Beyond The Comfort Zone

BEYOND THE COMFORT ZONE

Beyond The Comfort Zone

BEYOND THE COMFORT ZONE

By Craig Johns

A comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there.

Successful people have the unique ability to perform under high levels of pressure. Pressure comes from internal and external expectations, and as the stakes rise, fear grows. Being able to deal with fear and the uncomfortable feelings that are associated, you have to be better prepared to control your state of mind.

Why do we feel uncomfortable? That uncomfortable feeling comes from going into a place where you have never been before. You are making a change and disrupting the way your mind and body are used to doing something. It might be doing something for the first time or doing something you haven’t done for a while. It could be doing something you are used to, but the conditions or parameters have changed.

When you first experience a struggle and you feel uncomfortable, you start to second-guess yourself. Remember nothing in life comes easy and the greatest satisfaction is the result of overcoming something that takes us out of our comfort zone and takes us to a whole new level. You need a mindset of being comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is the price of progression.

“If you want something in life that you have never had, you will have to do something that you have never done.

Here are some ways to take you beyond the comfort zone:

SHOW UP

You will feel most uncomfortable when you take the first step and make a decision to start. That commitment to get off the start-line means the battle is half done. Most great ideas never get started, but once you have taken the first step, the real work begins. You made a choice, a commitment, and now you need to show up.

ONE STEP IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

Sometimes your actions don’t go to plan. You may not be seeing results, the progress is slow, and you are being told that it won’t work or self-doubt is kicking in. This is the point where everyone considers giving up and start asking themselves, “why am I doing this?”. At this point you have to be brave and be ready to answer honestly. Your purpose needs to be crystal clear, because this is when the true battle begins and it is the time to shine.

FAKE IT WHILE YOU MAKE IT

Fear kills more dreams than failure, so you have to control the controllable’s and brainwash yourself with lots of positive affirmations and thoughts. Pretend to be confident and visualize how it will look. Preparation and belief are your best friends.

EMBRACE ‘THE SUCK’

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Deal with the adversity, the challenge, the pain, or the uncomfortable feeling by welcoming it with open arms. Make it your friend, as ‘the suck’ is the reason that is going to make you better. You are building your mental and physical toughness, which leads to greater levels of resilience.

SURROUND YOURSELF

Create a team and environment that supports the challenge. An environment that is positive and provides you with the feedback required to deal with the positive and negative thoughts, and perceived obstacles to achieve your goal.

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE

To continually extend the boundaries of what you thought was possible, you need to understand how you overcome uncomfortable experiences in the past. Use your understandings to build your confidence. Start to notice the patterns of your thoughts and record them. Record the characteristics of your fears, such as when does it appear, where does your mind wander, how do you cope with it and how you construct your intentions to deal with it. Create an internal culture of reveling in achievement and understanding how you deal with situations.

REPETITION

Your mind and body are comfortable with familiarity. The more you perform in an uncomfortable state, the more confidence you will develop. It is a mindset you have to develop, so you can allow your thoughts and emotions to adapt and grow.

TAKE ACTION

What rituals and behaviors can you create, so that each day you feel more comfortable with the uncomfortable? Once you have developed these actions, you need to be patient and be prepared for the long-game, as it will take some to become an automatic part of your life. Over time you will feel more confident, empowered and prepared to face the uncomfortable more often. The result of this process is a life of growth, excitement and success.

Are you ready to go beyond the comfort zone?

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Are You Living Link
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It’s All About Trust Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link

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High performers Cultivate more powerful traits

HIGH PERFORMERS CULTIVATE MORE POWERFUL TRAITS

POWERFUL TRAITS

By Craig Johns

It doesn’t matter what industry, the high performers are far more effective at cultivating more powerful traits. We touch on eight of those highly effective traits that unleash their potential and rise above the rest.

MORE WITH LESS

High performers look to consolidate and improve the efficiency by focusing on increasing the ‘outputs that matter’. They reduce products, services and other outputs that don’t matter and focus on making the main thing, the main thing.

Being able to see four or five steps ahead, understanding what the needle-moving requirements are that will get them there, and determining what the distractions are that they need to avoid, allows a high performer to always be in control of their destiny. They are also effective at identifying the must-have skills needed to accomplish those steps, and then will work obsessively to develop them.

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Photo by MontyLov on Unsplash

PROACTIVE LISTENERS & OBSERVERS

To perform at your best you need to be a proactive listener and observer. If done effectively you can extract up to three to five times more information than the normal person.

Improving your listening and observation skills requires the discipline to reduce distractions and be proactive in focusing your attention. Most people aren’t aware or don’t understand how unobservant they are.

Keep phones and other attention seeking distractions out of meetings, conversations and other communication tasks. Take notes during conferences and meetings, and keep a journal to record your activities and reflections. Make eye contact during interactions with others and practice active listening skills.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

BE COURAGEOUS

During times of hardship, taking a large risk, facing fear, dealing with the unknown or coping with judgment, high performers speak up for themselves. They share their truth and also speak up for others more often.

High performers honor the struggle, as they know that struggling is a natural part of the process when dealing with challenges. They can handle the struggle, because they expect it. They show up and appreciate the hard times and don’t complain during the process.

Rather than focusing on changing the world, decide on whom you’re doing it for and then work hard for them. Be prepared to serve for someone who needs help and then develop the kind of character that will help them deserve the outcome they desire. 

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Photo by Zeyn Afuang on Unsplash

Fail Fast

High Performers view themselves as imperfect, and allow for mistakes and subsequent learning. They embrace failing, tend to fail fast, and use failure as a learning opportunity.

Under pressure they have the ability to assess their actions differently than the average person. They are able to let go quicker, whereas low-achievers tend to fall into a ‘broken record’ of embarrassment, guilt and shame.

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Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Raise necessity

Do you know what your purpose or what your underlying reason why is? Determine ‘why’ it is important to succeed every single day. Be bold, put yourself out there, and place your identity on the line.

A deep sense of identity, with performing with excellence, is a necessity for high performers. They will bring their focus back through raising the necessity so they enter with a high level of intention, so they perform with excellence. They will ask themselves “who needs me to be on my A-Game right now?”, whether it is family, team, peers, customers or end users. How often do you prime your mental ability to perform an activity well?

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Fully Commit & Seek Clarity

Most people avoid expressing all their thoughts and feelings when dealing with situations of high pressure. This can lead to unnecessary miscommunication and tension as the recipient feels they have heard all that was meant to be said, and responds accordingly.

A high performer seeks clarity more often as they want to understand why. The average person will jump to judgment based on only 5% of the available information, and therefore can easily mis-read the tone of an email or conversation. These judgments can truly harm us, especially in the digital age, where we can be quick to read and respond with emotion.

It is valuable to grasp what the intention is, what is important and what matters? By using self-reflection, evaluation, and making changes more often, you can sift out distractions and refocus on what is important.

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Photo by Daniil Kuželev on Unsplash

Develop Influence

You learn more about yourself when you teach others. Through teaching people how to think and challenging them to grow, you change their lives. When you impact someone else’s thoughts, in a positive way, you have influence. Remember to tell them to be their best.

The more comfortable someone is around you, the more likely you are to be able to influence them. Be relaxed and create rapport with the person you are trying to influence, as you are more likely to persuade them if they like and trust you. Listen to the people you are trying to influence, ask the right questions, be aware of their body language and be patient.

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Generate More Energy

If you want to perform at your best you need to develop the ability to switch off, recharge and maximize your ‘transitions’. Transitions are the times in your day when you switch from one task to another, such as the time in between meetings, driving to and from work, grabbing a coffee and eating lunch.

High performers will generate energy during the day, rather than losing it. Try giving your mind and body a break every 45-60 minutes. Where possible, plan and schedule chunks of time to recharge. Take a quick break, close your eyes, or meditate as the short psychological break can release tension and focus, so you are primed for the next activity.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

How are you going to cultivate more powerful traits in your life and remove the traits that are less productive and supportive of a happier life?

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To learn more about proactively planning your recovery and scheduling your energy, please DOWNLOAD the Break the CEO Code Whitepaper

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Are You Living Link
People Are Our Greatest Assets Link
It’s All About Trust Link
Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link

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Rockstar of Efficiency

ROCKSTAR OF EFFICIENCY

ROCKSTAR OF EFFICIENCY

By Craig Johns

Wouldn’t it be great to be a rockstar of efficiency? The type of life you lead is absolutely, one hundred percent, a direct result of the choices you make. There is nothing more annoying than someone continuously telling me they are ‘so busy’, ‘life is so crazy’, I can’t believe people keep ‘asking for more’, my staff are ‘on edge’ right now, it’s not if ‘they will break’ but when.

So why do leaders, the captain of the team, continue to make choices that overload the system in the belief that the more we do, the more productive we will be and that the business will be better for it? It is all fine if you want to just be mediocre, develop a tired culture and see talented people flow through a revolving door.

Have you ever noticed that highly successful people, in general – as there are some crazy outliers, seem to have it all together? They remain calm under pressure, are great at juggling a hundred balls at once, manage a cohesive team, time is effortless and success seems to follow them like a magnet.

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Photo by Eleonora Patricola on Unsplash

You might think highly successful people have no life outside of work, they sleep less than five hours a day and must have a real disconnect with their family. It is generally quite the opposite and they live their lives like a high performance athlete.

In general, highly successful people are rock stars at delivering efficiency. They are extremely effective at cutting out worthless and non-practical aspects of life such as watching reality TV shows, attending every meeting at work, accepting all invitations that come across their desk, and indulging in activities that don’t support the end game.

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Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

Time is used wisely and effectively. They set small goals each day that have a definitive time period, which creates urgency and a drive for completion. You will find that they keep team goals and projects less than three months to ensure that their staff are highly motivated and are less affected by other distractions.

Successful people are in control of their schedule and methodical about balancing their calendar. Scheduled meetings are limited to less than twenty percent of their week. They are very particular in setting aside blocks of time with no distractions so they can absorb information, allow their creativity to flow and focus their attention on the most important projects.

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They are accountable to themselves and take control of situations rather than laying blame on someone else or something external. The leader occupies the driver’s seat, and they ensure that the right people are on the bus and most importantly sitting in the right seats.

The strengths of their team are established, gaps are identified, and everyone in the team knows their role. Team members are empowered to use their strengths for the good of the team and ensure everyone is paddling in the same direction.

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Photo by Cynthia Andres on Unsplash

So what’s next for you? First you need to identify what are the non-negotiable’s in your life and at work that if you took them away would reduce performance and affect the desired life.

Then take a hard look at yourself and identify the things in your life and work that if you took them away would not have a negative effect on the way you want to live your life and the goals you have set? Once you have identified those, set out a plan to slowly eradicate those aspects one at a time.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Next work with your colleagues to establish what could be taken out of daily work activities to free up more time for growth and innovation, or to enable your mind and body the adequate recovery time so that everyone can turn up every day and deliver high performance. As per the first step, you need to work out a gradual plan, with an end date, to remove the activities.

To ensure that you become a ‘Rockstar of Efficiency’, you then need to form consistent habits over a period of 6-12 weeks, so they become ingrained in your every day life.

Life is short, maximize your time on this earth and make a small difference every day. Remember everything you do and every decision you make comes down to a choice. A choice that you have total control over!

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Photo by John Torcasio on Unsplash

DOWNLOAD

To learn more about proactively planning your recovery and scheduling your energy, please DOWNLOAD the Break the CEO Code Whitepaper

READ MORE ARTICLES

Are You Living Link
People Are Our Greatest Assets Link
It’s All About Trust Link
Have We Got The Hiring Process Totally Wrong? Link
Are You Leading A High Performing Culture? Link
Are Leaders Born? Link

LEARN MORE

active CEO COACHING
active CEO CORPORATE
active CEO PODCAST
Craig Johns SPEAKER
Craig Johns BLOG
Contact CRAIG JOHNS
Return to HOME