The Point of Hitting the Wall

In the same way that runners commonly hit the wall when running a marathon, there are “walls” we might encounter between us and our dreams.  These “walls” are often part of our comfort zone.

We are the architects of the “walls” around our comfort zones. We gather circumstances to help us construct our comfort zone “walls.” The building blocks of these walls are statements like “I can’t because…” and “I will never be able to do that because…”  (Let me just say that I can speak with considerable authority on comfort zone “walls” because I have constructed a great deal in my day.)

These “walls” can seem very solid and beyond our control to move past.  However, these “walls” are often actually far less substantial and even downright flimsy.   But even a flimsy comfort zone “wall” can remind us when we approach to focus our thoughts, emotions and actions on retreating.

Hitting the “walls” of our comfort zone on our way to achieving our dreams IS THE PITS.  WE JUST WANT TO STOP.  Our comfort zone walls are cleverly designed so that we react in this manner.

The exciting news is that at the point of hitting our comfort zone “walls,” we have the opportunity to learn how to focus our thoughts, emotions and actions on moving forward.

The great thing about moving through a “wall” of our comfort zone is that then we are on the other side of “wall” and living an expanded life closer to our dreams.  (And we can say we have the ability to pass through walls, which is just plain cool.)

Game of the Day

How do you move forward when you hit a “wall” between you and your dreams?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Take A New Way Home From Work Friday

Part of how we maintain our comfort zones is by only seeing the things that fit within the walls of our comfort zones.

I was able to maintain the idea that I was disabled only as long as that was the only reality I saw.

While gazing beyond our comfort zones can be challenging because the edges may be well hidden, we can start this process by developing a practice of seeing new things in our daily lives.  When we see new things, we become explorers of our world, the same as Columbus or Neil Armstrong.  Ok, I admit driving down Forth when you usually drive down Sixth might not be quite as incredible as sailing the ocean blue or walking on the moon but work with me.

We can start this practice of exploring today by simply taking a different way home from work.  On this route, you might notice new building or trees that you find beautiful.  You might see restaurants or stores you have never knew existed.  Within each of these places is the potential for new conversations, possibly conversations that redefine how you view yourself.

All of this could be available just by driving on a street a few blocks down from the one you usually take.

Please bring a map if you don’t know the area you are traveling in well.  Being lost is also beyond our comfort zones but not the point of today’s adventure.

Going a new way home from work may simply be a delightful change.  Drives where we see new things also have the potential to change our lives because we open ourselves to a world that is larger than the one we had previously known, a world beyond our comfort zones.

Game Of The Day

Take a new way home from work today and bring a map if you need one.

From Blanket Forts To Living In The Can Zone

“A ship in harbor is safe– but that is not what ships are built for.”  John A. Shedd  *

I loved the idea of making forts as a small kid.  I remember once getting a bunch of chairs, draping blankets over them, weighing the blankets down with books and creating a fort.  Inside the fort, I existed in a small comfortable world that I had constructed. This world seemed cozy because once I was inside it, I was contained and unable to see beyond the soft walls of my fort.   This fort came down when my parents needed the chairs for our next meal and I moved onto other interests.

One of these interests came to be building a cozy comfort zone for myself.  I would gather some experiences like chairs. Then I would drape a grand belief over the top.

Have you ever built such a comfort zone fort?

The grand belief I draped over the top of my comfort zone fort was that I was disabled because I had a speech impediment and some coordination issues.  Based on my grand belief in my disability, I told myself that people wouldn’t understand me; people wouldn’t like me; people wouldn’t want to be my friend; women wouldn’t be interested in me; and that I wouldn’t amount to much.

I realize that the fortress I created sounds more like a painful place than a comfort zone.  But within this reduced world, I was comfortable because I didn’t have to be responsible for rising to my capabilities and living that life.  Other people would ask me to do challenging things and I could basically say, “I would love to but I can’t because I’m disabled.”  My dreams would ask me to do challenging things and I could push them aside with the same old excuse of “I’m disabled.”

Peter McWilliams points out, “To the degree we are not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us, than we have over ourselves.” **

Our comfort zones can become Can’t Zones.

From my perspective, there a multitude of difficulties with Can’t Zone forts.  I’ll talk about two:

First, our Can’t Zone forts limit our view of the world.  When I was hiding in my blanket fort as a kid, did that mean the rest of our living room and dining room didn’t exist?  Of course not!  I just couldn’t see them because I was hiding behind some blankets.

The same goes for our talents and our potential.  Just because we sometimes choose to hide from our talents and potential, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

The second problem with Can’t Zone forts is that they are flimsy like blanket forts.  Think of a blanket fort.  Somebody bumps into a chair or kicks a book aside and the whole thing comes down.

The exciting thing is this problem is also our access to living in the Can Zone.

For example, now I see my speech impediment as one of my greatest gifts because it allows me to connect with and inspire a wonderful variety of people.  The amazing gift of my speech impediment, more over, provides me a richness of life that I would never have been able to experience had I been born speaking normally.  This is me writing from the truth of my Can Zone.

I did not have to drill for years through rock to realize this truth, I simply had to be willing to lift the blanket off the top of my Can’t Zone fort and see my abilities and the world in an entirely new way.

I’m not saying that this was easy.  My Can’t Zone at one time did very strong because it was the only reality I allowed myself to experience.  It was a reality I was addicted to.

My work of healing was realizing over time that my Can’t Zone was not solid like a prison but simply a blanket fort that I could emerge out of when I was ready to live in my Can Zone.

* quote from quotationpage.com

** quote from thinkexist.com

Game of the Day

Speculate about what beliefs make up your Can’t Zone?

What would your life be like if you emerged from these beliefs to live in your Can Zone?

The Secret to Achieving Extraordinary Results on a Daily Basis

No matter who we are, how much money we have or don’t have, how many times we’ve been or not been to Disney Land, we all have the ability to achieve extraordinary results.

I now define an extraordinary result as any result we achieve that is outside of our comfort zone. I’ve found that achieving Beyond-Your-Comfort-Zone Extraordinary Results is a very effective step towards creating the productive and joyful life that you want.

I spent many years comparing my results to the results of friends, family, and famous people.  I never felt I added up. I would spend lots of time feeling bad about not adding up.  This was a good recipe for many Jason Freeman pity parties, but did not leave me with much energy to feel motivated, joyful and productive.

At last I came up with a new system.

The secret to achieving an extraordinary result is simple.  First you find something beyond your comfort zone, something you want to do that you haven’t done before or done as well before, or done as consistently before or done having as much fun before.  Then you create a way to do it.  And finally you play as you do it.

PLAY is the keyword.  Many times you will succeed at creating your extraordinary result.  Sometimes, you won’t, which will be an invitation to PLAY again.

For example, right now I’m typing on my laptop, which is well in my comfort zone because I’ve been a writer since high school.

And I’m also producing an extraordinary result- I’m writing my first blog entry.  I’ve never been a blogger before.  This is outside my comfort zone and thus an extraordinary result.

 The Game for Today:

Create an extraordinary result outside your comfort zone that you can PLAY at achieving TODAY.

Then Play.  See what happens.  See how your world expands.