The “Comfort Zone” & Developing Your True Potential

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best:  “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”  Why? Because it’s the only way we can discover and develop our true potential. Doing something new, different, or challenging can be frightful, especially when it’s acutely uncomfortable. Rather than feel uncomfortable, we do what’s familiar, even when it doesn’t work for us at all.

We want things to be different, yet we’re afraid of change. We’re so terrified of the unknown that doing what’s familiar is comforting, even when the results are unbearable. If we want change, we have to walk through fear. If we stay in the safety of the comfort zone, life will stay the same. Doing the same thing over and over always produces the same results. Life changes only when we change ourselves.

You don’t have to become fearless overnight. You can start small and take baby steps. Here are twelve ways to step out of the comfort zone and overcome fear:

Be curious. Curiosity and fear are incompatible.

Project something wonderful. Rather than obsess about negative outcomes, focus on and believe in the best possible result. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll enjoy your thoughts.

Accept fear. Feel the fear, but do it anyway. Most of what we fear is not as scary as we think.

Imagine the worst possible outcome. What do you have to lose? If you can accept a worst-case scenario, it will help you to take action.

Give yourself kudos. When you feel uncomfortable, remind yourself that you’re also moving forward. Feeling uncomfortable is good; it tells you that you’re growing.

Practice. Do one new or scary thing every day no matter how small. Change your morning routine. Take a different route on the way to work. Walk instead of drive. Habits are addictive; even small changes are uncomfortable, but they’re good practice for the bigger things.

Do what you think you cannot. It usually turns out that we can do many things we initially believed were beyond us. Discovering our untapped inner resources helps us to take on more challenging tasks.

Be open. If doing something new or different doesn’t produce the desired result, it can still expose us to new opportunities and possibilities.

Create a margin of safety. If you’re afraid to ski, take lessons first. If you’ve got a promising but frightening first date, splurge on a great outfit.

Exercise regularly. Working out releases endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins make us feel better and almost always relieve discomfort.

Use fear to your advantage. When fear and discomfort become unmanageable, focus on the pain of staying the same. Make your fear of not changing stronger than your fear of the unknown.

Be willing to make mistakes. Mistakes teach us what doesn’t work and help us to learn what could. Thomas Edison is said to have created more than 1,000 unworkable light bulbs before he ultimately developed a winner.

Change isn’t easy. There’s no way around it. But successful people can provide us with a few helpful tips:

  • Have faith in something bigger than yourself to help you succeed.
  • Never give up on a dream.
  • Accept from the start that change will be difficult.

It’s been said that all limits and most obstacles come from within. Fear, doubt, discouragement, and lack of faith are very powerful adversaries. But if we want to tap into our true potential, we must challenge these demons on a regular basis. The best way to do this is to live outside the comfort zone.

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How To Apply The Law of Attraction

apply the law of attractionWe’ve heard about The Law of Attraction. We’re told that we design our own reality using a limitless creative power of which we’re an essential part. The Law of Attraction is based on the premise that what we think about, we bring about.

There’s plenty of evidence to support the Law. The placebo effect shows that sugar pills can cure illness if a patient believes he’s getting medicine. Quantum physics particles routinely behave according to the predictions of the observer. The experimenter effect occurs when the outcome of a study is affected by what the researcher thinks will happen.

The Law of Karma and the Law Of Cause And Effect state that “as we sow, so shall we reap.” Esoteric principles like “as within, so without” reinforce the notion that our lives are but mirrors of our souls. Twentieth-century teachers like Napolean Hill tell us that thought is the only cause. Jung once said, “‘When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.” The old saying “be careful what you wish for” suggests we have more power than we think.

So why don’t we have what we want? If we accept the premise that the Law is valid, then operational glitches must come from ourselves. Troubleshoot your Law of Attraction program for these user-errors:

1. Give it time. Although the Law can bring instant gratification, we usually have to wait for our thoughts to take physical form. Persist until thoughts become reality.

2. Visualize. Imagination is thought. Visualizing what we want and creating the positive emotions associated with already having it can supercharge the creative process. Studies show that mental practice is as effective as physical practice in improving performance.

3. Accept. Circumstances can’t change when thoughts remain the same. People routinely get divorced only to attract someone else who’s just like the previous partner. Seeing ourselves as victims negates our power of choice. Be open to the possibility that you’ve created your life exactly as it is. What’s the payoff? What will you lose if things change?

4. Practice consistency. The Law responds 24/7 to our habitual and predominant thoughts. Thinking positive every now and then won’t get results. It takes work. Negative thoughts will come, but we can switch to positive thoughts whenever we wish.

5. Be grateful. Gratitude is a powerful tool. When we’re grateful, we’re happy. When we’re happy, we attract blessings. Gratitude is an easy way to replace negative thoughts. When someone cuts us off in traffic, we can be grateful we weren’t sideswiped and disfigured in a collision.

6. Believe. To have something, we must believe it’s possible. Find a way to crack open the closed door of disbelief. If you want a million dollars, consider all the immigrants who started with nothing and became wealthy beyond belief. No matter how outrageous it seems, find a way to believe you can have it.

7. Banish doubt and discouragement. Instead of believing negative self-talk like “I can’t do this, it’s too hard,” put your faith in positive self-talk like, “I can do this if I keep at it.” Maintain momentum. Take baby-steps toward a goal even when the odds are against you.

8. Be vigilant. If we ponder what we don’t want, the Law brings it into our lives. Think only about what you want, pay attention to what you like, and ignore what has no appeal.

9. Try less and let more. Fighting and struggling with negative thoughts gives them greater power. Take a break and think about something else. The relaxed mind is open to pleasant feelings and inspired ideas.

10. Dig beneath the surface. Have you ever gotten what you wanted only to sabotage it? Unfair as it seems, the Law responds to thoughts we’re unwilling or unable to face. We can clear out these “viruses” by becoming aware of our emotions. Persistent feelings of guilt, fear, anger, and low self-esteem can alert us to negative programs that run subconsciously. We can allow ourselves to feel and release these painful emotions without acting on them. We can remind ourselves that “this too shall pass.”

The Law of Attraction works in harmony with a Source that’s greater than ourselves. Whether we call this power God, Allah, or Spirit, we can turn to it for guidance and sustenance at any time. We do not make the Law of Attraction work. We only align ourselves with the Power that created it.

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10 Amazing Lessons I Learned From The Navy Seals

We’ve all heard of the elite U.S. military corps known as the Navy Seals. These men are groomed for up to 30 months to be superheroes. The term “superhero” evokes images of comic book supermen with exceptional abilities who help and protect others, but Navy Seal training evolves ordinary trainees into supermen who are not fictional characters.

Many Seals have a background in athletics, but not all. Men under thirty in good physical condition can qualify. How are these average men transformed into extraordinary creatures? Here are ten important lessons every Seal must master to stay in the game. If you want personal growth, these lessons can help you achieve it.

1. Keep fit. The Seals fitness plan is based on nutrition, exercise, recovery, and consistency. Four to five small daily meals and a balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat keeps energy levels steady. This helps Seals to perform optimally at all times. Workouts and recovery are a daily part of life. This is common sense, but consistency is key. Sticking to a plan every day goes a long way toward maintaining good health.

2. Let go of limits. The extreme training to which Seals are subjected may seem like cruel and unusual punishment. It’s designed to build physical stamina, but the primary lesson is to learn what we’re actually capable of. Although only 20-25% of Seals complete training, those who do are transformed from common men into superior mega-performers, equipped to meet and overcome the most dangerous of challenges, Like Seals, we can refuse to settle for being what we are. Instead, we can challenge ourselves to new levels. This can be as simple as doing one thing every day that we think we can’t do. Over time, this practice builds confidence and a winning mentality.

3. Lose the hysterics. Navy Seals do not act out their emotions. Their community has been called a “drama-free zone.” This doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings like the rest of us. Instead, it means they learn to keep cool under fire. Life presents us with many opportunities to practice poise and master our passions. Stress, challenges, and obstacles come to us every day. Do we train ourselves to respond in an intelligent way or do we react blindly with anger or fear?

4. Learn to be uncomfortable. Seals-in-training have to endure almost every form of discomfort, whether it’s performing at peak levels while exhausted, power-swimming in arctic waters, or deploying underwater demolitions. They learn to ignore unimaginable levels of pain only to learn that it won’t kill them. Seal instructors say that most dropouts have the physical ability to master these discomforts; it’s the pressure they can’t handle. While you may not want to challenge yourself quite so much, you can still use the principle to good effect. Choose to go without one creature comfort every day and train yourself to ignore the pain by focusing on something else. What usually happens is that we’re not as uncomfortable as we thought we’d be.

5. Build mental toughness. Seals must cast out fear and doubt with good reason. Negative thinking is a foolproof way to create failure. Make friends with chaos and accept that it’s part of life. Stop expecting predictability. Focus on the goal instead of the obstacles. A reliable indicator of Seal trainees who make it to graduation is a “never say die” attitude and a determination to succeed at any cost. When you decide to do something, keep going until you achieve it regardless of what gets in your way and no matter how long it takes. Never give up.

6. Become part of the whole. Trainees are taught to think and act as a unit because the power of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Together they accomplish more than even the most powerful individual acting alone. Becoming a part of something bigger allows us to do more than we could by ourselves. Seals also learn to treat others as they would like to be treated. A pat on the back from another trainee can be all an aspiring Seal needs to keep going instead of giving up. A Navy Seal team has never left a wounded member behind on a mission regardless of injury or risk. We can follow their example by refusing to abandon an emotionally wounded friend no matter how hopeless their condition might seem.

7. Pay attention to details. One might wonder why Seal trainees must keep their quarters spotless and dirt-free at all times. One answer is that “the devil is in the details.” On missions, the smallest irregularity can signal imminent attack. Most of us notice and deal with the big stuff; it’s the little stuff that can really do us in. Paying attention to what’s around us can supply information that allows us to head off big trouble. It’s also said that “God is in the details.” Taking the time to notice the little things can bring blessings and opportunities we might otherwise miss.

8. Be prepared. Navy Seals plan for every contingency and routinely confront the unknown. During underwater training an instructor might purposely disconnect a trainee’s air hose to see how he reacts. Instead of panicking, the man learns to calmly reconnect the hose and proceed with the mission. Seals learn to visualize challenges before they occur and to see themselves carrying out a desired action. Visualizing scenarios in which we want to behave differently is a form of practice that can actually help us to change our behavior and improve our performance.

9. Learn to think on your feet. Even the best laid plans can fall apart. What then? Seals have to act quickly. The Extreme Fitness portion of their training gives them an edge in any situation involving physical strength and agility, but sometimes the challenge is mental. A decision must be made immediately. Seals have to do the right thing to the best of their ability without getting stopped. How often do we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by a surprise only to have it overcome us? Taking decisive action when confrontations occur is better than becoming a victim by taking no action at all.

10. Follow instructions. It’s imperative to the success of any mission that all team members pay close attention to orders. Instructors have been known to omit a portion of orders while briefing exhausted men just to see who’s paying attention. Seals can’t afford to miss anything or an entire operation could fall apart. Do we create problems for ourselves and others by not paying attention to what we’re supposed to do? Can we avoid errors by following the direction of those who have our best interests at heart? While it’s tempting to skip ahead in our enthusiasm to get the job done, instructions from reliable sources are there to help us succeed and save us from harm or injury.

While we may not want to be superheroes, we can all be more than we are. Why not challenge yourself to climb higher? Practice the lessons of the Navy Seals to encourage your own untapped potential. You might be amazed to discover superpowers you didn’t know you had.

SEALs BUD/s Training, 2 of 4
SEALs BUD/s Training, 3 of 4
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Are You Smart?

Wisdom is about a lot more than just being smart. Intelligence is, in fact, one of the most unknowable and most difficult to measure things on the planet. It’s not how well you speak or how obscure your knowledge is. It’s not what books you’ve read or where you went to school. Wisdom is none of those things, though they can help you appear smart, surely.

No, Wisdom is that rare ability to take the knowledge that you have and apply it to the world around you. Being smart is not about showing off or doing great things, it is about being true to yourself and your past, being real. Real in the sense of making sense out of life and the events that take place around you.

A smart person is someone who watches the news but realizes that every media market has a slant. A smart person is someone who is willing to learn new things and learn them from anyone they can. A smart person is someone who believes in the power of knowledge, not the knowledge of power.

All that being said, how smart are you?

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Two Simple Steps

What do you want to discover? C’mon, we know you’ve got something- everyone does. It might just be a great deal on your holiday shopping or that perfect pair of shoes to go with your killer outfit, but everyone is looking for something. Maybe you have higher goals and you’re looking to develop a following for your new website or finish your book. It doesn’t matter, whatever you are working on will be aided by a few simple steps.

1. Research

Learn about your subject matter. For some things, it’s easy: you probably already know all there is to know about designer footwear if you’re stalking those 2005 Jimmy Choos on ebay. Other tasks require more work, but the payoff is always worth it. There’s no way you’re going to get visitors to your site if you don’t learn about Google ADSense and Social Media.

2. Work

Nothing is going to get you what you want for nothing. You must always strive to achieve, to accomplish, to create. Deciding that you’ve done enough, that it’s just “not happening” is not an option. Unless you don’t really care in the first place.

That’s really it. I know you were all hoping for some sure-fire cure, some magical list that would give you everything, but this is really all there is: these two things are what it takes, nothing more.

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Psyching Yourself Up

What does it take to make yourself brave? Do you need to psych yourself up in the mirror before a big event or down a can of Redbull? Maybe you’re the sort of person who likes to wear a certain article of clothing to give you courage; a power tie or meaningful brooch. Whatever it is that gives you strength, it’s really not the ritual or the item that gives you the power you need.

Icons and totems have existed for centuries. Ancient peoples would call on their ancestors or heroes to help them through times of trouble. Many tribal peoples would choose an animal or element to represent them or their people as a way to show their focus or uniqueness. All of these things are very similar to the way we encourage ourselves to win or, “psych ourselves up.”

Whether it’s a picture of Michael Jordan or your three wolf moon t-shirt, what you’re doing is not so strange or new. You, like millions of people before you have done, are reminding yourself about what it is that you have within yourself that makes you a winner, that makes you special. And once you’ve realized that, the battle is more than half over.

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Dream Yourself a Perfect Ego

By: Nicola Mar

Nicola Mar is not your average fashion model. Besides for appearing in a plethora of both national and international publications and ad campaigns she also spends a bit of time behind the camera as a photographer and is currently working on a novel. Born in Austria, raised on the Island of St. Maarten and completing college in the USA, Nicola has a very interesting, international perspective on life.  Nicola brings insight and a fresh perspective to everything she does. Without further ado, Nicola Mar:

What are we really doing here on Earth? We work all day. We sleep at night. Many of us go through the same monotonous schedule every single day. We become unhappy. We wish for more money. We crave excitement and hate disappointment. We envy others but are not confident enough to change ourselves. Ultimately, we are all looking for love and approval by others, but many never find it. So what really is the point behind all of this activity we call life?

When you think of the word ‘ego,’ what does it mean to you? As a child and adolescent, I always heard phrases like “Check your ego” or “He’s egotistical”. These were phrases I hoped no one would ever say to me or about me. I found every way to deny that I, too, would occasionally think about my own actions and myself surely and confidently. As children, the only thing we want is to fit in and go unnoticed. We are often not confident enough to stand up to our own opinions. Therefore, we find every way to blend in with others. We shy away from those who are different and dread having someone call us out when we speak our mind. The word ‘ego’ was perceived, then, in a negative light, but, in actuality, the word ‘ego’ simply means, “the ‘I’ or self of any person.”

It is important that we all are aware of our selves. We need to become aware of not only our selves, but also our actions and our actions towards others. Without this awareness, we go through life unable to pursue our true purpose on earth. We keep trying to blend in, to fit in, to pursue something we think is safe and expected of us. We are unable to dream, which means, ultimately, that we are unable to grow, develop and learn. If you are not aware of your self, you will continue going through life believing that all your moods, beliefs, partners, relationships, and friends are completely random and out of your control. You will continue to feel that life is just one exhausting day after another. How can you possibly be aware of what your aspirations and dreams really are when you have no belief in your power to develop them?

The average person has about 75,000 thoughts a day. Many of these, though, go unnoticed, mostly because we are not paying attention to them. We are not listening to our inner self, or ego, and therefore, we end up ignoring everything our minds have come up for us to pursue. However, we do always notice our feelings. This is because every thought produces an emotion that affects our mood. Usually, when we have happy thoughts, we feel good- we feel positive. When we have bad thoughts, we feel sad. Our bad moods are the cause of our negative thinking. But, lucky you! You can change your moods once you become aware of your “self” and learn to channel or control our thinking.

Your “self” is not something that is bad or wrong. It is simply you. It’s your inner being that is there to help maneuver you through life. It is there to guide you through decisions and help you realize your great potential. Everyone is entitled to dream, and to dream big. Don’t be a victim of your bad thoughts.

Next time you are in a bad mood, ask yourself why. Retrace your thoughts and track down the reasons you are being negative. Change your mood into a positive one by visualizing what you want in life and make yourself believe that you can achieve it. Take risks. Don’t limit yourself to small goals you think you might be able to achieve. Don’t ever think of your life as just one big repetitive day. People are born and people die. People come into your life one day and leave the next.

Opportunity is right above your head, following you, waiting for you to realize it and believe in it so that it can be born. Realize your potential. You are not here on Earth to do something you are unhappy doing. We are here to gain wisdom and love, to grow and to protect each other. Becoming aware of your ‘self’ is half the battle won.

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The Wisdom of Solomon

One of the great tales of wisdom is the Biblical story known as the “Judgement of King Solomon.” Put briefly; two women came to the king, both claiming a baby as their own, no proof could be brought one way or the other, so Solomon decrees that the baby be cut in two. One woman begs the king to give the baby to the other woman, so that it will live, the other cries, “if I cannot have the child, no one can.” Solomon, of course, gives the child to the first woman, citing that a true mother feels compassion and love for her child, while the woman who could so callously condemn and infant to death is clearly not it’s mother.

Now, was this really wisdom? Didn’t old Sol just use a trick to get the women to reveal their true natures? It certainly doesn’t sound like he used any preexisting information to come up with his oh-so subtle scheme. Wait now, think about it. What Solomon used is what Hercules Poirot would have called knowing the “psychology of the individual.” The king understood what the women were really fighting about; he knew the liar was not actually interested in having a new baby but in denying her rival the child. Sure, a sane woman would never have allowed for an innocent child to be killed, but the woman we are dealing with here was suffering from the lose of her own child and had already been driven to the desperate measure of stealing someone else’s baby.

So while, on the surface, the story may just seem as a tale of a simpler, more primitive time it really is a great example of how one can use his wisdom to make the right choices.

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