfort zone?
What action, that is vital to your business, do you stop at the threshold of success?
Do you have a hard time picking up the phone and inviting a friend to join you as a customer or distributor?
Is speaking to a group of people enough to make you lose your voice?
How about talking with the server at you favorite restaurant?
All of the above?
Each of those and so many more require that you be willing to step out of your comfort zone.Have you seen this illustration? I saw it years ago. It is true. You know that. But is seeing the illustration enough to get you to step out of your comfort zone?
It isn’t enough to help most of us. You can see the truth of the idea that stepping out of your comfort zone is holding you back and still be bound by fear.
What do you think about this drawing?
Can you pick just one of the concepts outside of your comfort zone and do something?
It is hard to do because many of the concepts outside of the circle are abstract. You need specific items to act on. You need doable action items.
How about this drawing?
Is there one thing outside of your comfort zone that you can do?
Of course, these are just examples. You should pick our own items.
Make a list of every specific task that you should do but aren’t doing because of fear or lack of confidence or lack of ability.
Pick one of those tasks.
You can pick the one least threatening to your comfort. The point is that when you do something outside of your comfort zone you will grow. You will grow in confidence and in skill. You will feel empowered to do another.
Or you can pick the one most threatening to your comfort. By choosing one you are eliminating the others and you lower the combined fear factor. If you tackle the most threatening task imagine how much more confidence you gain for taking on the remaining tasks.
The key to stepping out of your comfort zone is to take one step. And then another step.
What do you need to take that step? Do you need more training? Do you need a mentor to coach you? Do you need to just do it?
Choose the step you need to take out of your comfort zone.
Decide what you need to successfully take that step.
Then take that step.
Here is a little secret. As you step out of your comfort zone your comfort zone will grow.
There will always be actions that make you feel uncomfortable. But as you take one step at a time you will grow in the discipline of stepping out of the comfort zone.
You will be amazed at what you can do. You will love what you do. You will never want to go back to safe and scared again.
Back to Max’s story.
After I challenged him to do something he didn’t think he could do, he did it and was rewarded with being outside.
To take the picture, I had to stage the event. This time Max didn’t make it outside. We’ll keep trying. Max needs a coach – me – to help him. Eventually, Max will learn that he can open doors way bigger than he is.
In the meantime, today he got a doggie treat after he tried and failed.
Final suggestions for you, then, is to get an encouraging coach who will push you as far as you can go.
And when you have stepped out of your comfort zone, give yourself a treat!
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