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Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable





Society conditions us to believe that comfort has value and should be a life goal, but this reduces our motivation to improve and grow. Being comfortable often prohibits us from chasing our dreams. Treat your comfort zone as your home base. A place not to stay in, but to return to after each exciting and growth-filled adventure.


Comfort is a natural state that most people crave. Leaving it means increased risk and anxiety, which can have both positive and negative results. Optimal anxiety is the place where your mental productivity and performance reach their peak. For many, increased performance and enhanced productivity just sound like “do more stuff.” There are significant and life-changing benefits when you choose to break free of your self-limiting beliefs. There are people out there (future clients) who are dependent on you to be brave and step outside your comfort zone. This is your time.


I've found that more comfortable = less desire to grow. During my 25-year career in financial services, I found with success, comes comfort. When I realized I was getting too comfortable, I took action. I would take a course. I would read a new book for inspiration. Or my personal favorite, I would reach out to my mastermind group and set up a time to meet and share ideas. This group provided more value in my career than anything else. I would walk away inspired, energized, and armed with new ideas that I couldn’t wait to share with my peers and clients.


Every new goal you want to achieve can be found outside of your comfort zone. This is a fact. Think about it for a moment. Everything you already have in your life already fits nicely into your comfort zone. The car you drive, the home you live in, and the income you make. You already acquired it so you don’t need to stretch to make it a reality.


But what happens when you want to double your income? Or better yet 10X it? Now you must work harder— or better yet, smarter—to make it happen. You must acquire new skills and knowledge. What got you here won’t get you there.


I want to take you through a journey. A journey that will literally change your life because once you become comfortable being uncomfortable, you awaken the greatness inside of you and you will become unstoppable. Your presence will become commanding. When you show up with your knowledge and expertise and speak to prospects, you are going to disrupt how they think forever. You will not only gain confidence, you will also attract new clients in abundance because they need you and everything you bring to the table.


Before we begin, let’s make sure we understand what we are dealing with: your comfort zone is a psychological boundary you create for yourself (emphasis on “yourself”). You stay within your comfort zone because it includes everything you know and understand. Because of this, comfort zones offer you a sense of control and peace of mind. Getting out of your comfort zone forces you to give up control and familiarity, but in doing so, it allows you to engage in new and exciting professional and personal experiences. You will dispel your fear and replace it with hope.

So now that we have identified the problem, let's work on the solution.


Stage 1. COMFORT ZONE: Low risk = low reward

As human beings we crave comfort, safety, and being in control. These are all great attributes if you are satisfied living a life of mediocrity and being “average”, but you’re better than that. Greatness is within each of us. It’s a matter of choice to unleash our potential onto the world and break the invisible chains that hold us back.


Some people give me the excuse that they are going through something hellish right now so they can’t focus on their future or their goals. Do you want to know what hell really is? Hell is dying and meeting the person that you could have and should have been. Meeting the person you were meant to be, and then spending eternity regretting not taking more risks or applying yourself or simply not being courageous enough to take that tiny step just outside your comfort zone.

Simply put, comfort zones are where dreams go to die.


Stage 2. FEAR ZONE

“You’re thinking of doing seminars and webinars? I know an advisor who lost a lot of money doing seminars."

"Networking? I tried that. Everyone I met was selfish and just looking for business."

Sound familiar?

When you begin to venture outside of your comfort zone, you will enter the fear zone. Your confidence is still low because you’re not quite sure you can do it. You look for excuses not to try something new and you will be affected by others' opinions. This is where most people give up, so it’s important to get past this stage as soon as possible. In my years of business experience, I never once was dissuaded from trying something new by a highly successful advisor. It was always my equals or failing advisors who warned me about the dangers of trying something new.


The lesson here is to get advice from people who are already doing what you want to do. They are the ones who can provide you with the advice and encouragement you need. If I want to learn how to sell large permanent insurance policies to successful business owners, why would I ask the struggling advisors selling term policies? They are stuck in their own comfort zones so of course they’re not going to encourage me or provide valuable advice to help me progress. They are simply not qualified. Surround yourself with OQP (Only Quality People).

Tips:

1. Seek advice from qualified people (successful advisors)

2. Connect with people who inspire you

3. Make the decision to act and just do it


Stage 3. LEARNING ZONE

Congratulations, you’ve made it past the Negative Nancy’s and entered the learning zone. Here is where you will face your challenges head on and discover solutions and systems to progress towards your goals. By acquiring new skills and knowledge, you are automatically expanding your comfort zone. You are filling your brain with solutions to your challenges.


You’ve discovered that there are a lot of advisors who are already doing what you want to be doing. Now, it’s just a matter of reaching out to them and setting up a call or a coffee meeting. There’s a saying that goes “experience is the best teacher.” WRONG! Experience is a substitute teacher. Wisdom is the best teacher. You can’t live long enough to make all the mistakes. Work with advisors who have already made all the mistakes and learn from them. If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you, but if you’re willing to learn, no one can stop you. Become unstoppable.

Tips:

1. Find a mentor

2. Offer up 50% of your compensation for them to teach you what they know

3. Become a sponge and absorb as much knowledge as possible from your mentor. Be coachable and listen. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use them proportionally


Stage 4. GROWTH ZONE – Living a life of purpose

The growth zone is where the magic happens. What was once considered hard now barely registers on your anxiety meter. You are hitting your goals and you have a clear plan for how to achieve even bigger objectives. You wake up feeling exhilarated to start your day. You work a full day and come home full of energy and excitement as you reminisce about how amazing your conversations with prospects went. Even though you put in a solid ten hours of work, you come home full of energy and eager to share your successes with your friends and family.

Tips:

1. Discover your “WHY” (why are you in this business?)

2. Track your goals and constantly revise them upward

3. Pay it forward; become a mentor for someone else.


You need to leave your comfort zone. Comfort is the enemy of progress. It’s not difficult once you get started, but you have to get started. Nothing works until you work, so let’s get to work. Wear your watch on the opposite wrist, try that new restaurant. Better yet, invite your future mentor to that new restaurant and discuss how you can both benefit from a joint venture together. Provide a world class experience to your clients. You don’t have a J.O.B. (just over broke); you’re in business and you need to create a customer service experience so good that you can’t be ignored. Prospects will gravitate towards you. You will create a reputation and you will be like a magnet, attracting your ideal clients.


Words of wisdom:

Before you can become an expert on anything, you must first become an expert on yourself. You turn into what you tune into. You can’t control the thoughts that come into your mind, but you can control the thoughts that you dwell on. It’s a choice. Turn off the news and turn on content that will feed your brain with motivation and inspiration.

Growth comes at the expense of comfort, so get comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s not about getting out of your comfort zone to reach your goal. It's about widening your comfort zone so far that your goal fits comfortably inside. Once you do that, hitting your goals will become easy.

How to move outside your comfort zone

Trying something new can be difficult at first, but you can take steps to prepare yourself. As a financial advisor, take these steps to grow:

  1. Identify your niche market.

  2. Have a clear plan.

  3. Write down your goal.

  4. Take the first step.

  5. Keep a positive mindset

  6. CANI (constant and never-ending improvement); Moving out of your comfort zone should be a constant endeavor. It should be looked at as a journey, not a destination. Your professional and personal growth will become easier as you overcome one fear and take on another. It’s all about momentum, mindset, and confidence. As you level up your prospecting skills, you will notice you are leveling up as a person. As your confidence grows, so will your competence. As your competence grows, so will your comfort zone. What once seemed daunting and overwhelming now looks like just another challenge to conquer on your way to building and living the life of your dreams.

  7. Identify your niche market. The more you know about your market, the less scary it becomes. You can overcome your fear by doing research to reduce any uncertainty or—better yet—find a mentor who can act as a guide to help you navigate your new market. You will now have a clearer idea of what to expect and how to prepare.

  8. Have a clear plan. If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail. Find out where you can find your ideal prospects. Groups, clubs, associations, events, etc. Then create an action plan for the best ways to communicate with them. Seminars, webinars, calls, email, advertising etc.

  9. Write down your goal and share it with key people. Declaring your intention to depart from your comfort zone can help you gain the support you need to stick to your plan. Tell key members of your family and supportive friends about your goal. This will keep you accountable to others and you are more likely to stick with it. Do NOT share your goals with people who will doubt you or try and talk you out of it. Sometimes the people who love us most are the ones who hold us back. They think they are protecting us from failure and disappointment. You’re beyond that now. You understand failure is an integral part of success. Embrace failure for what it is: an opportunity to learn and grow. When you venture outside of your comfort zone there are only two possible outcomes. You will either win or you will learn. And when you don’t win, you keep learning until you win. Tell yourself this venture will not end until you win. Success is your ONLY option, and your ONLY outcome.

  10. Take the first step. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it’s imperative that you take that first step. Taking actions will familiarize you with the new situation and help you gain the confidence you need to achieve your goal. Speak with an ideal prospect about what their problems are. Not because you want their business but because you’re seeking to understand. There should be no pressure to impress or provide advice. Just a simple conversation that will allow you to better understand the problems you need to solve for your clients.

  11. Once you leave the safe harbor of your comfort zone, you must overcome the negative feelings that may prevent you from achieving your goals. While you should prepare yourself to face unfavorable situations, remain positive and convince yourself you can handle any negative outcome. Negative situations are valuable opportunities to learn and grow. Motivation is like grooming—it’s required daily. Watch inspirational videos or write down quotes that resonate with you. Follow social accounts of positive people.

Optimal Anxiety

Routines can be stable and comforting, but they can also turn stale and confining over time. All those inspirational messages telling you to break out of your comfort zone aren’t just trying to sell you bungee cords. Doing something new and potentially frightening helps stave off burnout and is good for your brain.


In order to maximize performance, we need a state of relative anxiety. A space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal. This space is called “optimal anxiety” and it’s just outside our comfort zone. Too much anxiety means we’re too stressed to be productive and our performance declines. The idea of optimal anxiety isn’t anything new. Anyone who’s ever pushed themselves to get to the next level or accomplish something significant knows when you really challenge yourself, you can do amazing things. However, pushing too hard can cause negative results, and reinforce the feeling that challenging yourself is a bad idea. It’s our natural tendency to return to an anxiety-neutral, comfortable state.

I would suggest staying focused on all of the amazing benefits you will get from stepping outside your comfort zone. You’ll be more productive. Comfort is the enemy of productivity because without the sense of unease that comes from having deadlines and expectations, we tend to do the minimum required to get by. We lose the drive and ambition to do more and learn new things. We also fall into the “productivity” trap where we pretend shuffling paperwork around or reading emails is productive. Unless you are communicating with clients or prospects, what you’re doing is not productive. "Not productive" doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Keeping a compliant practice is very important, just not productive. Delegate as much as possible and focus on truly productive tasks.

Changes and challenges in the future will become easier and less stressful. Learning to live outside your comfort zone will prepare you for life changes that inevitably come with a successful career and a fulfilling life. As you take on and conquer new challenges, future challenges become easier to deal with. “Productive discomfort,” as they call it, becomes more normal to you, and you’re willing to push further before your performance falls off. You are building momentum, or as some people call it, “The Big Mo”.

You will become more creative. Seeking new experiences, learning new skills, and opening the door to new ideas inspire us and educate us in a way that little else does. Trying new things can make us reflect on our old ideas. A positively uncomfortable experience can help us brainstorm, see old problems in a new light, and tackle the challenges we face with new energy.

Now that you know how to conquer your fears and live outside of your comfort zone, I’m going to explain why it’s important to return to your comfort zone regularly. You can’t live outside of your comfort zone all of the time. You need to come back from time to time to process your experiences. The last thing you want is for the new and interesting zone to quickly become commonplace and boring. There is a natural tendency to be impressed by new things only to have the incredible become ordinary after a short time. In one way it drives us forward, but in another it keeps us from appreciating everyday experiences. This is why you need to practice gratitude. The key to true happiness in life is your ability to be grateful for everything that happens in your life both, good and bad.

Never underestimate small beginnings, and don't belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go onto the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it's a big deal. Yes, it can be tiring to be outside of your comfort zone for extended periods of time, but as you grow and level up as a person, your comfort zone will expand to include so many amazing accomplishments and experiences. Think of your current comfort zone as a pond. Everything inside that pond is familiar and safe. As you push the limits of your comfort zone, your comfort zone will become the size of a lake and as you continue on your path of CANI, you will wake one day to discover your comfort zone is the size of an ocean. What once made you recoil in fear is now second nature and done with ease. Similarly, don’t limit yourself to big experiences. Maybe yoga pushes you out of your comfort zone just as much as bungee jumping. You will want to learn what you’re capable of. That’s another reason why it’s important to return to a comfortable state sometimes and just relax. Just don’t forget to bring back as much as you can carry from those inspired, creative, productive, and slightly uncomfortable moments when you do.

There are three things you must do to be successful:

  1. Change your mindset; you don’t get what you want in life, you get what you are.

  2. Practice OQP ; you are the sum of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time.

  3. Develop your communication skills because once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.

Most importantly, don’t forget this process is a journey, not a destination, so do yourself a favor and enjoy the ride. Your prospects are struggling and looking for you. Make it easy for them to find you.


Unleash your greatness!

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