Do one thing every day that scares you

 In mindset

We are wired to be comfort seekers.  Take a look at how we live our lives.  No longer do we sleep or sit on the hard ground.  Instead we are often obsessed with finding the most comfortable bed and the most ergonomic chair.  It’s not just physical comfort though.  We’ve even coined the phrase “comfort zone”  to identify the area where we feel the greatest sense of ease mentally and emotionally.  

So, what’s so wrong with living in our comfort zone, physically, emotionally, and intellectually?

Doing things that are uncomfortable and hard is how people grow and succeed.

When we are very young, we see hard things as challenges to be attacked and overcome.  Watch any baby that is learning to crawl or walk.  They fling themselves into the task with abandon, mindless of the dangers and pain involved.  And they succeed.   Because they are persistent.  Because they are determined. Because the end result matters and the fact that it is hard is secondary.

But a shift often occurs as we become older.  We become complacent with our accomplishments and while we want to succeed, we want it to come effortlessly.  We are driven by pleasure and comfort.  We may even become resentful of work that is too difficult, relationships that are too complicated and physical challenges that are too demanding.  

In her best selling book, Mindset the New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck identifies two types of mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.  In the fixed mindset, an individual believes that their abilities, talents, and skills are predetermined.  While you can improve and grow, the important part of who you are can’t really be changed.  In the growth mindset, no matter what kind of abilities, talents or skills you have today, you can always change them substantially.  

Individuals with the fixed mindset are always trying to measure up and prove themselves.  They are super sensitive to being wrong or making a mistake because their ability, their image of themselves is always on the line. Consequently they often just don’t try.  They fall back into that comfort zone where they can feel competent and complacent.  

The person with the growth mindset however understands that abilities, skills and talents can be developed so they confront obstacles.  They see challenges as a way to stretch and grow.  They see others as resources to help them develop, rather than as judges of their competency.  

Just as we can change and challenge our abilities, we can change and challenge our mindset.  Here’s how:

  • Recognize that learning is a life long process not an accomplishment that ends with the diploma, award or certification.  
  • Recapture the joy and enthusiasm of overcoming challenges.
  • Re-frame failure as an opportunity to learn and grow in new directions.
  • Measure success and growth by comparing the current status with the starting point, rather than the distance from the goal.
  • Praise and reward effort rather than ability.
  • Surround yourself with others who also have a growth mindset.

While hanging out in our comfort zone is easy, it is also deceptive.   While we are protecting ourselves from failure and pain, we are also cheating ourselves out of the excitement of overcoming challenges and the thrill of success.  

Do one thing every day that scares you. (1997) —Mary Schmich

Come grow with me:)

Seigel Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Character at Kennesaw State University presents:

The 17th Annual Phenomenal Woman Conference

March 17th, 2017  8:30-2:30

KSU Center

3333 Georgia Busbee Drive

Kennesaw, Georgia 30144

I’ll be presenting a breakout session on The Difference An Encourager can Make in Your Life

Early bird registration through February 15th:  

Phenomenal Woman

Turn Your Dreams into Reality:  Dream Board Workshop

Saturday, March 25th 10:00-3:00

MUST Ministries Administrative Building

1407 Cobb Parkway NW, Marietta, GA

Grab your seat here:

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