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Are You Settling For Less?

Have you ever found yourself going through the motions at work, where one year rolls into the next and you find yourself settling for less than you are capable of… and for just getting through the day, month or even the year?

Some years ago this was my lot in life.  I was settling for much less than I was capable or deserved in my life.  I had found myself in a job I no longer enjoyed.  I was not being challenged or fulfilled and I knew with certainty that I had so much more to give. 

So why did I stay?  Like so many of us, I was lured by the desire to feel comfortable.  To stay with the devil I knew rather than taking the leap of faith into the unknown. The comfort and certainty of the role that was making me miserable somehow had a hold over me.

Fear was holding me back.  Fear of the unknown, fear of not being good enough, fear of being disconnected from people who I really enjoyed working with.  I had been firmly planted well within my comfort zone for too long and just couldn’t see my way out. 

Ok … so I knew I needed to do something different.  I had talked about it.  I had complained to friends and family that I was bored and unmotivated.  I had toyed with the idea of all sorts of different options… but I had done nothing.  Procrastination was my friend. 

Until enough was enough!

It dawned on me that my life was slipping by and I was just a passenger being taken for a ride.  I was living in the land of mediocre and if I wanted that to change … it was up to me.  So change I did and as they say, the rest is history. 

The number one thing I learnt was that to truly experience life in all its glory we need to consistently step outside our comfort zone.  Yes it is scary, yes it is uncomfortable but the best things in life happen outside our comfort zone. 

The benefits of stepping out of our comfort zone

1. We Experience More Happiness:  We seem to be on a constant mission to experience happiness. When we do something new, unfamiliar or achieve something for the first time we are flooded with feelings of joy and happiness.  Psychologist Tim Pychyl saysWe experience the strongest positive emotional response when we make progress on our most difficult goals.” 

2. We Experience More Growth: The people who grow the most are those that consistently put themselves in situations where they are outside their comfort zone. Growth happens when we step outside what is familiar.  When we fail to grow we find ourselves stuck, spinning our wheels, feeling uninspired and unexcited about life.

3. We Conquer Fear:  Fear holds us back.  It is as simple as that. It stops us from achieving our potential, from doing what we really want in life and keeps us small.  By consistently stepping outside our comfort zone we become stronger, more resilient and more willing to try new things. 

4. We Inspire Others:  To lead, inspire and influence others takes courageous action outside our comfort zone.  People want to follow where others have already been, to model their success and achievement.  Your action outside of your comfort zone will undoubtably influence or inspire others. 

If you want to experience a year that is different from the last then you will need to do something different, step outside your comfort zone and build your capacity to act with courage.  Are you willing to do that?

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” (Nelson Mandela)

Ask yourself

  • Are you settling for less?
  • Are you “settling” and living well within your comfort zone?
  • What would it feel like to achieve what you know you are capable of?

Isn’t it time to stop settling for less.  You are good enough, capable enough and you do have what it takes.  Life is too short to settle. Go out and step beyond your comfort zone.  I can assure you it will be worth the initial discomfort!

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