I think most people can remember when they were in grade school and the class project was watching worms transform into butterflies. I recall my grade school teacher emphasizing that the lesson of watching the worm turn into a butterfly was symbolic of the transformation endured throughout one’s lifetime in the pursuit of anything worthwhile. Of course, as a little kid I didn’t understand what the teacher was talking about, except that it was cool to watch the plain looking worm become something beautiful.
Recently, I invited a friend to a networking event and her response was, “I would prefer to have all my teeth removed without pain killer than to attend a networking event.” I attempted to persuade her by telling her how fun it would be, good for growing her law practice and that there would only be women in attendance. She didn’t budge and told me to go without her.
I didn’t understand why my friend refused to step out of her comfort zone even if it meant that it would help her business. While at the networking event there was a woman in sales who told me that she hated networking, but only attended events because by meeting people and having to speak with those outside of her network of family and friends it actually helped her business. I wondered what the difference was between the sales woman and the lawyer in that one was willing to step out of her comfort zone whereas the other was not, despite both needing contacts to grow their businesses.
Recently, I was reading Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, and he had an interesting concept of why one person steps out of their comfort zone, whereas another refuses:
“We may not be aware of the reason consciously, but there is undoubtedly a single driving force behind all human behavior. This force impacts every facet of our lives, from our relationships and finances to our bodies and brains. What is this force that is controlling you even now and will continue to do so for the rest of your life? Pain and Pleasure! Everything you and I do, we do either out of our need to avoid pain or our desire to gain pleasure.”
Now the big question. What’s your comfort zone? Are you living the life you’ve always dreamed of having? If so, great share with us what obstacles, if any, you had to overcome to succeed. If not, why are you settling for anything less than what you desire? Is it because the pain of change would be too much to endure? According to Anthony Robbins:
“What you link pain to and what you link pleasure to shapes your destiny…. We must manage our fears by overriding this preconditioned set of responses and, in many cases, we must transform that fear into power. Many times, the fear that we are allowing to control us never becomes reality anyway. It’s possible for people to link pain, for example, to flying an airplane, while there’s no logical reason for the phobia. They’re responding to a painful experience in their past or even an imagined future. They may have read in the papers about airplane accidents, and now they avoid getting on planes: they’re allowing that fear to control them. We must make sure that we live our lives in the present and respond to things that are real, not to our fears of what once was or what might someday be. The key thing to remember is that we don’t move away from real pain; we move away from what we believe will lead to pain.”
Now, time to take some action and to conquer those fears, get out of the comfort zone and make some changes! Anthony Robbins recommends the 5 following steps:
- Write down 4 actions that you need to take that you’ve been putting off.
- Under each action, write down the answer the following questions: Why haven’t I taken action? In the past, what pain have I linked to taking this action?
- Write down all the pleasure you’ve had in the past by indulging in this negative pattern.
- Write down what it will cost you (emotionally) if you don’t change now? How does that make you feel?
- Write down all the pleasure you’ll receive by taking each of these actions right now.
Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain. –Ralph Waldo Emerson