What we think, we become. Read that again, and perhaps one more time. Our mindsets have everything to do with how we experience life. If we are moving through our journeys with negativity, limiting beliefs, closed-mindedness and over all doom & gloom, how do we think our life will be? Instead, what if we choose to shift our mindset to one of positivity, open-mindedness, and a belief that we have unlimited possibilities and opportunities? Now is the time to be shifting our mindset!
- I can’t
- Nothing good happens to me
- It’s too hard or too much work
- I don’t have money
- I don’t have support
- I’ll be rejected
- I don’t have time
- I’m too old (or young)
- I don’t have enough knowledge
- Who would wan’t to hear what I have to say
- I’m not worthy of success or abundance
- I’m not enough
- Mediocre is okay
- I’m fine
Oh my, the negativity! Trust me, I’ve been there with this type of thinking and it sucks. Do you recognize any of these ways of thinking in yourself? If so, let me blunt–how is this working out for you? Are you happy or filled with joy? Is fine and mediocre okay? If your answer is no–it’s time to dig deep my friends. For more reading on the subject, check out What Are You Searching for Today?
The Self-Imposed Limitations
We often hear, “Life begins outside our comfort zone.” This is true but let’s take it a step further. This past weekend, I attended a conference for women (Believe 2020). One of the discussions on the first day was about limitations, most of them self-imposed. The conversation centered around that lovely box we like to settle in. You know, the one where we are okay, comfortable, complacent. We see ourselves as happy here. We don’t have to step out or step up. We can remain invisible if we choose. There’s no rocking the boat, no anxiety, blood, sweat or tears. It’s a nice little box.
In a classic perspective shifting (mind shifting) moment, the speaker said, “What if you look at it this way: the box that we currently see as comfortable, is really a box of limitations.” Wait! Huh? It’s an a-ha moment! What if our comfort box is seen for what it really is: a compartment of limitations? Now, are you okay with the box?
What is a Comfort Zone
Jennifer Delgado (Psychology Spot) states, “The comfort zone is a safe space where we don’t risk, but neither do we grow. It’s not simply a physical space but a mental concept. It’s not limited to a secure cord we’ve built around us but includes both our daily routines and way of thinking. Therefore, it can become the perfect excuse not to do, not risk, not grow and, ultimately, not live.”
That pretty little box we have described as our security blanket, our “woobie” or any other cute term, is actually holding all of our limitations. Not so comforting now, right? Now, before any major anxiety sets in, we aren’t getting rid of the box completely as we all need a safe space and consistency. We are going to ditch our self-imposed limitations and create a new space!
So, what can we do to shift our mindset?
Understanding the Limitations
First, we need to find balance. Glorious opportunities, possibilities and successes happen outside the box. For certain, change and growth occur, but there is also (gasp!) the panic zone. Therefore, it’s important to find balance in life based on knowing our limitations and what we can find when we overcome them.
By understanding the results of an experiment (Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson, 1908), we gain a better understanding of stepping outside the zone. They explained that a state of relative comfort generated a constant level of performance. However, to improve performance, we need to experience a certain degree of anxiety by going out and conquering something new, which, in turn, will cause stress/anxiety levels to slightly increase. They called that space “optimal anxiety”; the space right outside our safe zone.
In the Zone
Ms. Delgado further explains, “The concept of comfort zone refers to a psychological state in which we feel safe and do not experience anxiety or fear. It is a “space” that we know completely and in which we control almost everything.
The habits that we follow with assiduity are those that allow us to build that comfort zone since we know exactly what we can expect from each situation. By minimizing uncertainty, we feel that we have everything more or less under control, so we believe we are safe.
To stay within the comfort zone we must avoid the risks and the uncertainty, which means that we adopt a passive attitude towards life. That feeling of security is costly because we are also losing the incentives to live and fall into the clutches of monotony and apathy. That is the reason why we stick to certain places, traditions, habits and/or people, avoiding any element that introduces novelty because it also means uncertainty and chaos. Therefore, we can say that the comfort zone is a space that we have been conquering but that in turn has also conquered us.”
Examples of Stuck
We have become so accustomed to our habits, behaviors and negative self-talk, we don’t realize that over the years, we’ve built a box of limitations rather than one of safety & comfort.
- we aren’t growing
- no motivation or passion; nothing excites us
- the spark of fire in our souls is almost non-existent
- closed-minded to anything that doesn’t fit perfectly within our structured world
- afraid to take risks as we fear more loss than gain
- so into a mundane routine that we have forgotten how new things can bring a state of excitement, jubilation or even euphoria
- isolation due to lack of stimulation
- a feeling of emptiness caused by lack of learning anything new; something is missing but we don’t take steps to correct
Shifting Our Mindset
Remember that question from the first paragraph. What if, we choose to shift our mindset to one of positivity, open-mindedness, and a belief that we have unlimited possibilities and opportunities? We have a choice everyday. To make that choice requires a concrete commitment and declaration. We are going to be stretched in our thinking, things will feel risky, risky is the unknown and the unknown is scary. It might even feel like we are breaking down. This is a good thing: breaking down results in breaking through!
“Breakdown is where the breakthrough is birthed.” ~ Kerry Tepedino
Kerry then led the discussion around all of the reasons we choose not to make a change or shift. And guess what, every last one of them will sound logical. These logical reasons are better known as excuses. So, we need a dynamic plan that we breathe life into daily. Otherwise, we are simply stuck in the not so pretty box.
A New List
Let’s begin with the list from above. We can shift those statements into positive ones:
- I can
- Good things are waiting for me
- Hard work is a challenge that will bring abundant rewards
- I will find the money by focusing on options and solutions
- I will surround myself with a tribe of support (this can be 1 person that believes in us)
- I have a message (or product or service) that I get to share with others
- I have the same 24 hours as the most successful people; I will use my time wisely
- I have dreams and vision, age is simply a number
- I have a passion to learn and to share; everyone starts somewhere
- My message is important to 1 or a million people; I get to share
- I am worthy of success, abundance, money, recognition
- I am enough
- I will not settle for mediocrity in any area of my life
- I am fantastic!
That wasn’t so difficult now, was it? This list brings much more positive energy to our lives.
Next week, we will pick up with keeping a safe place without being trapped by our limits. We will also begin our deep dive into overcoming self-sabotage. Shifting our mindset & perspective is a priority for 2020! Working & learning side by side, we can all grow and we can start a movement that can positively change the world.
In order to prepare for next week, I am asking you to complete two exercises before Thursday, March 12th:
- Create 25 I Am statements. These should not be anything superficial and should focus on your personality and attributes.
- Several of mine for example: I AM a mom, blogger, inspiration, storyteller, approachable & intuitive
- Please share in the comments, our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Make a list of the things holding you back from achieving your goals, dreams, visions. Don’t hold back on writing this list. Set it aside as we will be using it next week.