If there is any single most powerful enemy within your own mind which destroys your goals is your “Comfort Zone”. What is a comfort zone ?
A comfort zone is that cozy, comfortable and familiar “State Of Mind” that we all live in. That so called place which demands every day from your mind to keep the STATUS QUO in your lifestyle. We all have our comfort zones and we all live in it from time to time throughout our lives. My comfort zone may differ from yours. For me, it may be very comfortable as an Investment Banker to do a financial deal deal without blinking twice. Why ? Because I have done them in the past and I have become COMFORTBLE with the idea. My left side of the brain which stores all my memories and experiences has logged into its books that a huge financial deal is very accomplishable. On the other hand, if you ask me to play tennis in public, I might become very uncomfortable because of the fear of losing or the fear of public humiliation. Your creative or your futuristic Right side of the brain does not get in sync with the left side, or what I call the left side of the brain, THE BAGGAGE BRAIN. I call it the baggage brain because it stores all your experiences that you have gathered in your life in the form of memories and any new plans you make, it immediately goes into that data bank of BAGGAGE and tries to compare the would be experience as “Is it Do-able” or not approach. If it feels that there is a slight chance that you may not be able to accomplish what you have set out to do, it will immediately pull you back into your COMFORT ZONE by coming up with genius ways of discouraging you. Forcing you to give up your plans and at the same time NOT FEEL BAD about it as well.
If you look at it in a very broad manner, in my view, even corporations have comfort zones. They do not want to break out of their cycles. The do not want to disturb ongoing sales cycle. If a product is making money, why introduce a new one at this time, even though that they are capable of doing so. Car companies are famous for this. They rarely introduce new models. They live in their comfort zones. Then comes a new company like TESLA and entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, who begin their goal setting process from outside the COMFORT ZONE. They introduce electric cars that beat the conventional car sales even in the luxury class of cars.
Anytime you sit down o set your goals, you mind is constantly working against your own plans. Your mind wants you to set goals that are very DOABLE because it does not want to take on the new challenges. This is the reason that people love setting goal yet dread accomplishing them. It feels great to set goals, day dream about them, take a few steps towards accomplishing them and give up at the first obstacle and repeat the same process over again, your entire life until you become an expert in setting goals and abandoning them. So how does one go about setting goals that you can bring to fruition ?
Set REALISTIC and ACHIEVABLE Goals.
Everything that you want to accomplish in your life has to be in a very systematic manner. A 10 year old child can not set a goal of becoming The President of a country by the time he is 15 but he can surely set a goal to do so by the time he is old enough to run for office.
Do not set goals that just temporarily make you feel great thinking about the outcome. Always look at the ground realities and be ready to defy them in a very logical and systematic manner. Prepare your mind to get out of your comfort zone when setting your goals. In the beginning stages of setting your goals, set goals that are not very far from your comfort zone so your mind does not put up a fight immediately after listening to your goals. Example would be, if you are used to working 9 hours a day, and your new goals require you to work 18 hours a day from the very next day, chances are that you might give up a few months or weeks down the road.
So start your plans in such a way that it gradually requires you to increase your hours over a period of time. As your body and your mind begins to get into that mode slowly and you begin to see the fruits of your labour, the new zone will become your COMFORT ZONE. Don’t jump from your comfort zone to what I call the ADVENTURE ZONE. Adventure Zones are the future zones that thinking about, makes you feel great, increases your adrenaline level, motivates you temporarily and eventually it just becomes an adventure in your mind. You see the side effect of such an activity is so lethal because now your FAILED EXPERIENCE goes into your LEFT BRAIN as your BAGGAGED EXPERIENCE. The next time you begin to set your goals, your subconscious immediately begins to search for similar past activities in your life, it searches and retrieves from your previous experience data bank that you have done the same ADVENTUROUS GOAL SETTING activity before as well, but failed. So your mind draws a logical conclusion that you shall fail again and the moment it comes to this conclusion, however correct or not, it begins immediately to pull you back into your comfort zone. It tells you not to try. It comes up with the most logical reasons to give up.
People leaving their salaried jobs to start their own businesses face such dilemmas all the time. How am I going to support my family ? How are the expenses going to be met ? What if I fail and come back to the job market and not find a job ? What would the world say if I fail….. And the list of negative questions goes on until you are bombarded to the point that you give up and remain happy that you have done the right thing.
Unless you are ready to leave your comfort zone, financially, emotionally, socially and most importantly, mentally, you can be expected to succeed. Once you leave your comfort zone, for a while you will be in a no mans’ land until your new and successful lifestyle becomes your new COMFORT ZONE. And the whole process has to be repeated again if you want to break out of that comfort zone.
The transitional period between the two comfort zones is what normal people call struggling period. And every successful person loves to talk about this struggling period of their lives, only after having found the new comfort zone, not during the process. So all you young and energetic people, take that leap of faith, get ready of abandon your comfort zones with a conviction and a belief that your new and coming comfort zone will be much better than your current one. Instead of missing and hanging on to the one you are living in now, struggle for a while and look forward towards the new and improved Comfort Zone which, I promise you, will be way better than your current one.
by: Mir Mohammad Ali Khan