I received a lot of positive responses to last week’s blog that focused on leaving your comfort zone. It seems that most people recognize their comfort zone and feel an internal struggle of whether to stay in it or venture to the unknown. The people who leave that comfort zone are typically the most successful. It’s hard to believe that risk and all the fear involved can be freeing. It almost feels counterintuitive, but it’s actually not. It’s actually about intuitively realizing that your comfort protects you, but doesn’t promote you.
I was working with a client recently who gave me tons of evidence that she could be successful in her career. She had already done workshops, written articles, and had a following that appreciated her work. However, she was afraid to take the huge step of turning it into a thriving business. Everything that she felt she needed to do: create a business name, website, blog, and marketing plan, seemed so uncomfortable. As she put it “then I would actually have to do it and put myself out there”. This is ironic because the fact is she is already out in the world doing it. She started some workshops for a few interested friends and with only word of mouth referrals, these workshops were packed.
The fact is that we look for evidence of why we can’t do something. This evidence is typically coming from our comfort zone, telling us to play it safe. What we should do is look at the evidence that shows we can do it. My client was far ahead in her business, she was naturally attracting people who wanted to hear her message. Her thoughts and beliefs about success and potential failure were holding her hostage and weren’t allowing her to see all of the evidence pointing to her natural ability to succeed with her business. The tasks that she needed to complete in order to develop the business were not the issue, her thoughts around it were.
Look at some projects where procrastination and overall avoidance come up frequently for you. Is it really that you can’t do it or is it your thoughts about doing it? When clients are stuck in this place and can’t find the precise thought that is creating the suffering, I prescribe some action. Taking action, creating movement, allows them to experience the fear and realize that the outcome wasn’t as awful as they had initially imagined. It helps them to question their thoughts and make a connection to how their thoughts have been controlling their outcome. It doesn’t have to be a huge step. For the client I mentioned earlier, I asked her to just write about an idea she had and not call it a blog, article, or anything else. Just write it. I am certain when she sees it on paper; she’ll know exactly where and how it fits into her business. Her continual “analysis/paralysis” of following the “right way” to create her business was keeping her safe, but not happy, fulfilled, and successful. Look at your thoughts; what outcome are they creating for you?