Mar 23, 2007
Step 1: Come on in, the Water's Fine
© 2007 by James Arthur Ray
What have you gotten yourself into...
It's been three weeks since you began your new fitness plan, and you're starting to dread that drive to the gym, going through the motions once you get there, and resenting the time it takes for the whole sweaty business. Is this really all that important?
If you had more money maybe you could buy muscles...
Taking control of your finances seemed like the right thing to do until you sat down at your desk last night, worked on organizing your files and balancing your checkbook, and got totally overwhelmed. Isn't there an easier way?
And you know how kids are...
Your teenage son has been having problems with some friends at school, but it's a catch-22: you know that if you bring it up and try to help him through it, it will be tense. Frankly, it's much more appealing just to keep the peace. Will it make a difference, anyway?
It's really not that bad... It could be worse...
You know you ought to leave your job and move on to greener pastures, but who's to say you'll find anything better?
If any of these scenarios strikes you as remotely familiar, you know what it means to hit the "terror barrier" — that defining moment when you are challenged to move outside your comfort zone and you don't feel like it. Not one bit. So it's a struggle between one impulse (to just lay low) and another impulse (to follow through).
The fact remains: If we want to reach the goal, whatever that goal is, at some point we must get out of our comfort zone and enter uncharted water.
But how do you do that...
How do you blast past the Terror Barrier?
You run out into the water, lured by the beauty of the ocean and the excitement of an invigorating swim. A little way out, the waves start breaking on you, repeatedly nudging you back toward shore... Sometimes with such force that they knock you right off your feet. You might want to give in and just let the waves carry you back. It's hard work getting through the rough surf. But when you plunge forward and keep swimming, soon enough, the waves are breaking behind you.
And a crystal blue infinity lies before you.
Whenever we move off in a new direction, we predictably are beset by waves of doubt, insecurity, worry, and uncertainty. It feels as if it will be much better — definitely much easier — to head for shore and back to the way things were. We long for the familiar and put off charging forward because, in that moment, going forward is unknown. It can feel scary and unsafe as we leave our comfort zone, as we start to plunge into the surf.
If you are not growing....you are dying
Yet we need to remember that the comfort zone is the most dangerous place to be. If we're not plunging forward, we're not growing. And in this world, if we're not growing, we're dying.
Everything, from the lowliest plant and plankton to every person on this planet, is blossoming, unfolding, blooming, or growing in some way, or it's withering and dying away. This is simply a natural principle in the world.
Realize all goals are spiritual goals.
Humans are both biological and spiritual beings. The spirit desires expansion — that's where we get the idea to attain a goal in the first place. Our biology, however, dictates that we seek security and safety — that's why we feel resistance to anything unfamiliar. So the spiritual impulse is to grow, and the biological impulse is to keep things as they are.
Desire and aspiration are spiritual impulses; safety and comfort are biological ones. Is there some way to honor both? In reaching for a goal, perhaps not. But eventually, the bio-self can be convinced that even the spirit's flights of fancy sometimes bring more comfort and safety. Leaving a job you hate may mean a temporary interruption in income, but could bring you a whole new career with better income potential, or better longevity because you love it, or improved skills that can lead to even more exciting professional opportunities.
Carefully saving money and investing it wisely can bring plenty of the physical comforts life has to offer. Honestly dealing with issues in relationships often leads to greater trust and security within the relationship, whether it's with a child, a friend, a parent, or a romantic partner.
Imagine that your comfort zone encircles your reality. You have a circle around you, which outlines your life, defines your limits. When you start pushing at that circle, the whole thing starts shaking. When you break through to a new level, let's say in the area of relationships, the circle doesn't crumble or warp; the circumference expands to encompass a whole new realm of possibilities and capabilities in other areas, too.
And what if things don't turn out as you'd planned?
Was it all for nothing? No, simply engaging in the process of pursuing a goal has its own rewards — even if you don't reach the goal. Helen Keller once said, "Any time a door closes, a new door opens." Unfortunately, most people spend so much energy griping about the closed door that they don't see all the other open doors around them.
Realize that pursuit of any worthy goal creates leaps in understanding and an increase in consciousness, and this is the end your true self seeks. To the degree that people can expand and grow, they are able to experience life at a different level and be more productive, effective and, most important, happy and at peace.
Make your efforts mean something.
Regularly lifting greater and greater weight is what builds muscle, not lifting a light weight whenever we feel like it. Likewise, personal strength comes from continually meeting the next challenge, putting in a little more effort, overcoming obstacles again and again.
You can choose to enjoy the breakthroughs, to see your resistance as a signal that great things are yet to come. The next time you're facing this, remember the following story of two great entertainers.
According to singer/songwriter Carly Simon, when she is backstage just before a live concert, her heart starts beating rapidly, her palms get clammy, she paces back and forth, and sweat beads on her brow. She has said that, in this moment, she just knows she can't go on stage, she's terrified.
Yet she does it anyway. Similarly, as Bruce Springsteen paces backstage, his heart beats rapidly, his palms get clammy, sweat trickles from his hairline. But in his experience, this tells The Boss he's "ready to rock." And he leaps onstage and has the time of his life.
One person's debilitating fear becomes another person's motivating fuel.
You have a choice. You can see these brushes with the terror barrier as attacks of stage fright that have to be conquered, or you can use them to get you ready to rock. Either way, know that you can overcome these hurdles, and you must.
Start by clearly defining exactly where you are going and what you choose to create.
Remember, the physiological experience/emotion of fear is similar if not identical to "fuel" — decide to be The Boss.
Continually focus on where you desire to go. Your mindset and focus determine your actions, your experience, and your results.
In The Power to Win Weekend, which I conduct personally in cities across the U.S., participants learn to break out of their comfort zones and blast past the terror barrier with many powerful experiences and metaphors, including breaking through a one-inch slab of pine with their bare hands.
Together, we discover how fears and negative beliefs can keep us chained within the narrow circumference of our comfort zones; and experience the joy, excitement, and true liberation that is created when we break free and step into an expanded vision of ourselves and what we're capable of.
And that's just the first day...
The rest of the time is spent learning how to create the mindset and focus that will propel you toward the winning life you have always wanted. The combination of blasting past the terror barrier, then creating a clear and powerful vision for the future makes The Power to Win Weekend a truly transformational weekend.
If you're interested in a firsthand experience of your own remarkable ability to attain massive Harmonic Wealth™, join me at an upcoming Power to Win Weekend by clicking here.
Whether you are crystal clear on your direction and are in hot pursuit of your goals, or you're still standing on the beach wondering if it's safe to put a toe in the water, you'll find help in the next six e-mail editions of this series, including step-by-step guides so you can:
Stop making excuses and start getting what you want.
Break through the unconscious chains of old beliefs and habits.
Go beyond goals and create a vision-then make your vision come true.
Discover the universal laws of true Harmonic Wealth™.
Learn to manifest not just money, but true abundance.
Ignite your entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate your spiritual and business growth.
James Arthur Ray
Mar 23, 2007 2:25pm
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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