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How to Smash Through Your Comfort Zone Like a Boss8 minute read

The first trick for smashing through your comfort zone is to focus on yourself and where you could be a year from now.

We should not judge people, or ourselves, by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started

Henry Ward Beecher

Where will you be a year from now if you start working on who you want to become today? Will you be the sexy, confident man that you’re meant to be and others admire?

Or more importantly, where were you a year ago?

What kind of goals did you have, and did you achieve any of them?

It’s okay if the answer isn’t what you would like it to be. Life is tough and breaking through your comfort zone can be daunting. After all, it evolved to help keep us safe.

Sadly, staying safe will not get you what you want.

Comfort Zone Basics: Getting What You Want

If you want to break through your comfort zone then focus on what you want
Think this kid was worried about their comfort zone before digging into that cookie dough?

Upgrading your life is tough, life gets in the way and we all have things that we have to get done yesterday. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

And yet, we all have the same amount of hours as Leonardo DaVinci, or Bill Gates or anyone else who made something out of their lives. But what makes them so different from the rest of humanity? And how can we find the motivation to make the marks in history they have?

What Makes The Difference

We’ve talked about the power of habits (part 1 and part 2) and how they can help automate our lives into success. There is just one more thing left to talk about: and that’s finding the motivation to keep going when things get tough.

Which they will…

It’s all well and good to have habits and to keep focusing on what you want. But now, we need to help make our dreams more tangible. Something that we can truly achieve as well as something that lifts us up in our worst moments. In those moments where all we want to do is scream at the world and give up. To be perfectly honest, I’m writing this just as much for you as I am for me. It’s a technique that I’ve found works wonders, even for right now. Right now when I’ve had too many chocolate chip cookies for any sane person trying to be healthy…

The technique is this: remind yourself where you used to be, and try to imagine where you will be in the future.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Always look back to see how far you’ve come

Whenever someone is trying to upgrade their lives in some way there’s one thing that they should always do. Doesn’t matter what they’re trying to do. Whether it is with women, with a new skill or even fighting depression.

That one thing is this: remind yourself of where you used to be and where you are now and pick apart the differences.

For example; whenever I was trying to get better with women I saw some slow results (much like I am right now in my business life). But progress did happen. Slowly but surely, and sometimes not even in the way that I wanted.

But there were experiences that could be used. Experiences to be used whenever quitting seemed like the rational thing to do and the siren’s call of junk food sings so sweetly…

There would be this negative thought “Nobody wants you. Nobody will ever want you”.

Those are awful thoughts, and not at all useful in trying to reach any goal, especially with women (which was big on my list at the time). Is this something that you can relate to? Trying to upgrade your life only to have an enemy in your own mind?

There you are trying to do something great in your life and in the back of your mind, there’s this little voice. This little voice that picks at you, always telling you these terrible things. Things like “This will never work” or “You’re a failure/loser”. Plus there’s always the naysayers that you’ll encounter in your life, which is sometimes just as hard to deal with. But on top of that, you have to contend with your own brain doubting you while trying to learn something new!

It’s difficult to push through. Sometimes it’s hard to even want to try.

What to Do

Here’s what I did and what I continue to do: use stories and experiences.

At first, until you get your own experiences, find role models that are already succeeding in ways that you want to. If you don’t have your own stories yet, then you’ll have to use other people’s stories (the people from this list can help). Because there are people out there that started out exactly where you are now and got to where you want to go. Sometimes they were in an even worse starting position!

Use them as examples whenever possible.

When you start feeling like it’s never going to happen, remind yourself of your role models “Well, blank was where I am now and look at him now!” If you keep at it, you will start getting your own small wins.

Sure, they might not be earth-shatteringly amazing; yet. But you have to work with what you have.

Whatever it is doesn’t actually matter. The only thing that matters is that it’s progress. It will give you the evidence that what you’re doing is having a positive effect.

The First Step Through Your Comfort Zone

In the beginning, sometimes this is all we can hope to cling to. Find those small wins at first and sear them into your brain. Because whenever a terrible thought goes through your brain you’re going to need those experiences. This is because the brain thrives on stories and personal experiences. The more that you can build up, the more proof that you will have to fight against discouraging thoughts.

Using myself as an example again:

Nobody will ever want you

Brain

What are you talking about, brain? I’ve had a few dates already whereas before I had never been on a date! Sure, it’s not where I want to be yet but I am at least getting better. There is a little bit of progress. If I keep at it then I can get more progress

Me, like 50 times a day

It took some time, but eventually, I cracked the Tinder code and could schedule dates whenever I wanted. And the same will happen to you if you keep reminding yourself of your victories.

Sometimes the Tinder code involves staring into a sunset

Because remember this:

We human beings are amazingly adaptable. Most of the time this is a good thing, but whenever we are trying to make progress it becomes a bad thing. That’s because we adapt to our new situations or levels in a skill we’re trying to build. We reach a new step and suddenly that next step is normal (and we can see this same thing in levels of happiness with people who won the lottery).

People seem to have a baseline in their lives that they return to, despite anything that happens to them (while any personal work has more lasting effects, though there are always exceptions in both categories).

The only way to overcome that is to force ourselves to look back. Look back to where we were a year ago. Because if you automate your habits, keep your eye on the goal that you want and how to get there, then you will see progress. Sometimes, you just have to force yourself to see it.

But that’s not the only thing we can do to cheat human nature a little bit…

The Next Step to Busting Through Your Comfort Zone

There’s another technique that goes hand-in-hand with looking back. And that’s to look forward to the future. There was an awesome quote that I heard but can’t remember where I got it from. It goes something like this::

If you want to be better at something today, borrow the mindsets and skills from your future self of tomorrow Tweet This

What does that mean?

What it means is this:

Whenever you feel like you’re in over your head, or want to give up, think about where you will be a year from now. Or even 10 years from now if you just keep going. That person that could be your future, what will he think? What will he be like? You can get there, you can become that person, but not if you give up.

Whenever these feelings start to overwhelm you, what would this future version of yourself do? Is he going to freak out over a few obstacles? Or is he going to know what to do and how to succeed? How would he tackle these obstacles?

That last part is extremely important. How would he approach the problems you are now facing? What are his thoughts about it? Try to keep these things in mind and then borrow from him.

All The World’s a Stage

Act as if you have already achieved what you want, try to play the part of your successful self. Take the confidence of your future self and use it for yourself right now. The you of the present!

You can get there, but until you actually do manage to get there then slip into the role of who you could be.

That might mean pretending to be better than you actually are until you get there. That’s fine as long as you’re only faking the confidence. Don’t fake credentials or memories or who you are as a person because that doesn’t help you.

The effect that we’re aiming for is to trick your brain.

Your brain might be freaking out about how you’re not ready for *insert anything here* that you’re trying to do. Your brain is scared and it’s trying to hold you back into your comfort zone.

One way to get passed this and get out of your comfort zone is to pretend that your comfort zone is bigger than it actually is. Here is a picture to help give you a visual idea of what you should aim for:

Comfort Zone of Your Future Self
The three different versions of your comfort zone

Pretend that you’re living in a play and the character that you are playing is your future self. In business how would your future self figure out what you need to do next? Would they get scared about talking to a lead or would they courageously move forward because they’ve already seen results before?

You can take this future projection and use it for ANYTHING.

Just remember to take that feeling of confidence in your future self and use it for whatever it is that you need to.

Just don’t give up and keep moving forward.

Where could you be a year from now if you keep trying?
-Alexander

Comfort Zone Re-Cap

Comfort Zone Re-Cap

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