Perhaps the reason most people don’t achieve their goals is because of a “security” mechanism that’s built in to each and every one of us – otherwise known as the comfort zone. This comfort zone protects you from possible dangers that lurk around every corner which expose possible risks that may threaten your current level of comfort – even if the thing which threatens your comfort zone is success and happiness. What you need to understand is that your comfort zone is not a bad thing if you take control of it.
Below is an image of The Achievement Model™, the area shaded in blue is the comfort zone. You may click the image for a larger size.
The goal of your ultimate security system is not to disrupt your current patterns in life, instead it is automatically programmed to recognize your individual patterns, behaviors and their outcomes – as allowed or “safe” behaviors – so your level of comfort is uninterrupted.
Within this system there are sensors, and they do not discriminate between which outcome/experience is good or bad, they simply alert you with thoughts and feelings which warn you that you are going beyond the perimeters of your comfort zone, and this can be both positive and negative.
Let’s say that you have a full time job (and the income you make is what you and your family depend on), and you were presented an opportunity to leave your job to start your own business doing something that you have a deep passion for…what automatically happens within you? Are there thoughts and feelings that are created when you consider or imagine creating this experience? Are they positive or negative? Maybe you’re feeling both!?!
The type of thoughts and feelings you experience will depend on your comfort zone and the level of security you’ve set up to protect what you have – even if you are consciously unaware of these boundaries. If, however, you become aware of these limitations, you can consciously adjust your own security perimeters to allow yourself to experience and take action on activities that would otherwise have been limited. For the most part, your experiences in life unconsciously pre-program these limiting boundaries for you – and in some cases they are to your benefit.
If, when you were a child, you had a bad experience with a dog – and let’s say that dog bit you which required stitches. And now, even though you are no longer a child, but still to this day you fear being around dogs…would you say this experience created a positive limitation (which was automatically setup for you)? When you were a child it was possibly a good thing (but just for the record, most dogs are very kind animals) – and now that you’re an adult this security perimeter may not be the best for you. It may now limit where you go and what you do – not to mention all of the stress it may cause in your life just thinking about it.
Are You In Control?
So how are these security commands created which setup the perimeter of your comfort zone? Well, most of them are programmed by your belief structure and values system. And they in turn are created through your conscious or unconscious thoughts and experiences. Most of the security commands are unconsciously created by experiences in life, and/or from what other people have communicated to you in the past. What most people don’t realize is that you own the key to disable or change your own security system, whenever and wherever you want – you are in control.
Let’s say you want to start a blog which will generate $5,000 in AdSense revenue for you each and every month. You blog for 60 days straight and the only revenue you make is $1.50. Do you give up because it doesn’t seem like you’re getting anything from your labor? Or do you go by what other bloggers have done and realize that the best blogs took months or years to start making good money? Well, let’s say you decide not to give up, and after another 30 days of blogging and marketing your blog, you make an additional $15.00 – not rich yet but you still keep going. After another 40 days of blogging and marketing you made an additional $1,000.00!?! But what happened?
Through your consistent efforts of blogging, marketing the blog and not giving up, people started to refer others to your site until it began to grow exponentially. You made more money on the 130th day than you did in the first 90 days put together – and by a huge margin! Now, most people would probably quit after the first 90 days because they thought it was too much work and not enough return for what they were doing – all the work that was going into it wasn’t as comfortable as sitting in front of the tv watching their favorite show. Also, what if their blog was a failure? What if it never became successful? Do you think that alarms might start going off within them which might prevent them from continuing?
How many times have you stopped at the mark where you might have actually been successful or happy in life? The sad thing (or good for some) is that you will never know, but the realization is that you may have missed out on the success or happiness of your dreams….
The key is to be aware of the limits you have set for yourself, whether created consciously or unconsciously, and then determine whether those security perimeters are working for, or against, you. Once determined, if your comfort zone is holding you back from achieving success and/or happiness, you need to change your security settings by installing new values and beliefs – values and beliefs that will empower you to create the life you desire with the richness of success and happiness everywhere you go.
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