You’ve heard the saying “If you’re not reaching your goals or sticking with your commitments, it’s because you don’t want it badly enough.”
This is true…but let me put it in other words for you.
If you are not reaching your goals or sticking with your plans it’s because you are MORE committed to staying in your comfort zone than you are of going outside of it and reaching your goals.
Lisa Lahey, Harvard Lecturer and co-founder of Minds at Work, gives great insight into this.
She suggests that for every goal you set there is also a powerful inclination to NOT reach it. Just as you feel genuinely committed and are aware of your goals (lose weight,delegate more,etc.), unconsciously we are also committed to staying within our comfort zones.
This is because you have fears – fear of failure, fear of what others might say or think, fear of success – and so your unconscious mind is working and letting you expend energy to ensure that your fears aren’t realised by keeping you in your comfort zone.
“What the heck! My own mind is working against me??”
Yes, because it’s there to help you “survive”, just like when you touch something very hot you react very quickly by pulling your h and away – that is survival instinct…but just as you and I know that we can override our unconscious mind and keep our h and on that hot surface if we really wanted to – you can also be aware that you can override you unconscious mind and UN-COMMIT to staying in your comfort zone.
HOW TO UN-COMMIT
To begin to un-commit you need to seriously go through the following questions. Write them down with the answer as this will help to make the exercise more powerful than just simply doing it in your head.
Also be brutally honest with yourself – you can lie to me and others, but if you TRY to lie to yourself (because you really can’t) you’ll begin to lose self respect and confidence.
If you don’t like doing introspective exercises – remember, you need to un-commit from your comfort zone and commit to change…what a perfect way to begin by doing this exercise.
- “What are my goals?” Begin with your short term goals, those that you would like to achieve within the next month or two.
- “What things do I do that work against my goal?” For example, if your goal is to delegate more, and you know that you should be giving a certain task to someone else, but you don’t – that is the thing that you are doing that is working against you reaching your goal.
- “What are my worries and fears if I let go or give up (insert answer from question 2)?” Sticking with the example in question 2, your one answer would have been “Not h anding X task over to others (or a specific person). You would now in question 3, write an answer along the lines of “If I h and over the task to someone else I’m worried they won’t do as good a job as I can do” ,etc. The methodology behind this is that not only do you have fears and worries, but you also have deep commitments to ensure that these fears and worries don’t manifest themselves – this doesn’t mean that your goal isn’t genuine, it means that if you’re not working on reaching your goals, it’s because you are more committed to ensuring your fears aren’t realised.
- “What are my big ASSUMPTIONS (because that is what they are) I have that lead me to keep hold of these unconscious commitments ?” Sticking with the previous examples “because no one can do the work as good as me, the company/I will lose the respect and trust of clients/employee/friends,etc.” Recognise that these are assumptions – you may be right ( and we’ll get to that in the next point) but most of the time they aren’t true and they are just worries and fears.
- “Am I willing to test the accuracy of my assumptions?” As I said before, most of our assumptions aren’t true, but it is necessary for you to test your assumptions because as you do, the vast majority of the time you’ll begin to notice that your assumptions are wrong or not 100% correct and this will become a powerful experience in helping you let go of that assumption and ultimately un-commiting from those unconscious commitments.
THE KEY TO TESTING YOUR BIG ASSUMPTION
The key is to ask yourself “What is the data that i need to know that would allow me to realise that my big assumption is not true?”
Once you know what it is then you need to set out to go and actively find that data to prove your assumption wrong. Too many times we look for the things to prove our assumptions right. The term we usually use is ‘self fulfilling prophecies’ – we believe that something is going to happen and so unconsciously we look for and do certain things to prove that we are right.
This happens mostly for people when they go into an interaction with someone will the assumption that it will turn into a fight and guess what happens…it does! Why? Because more than likely you are not communicating effectively and are saying and doing things to aggravate the situation.
Begin to believe your assumptions are wrong and then go out and prove to yourself that they are wrong.
Only you have the ability to choose to change your life. I know that as you do this exercise and begin to un-commit from staying in your comfort zone and disproving your assumptions – you’ll have greater success in reaching your goals.
Don’t stop being extraordinary!
P.S I’d love to hear what your big assumptions are or what was the number one thing you took away from this article…leave me comment below.
Also, if you want to seriously change your life then check out my eGuide “Go Go Bum Bum Go Go” which will teach you how to take back control of your life, help you always reach your goals and always finish what you start. You can view it by clicking here.