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Learn More–Outside of Your Comfort Zone January 25, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Learning, NLP.
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In the Outcome Model of NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP), one of the important questions to ask someone who needs help achieving a goal is:

What stops you?

One day when I was contemplating all my lofty writing goals, I asked myself that question and was surprised by the reply:

Comfort

What the….?

I decided that I must have heard myself wrong. But over the next few weeks, the truth slowly seeped into my brain. It was true: comfort was holding me back.

We live in a time when comfort is the ideal state. That’s partly why we’re fat and out-of-shape. It’s just SO easy to kick back in that Lazy Boy with the massaging cushions and eat our favorite snacks while watching our favorite TV shows. Sounds like heaven, right?  Who in their right mind would want to breathe hard or make their muscles hurt? Who would want to get up at the crack of dawn to think really hard?

But in the end, if you want to improve in any way, if you want to learn something new, if you want to reach that goal, that dream you’ve had since you were 7, you have to get up off that Lazy Boy and step out of your comfort zone. You have to write an extra hour in the evening. You have to do and think when you’d rather watch re-runs of Everyone Loves Raymond. You have to get up an hour earlier when you know you really need the extra sleep. And you have to put yourself in situations that scare the BeeGees out of you.

When most of us think about learning, we think of signing up for a nice class in a comfy classroom, where we can let the teacher do all the work while we fill up on free food at breaks and lunch. But we whine about situations where we’re really learning. You know those times when the challenges seem insurmountable, the clients are demanding, and we’re faced with long, hard hours of work, work, work. We forget that it’s during those times that we’re learning the most. Those demands and challenges are the catalysts we need to leap to the next level of performance.

So, the next time you’re feeling uncomfortable–scared, tired, burdened–be happy. You’re probably learning! And if you ignore that little voice in your head that’s begging you to run back to the safety of your Lazy Boy, you will reach your goals. And you will look back and realize that all those “hardships” were worth it, and you’ll start looking for more.

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