Episode 9 – It’s Time To Get Out Your Comfort Zone!
Hello and welcome to the show! Today I want to talk about what I call “releasing the brakes” Have you ever been driving your car and suddenly realise you have been driving with the brakes on? What action did you take? Did you push down on the accelerator to overcome the drag? No of course not, you just released the brakes and with no extra effort whatsoever you increased to the speed you wanted.
I feel that many people go through life with their psychological hand brake on for want of a better metaphor, holding on to negative images of themselves. They are still suffering the mental and emotional effects of some powerful experiences that they have not yet resolved or released or let go of.
They stay in a comfort zone entirely of their own making, holding on to those limiting beliefs or they are harbouring guilt or self-doubt. So what happens is that when they try to achieve their goals, these negative images and programming, and comfort zones appear and cancel out all their good intentions-no matter how hard they try.
On the other hand, the successful people out there have realised that instead of using increased willpower to power up their success, its simpler to just release the brakes, by letter go of all that baggage and replacing their limiting beliefs with new positive images, releasing negative emotions, like fear, anger, resentment, and shame.
Another way to look describe your comfort zone is to look at it as a prison you live in, a self-created one. Now that makes you think a little differently, doesn’t it??! As I have mentioned in previous episodes its been programmed into you throughout your lifetime with the collection of can’t, musts, must not, and other totally unfounded beliefs formed from all the negative thoughts and decisions you have made in the past.
Think of it like this, a baby elephant is trained at birth to be confined to a very small space with a rope attached to its ankle. It tries to get away but realises that he or she can only go so far. The baby elephant is confined determined by the length of the rope. The elephant’s comfort zone. When the elephant grows into a 5-ton elephant, it can easily break the rope but doesn’t because it has been programmed to think that it cannot break the rope. This is how the largest elephant can be confined by the puniest little rope. Perhaps this is you, except your rope is made up of those limiting beliefs and images that you absorbed when you were young.
If this is you, I have great news, that you can easily change your comfort zone in four different ways:
- You can use affirmations and positive self-talk to affirm already having what you want, in other words stating a sentence in the present tense as if already having received or achieved your goal.
- Start creating new internal compelling positive images of having, doing and being what you want.
- There’s a revolutionary technique call Tapping Therapy
- You simply change your behaviour.
You need to stop re-creating the same experience over and over. We tend to create this endless loop of reinforcing behaviour which will keep us trapped in this constant downward spiral. All these limiting thoughts create images in our mind which in turn govern our behaviour, which then reinforces that limiting thought.
If you think you are going to forget important points in tomorrow’s presentation at work, this thought will stimulate a vision of you forgetting key points in your presentation. The image creates a vivid experience of fear. Clouding your clear thinking with this fear makes you forget your key points, which of course, in turn, reinforces your self-talk, which is something we all do. You will say to yourself “I knew I would forget what I was supposed to say, I can’t speak in front of groups.
As I have mentioned before in previous episodes we must start focussing totally on what we want and where we want to be instead of complaining about our present circumstances. If we continually talk, think, and write about how our situations are at the moment, we are just going embed those neural pathways in our brains that got us where we are today. Therefore your situation is not going to change unless you change these images. One major thing you need to do now is totally flood your unconscious mind with the thoughts and images of the new reality.
Your comfort zone tends to work in a similar way to a thermostat does in your home. You set a certain range of temperature comfort so the thermostat sends a signal to the appliance to turn it on or off. As the temperature in the room changes, it continues to respond to the changes and keeps the temperature within that desired range. You have an internal psychological thermostat that regulates your level of performance in the world. So instead of these electrical signals used with the thermostat, your internal performance regulator uses discomfort signals to keep you within your comfort zone. So what happens is that when your behaviour or performance begins to approach the edge of that zone, guess what happens, you begin to feel uncomfortable. You are actually experiencing something outside the self-image you unconsciously hold, so, your body sends you messages of mental tension and physical discomfort to your whole system.
So what do you do? You unconsciously pull yourself back into that safe place, which is your comfort zone.
I’ll use money as an example. There are some that are comfortable having $5000 in their savings account in the unforeseen should happen. However, there are others who are uncomfortable if they don’t have at least 6 months of income in their bank account. Then there are others who are comfortable with no savings and a credit card debt of $25k.
If for some reason the person with the six months savings is hit with an unexpected medical expense of $15,000, he or she will change their spending pattern, work some more overtime, or even have a garage sale, they will do whatever it takes to get his savings back to where they were before that large expense.
There is doubt you have heard about lottery winners who lose, spend, squander, or give away all of their newfound money within a few years. I’ve done some research that stated that in Australia 90% of lottery winners lose the lot in the first 12 months and in the United States 80% of lottery winners file for bankruptcy within 5 years. And the reason that they lost it all is because they failed to develop a millionaire mindset, and as a result, they subconsciously re-created their previous reality and previous mindset. They are actually subconsciously feeling uncomfortable with so much money and they eventually find a way to get back to their old and familiar comfort zone.
It’s like when you walk down a street with expensive designer stores and you walk in and immediately feel like you don’t belong there, you feel out of place, well, that’s your comfort zone in operation.
I want to talk about affirmations. If you don’t know what an affirmation is I’ll be explaining it in great detail for you.
Now, once you have a goal, what I do and what I teach and what I practice and what seems to work is to have an affirmation to go with each goal.
One way to stretch that comfort zone and make it go further is with affirmations, bombarding your subconscious mind with new images and thoughts, a large bank balance, a slim and healthy body, wonderful friends, a new and exciting occupation, holidays that create wonderful memories – imagining of all your goals as already complete.
To make your affirmations more powerful, there are guidelines to ensure you construct them in the right way.
Firstly you need to start with the words I AM or if you are a group WE ARE. When you start with the words I AM or WE ARE the subconscious takes it as a command – a directive to make it happen.
So if you keep saying I’m ugly, I’m fat or I’m poor, the unconscious says oh “you want poor, I’ll give you poor”
You think you’re describing your current reality, but what you are really doing is prescribing the future. Because what you’re describing now becomes your future.
You don’t want to become so unrealistic that you’re not in touch with the real world, but you want to only have one foot in that world and one foot in your vision. Focus on your vision, moving toward your vision, thinking about your vision, talking about your vision, acting as if.
Always use the present tense, construct the sentence in such a way that you already have what you want, it has already been accomplished. State it in the positive.
I’ll give you an example,
WRONG: I am going to buy a new Mercedes AMG
RIGHT: I am enjoying driving my new Mercedes AMG
Next, make sure you state in a positive sense, affirming what you want and NOT affirming what you don’t want. Remember that the unconscious mind doesn’t hear the words not or no. Meaning that the sentence “Dont touch the hotplate” is actually heard as “Touch the hotplate” because your unconscious is always thinking in visuals and pictures so that the words don’t touch the hotplate, uncovers a picture of touching the hotplate.
Saying to your child don’t forget to do your homework, what you want to say is remember to do your homework. State things in a positive way.
Using the phrase “I am no longer afraid of talking in front of people” creates an image of being afraid of talking in front of people, while the phrase “I am enjoying talking in front of people, uncovers an image of enjoyment.
Also, remember to keep your affirmation as brief as possible while utilising all the guidelines I mention here. Think of it as an advertising jingle, you can act as if each word has a certain dollar value. Make it short and memorable so it will flow easily for you when you are saying it out loud.
And make it specific, because vague affirmations will certainly create vague results.
Say out loud: I am driving my new Mercedes AMG, as opposed to I am driving my new red sports car.
Make sure you include a word ending with ING, an action word describing what you want which will invoke an image of you doing it right now.
WRONG: I am running successful workshops
RIGHT: I am happily running successful workshops.
Another thing you should include is a powerful emotion or a feeling word. Create your affirmation by including your emotional state that you would be feeling if you had already achieved your goal. Some examples of those words would be, proudly, happily, calmly, lovingly, joyfully, enjoying,.
WRONG: I am maintaining my perfect body weight of 65 kilos.
RIGHT: I am feeling wonderful and alive and maintaining my weight of 65!
Do you notice how the last one has the ring of an advertising jingle? Your subconscious loves rhythms and rhymes. Do you ever wonder why you can remember jingles from decades ago that had a great ring to them? For me it’s Loui the fly, the Mortein commercial, I could easier sing the whole song for you now, which I won’t because you’d be totally scarred for life.
So remember the subconscious absorbs them so much easier and finds them easier to remember!
Why is that that kids can’t remember history but can remember the lyrics to so many songs.
It’s the power of several things, it’s the power of rhyming, like rap singers, their rhyming, there’s rhythm, and where’s there’s music it is repeated and repeated and repeated. That’s how we learn, but repetition.
So when you are writing down your affirmations make sure that you write them for you and not for someone else, what I mean is that you should be writing them about your behaviour and not the behaviour of others.
WRONG: I am watching Sarah clean the dishes.
RIGHT: I am successfully communicating my needs and wishes to Sarah.
And the last guideline for creating affirmations is that you need to add the two words “Something better” or “Someone better” depending on what your affirmation is. So if it is a specific situation like a holiday or a job or a material object like a house car or boat, use something better. If it is a relationship like a husband, wife or child, use the words, someone, better. Sometimes we are limited in our knowledge that there may be something or someone better out there to help us so let your affirmations include this phrase when you find it appropriate.
An example might be: I am enjoying living in my luxurious beachfront villa on the Amalfi Coast in Italy or somewhere better.
OK, so now you have completed your affirmation, what do you do now?
Well, there are six things you need to do now and don’t worry they’re not time-consuming, this is the fun part.
- Review them three times a day, morning, middle of the day and before bedtime.
- Read them out loud, this helps the subconscious believe it has already been achieved.
- Close your eyes and visualise yourself as described in the affirmation. One thing you need to remember is that when you visualise you need to visualise it from your own eyes, and not you see yourself in the distance. You are actually looking out from yourself as if you are actually living it.
- Listen out for any sounds you may hear when you successfully achieve what you want, the roar of the crowd, the sound of the sea, the national anthem being played, this is where you can also include important people in your life with them congratulating you and telling you how proud they are of you and your success.
- And this is really important, you need to feel the feelings you would feel once the goal was achieved. The stronger the feelings the more powerful it is, keep doing this and the subconscious thinks that it has already been achieved so it gets to work.
- Say your affirmation out loud again, then repeat this process with the next one and this will complete the process.
In my workshops, I like to mix it up a little bit by getting my participants to get up and walk around and share their affirmations with other participants individually. Taking affirmations from just a verbal sharing to something that is more physically embodied. They stand up and walk around and share their affirmations with each other so that then, there is a declaration being made, as well as a physical movement happening at the same time. It’s a great way to get energised, because when you have been doing affirmations or writing goals, it’s a mental process and you’re working on getting them stated correctly, so your brain’s working really hard to get it right, so its a great exercise to get people moving into a more kinaesthetic activity. It moves people and increases the energy in the room and also embodies these words into the cellular structure of the body, rather than just being a mental construct.
There are so many ways you can use your affirmations.
You can place small index cards with your affirmations on them around the home
Hang pictures of the things you want around your home or room you can even put a picture of you in the picture.
You can repeat your affirmations during downtimes, such as when you’re waiting in line for something, exercising, or driving. You can do this silently or out loud.
Another great idea is that you can record yourself saying your affirmations and listen to them while you drive, exercise, or even when you’re falling asleep!
Put your affirmations as a screen saver on your computer, you can put them on your smartphone so every time you use your phone, they are right there in front of you!
I hope that’s helped you understand affirmations and how to use them in a more powerful way.
You can also go to yourroadtosuccesspodcast.com.au where you can go to the free resources section of the website and download The “Steps to Successfully Create Powerful Affirmations” in PDF format and you can even print it out and always have it with you for reference.
Also, I would love it if you could leave a review wherever you listen to this podcast and if you know of someone who would benefit please share it with them or send them the link, that way I can get it out to more ears in the podcast world.
That’s it from me, thanks for listening and have a successful week!