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Climb Out of Your Box! – Part II

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction.

                                                                                                                                 -Jim Rohn

While so many of us stay in relationships or our jobs too long out of fear, we should focus on the power to Climb out of Our Box.  We should live life with meaning and purpose, while time spent doing something about which we are passionate.  What holds us back? Why can some people adapt to change more easily?  Why can we make changes in certain areas of our lives but not others?

Making a positive change in your life can dramatically better you life. You can improve your health, relationships, career, income, level of happiness and hopes for a more optimistic future. Making the right choices with conviction and commitment to change will enhance the quality of your life.

There are seven barriers that stop you from moving forward to take the necessary steps to change. However, before we explore those barriers, you must first become cognizant of your surroundings. What is really going on in your work environment, home, friends, family or your health?  If you are really aware of your surroundings, you can embrace your barriers!

The Seven Barriers Holding You Back

1.       Status Quo In Your Comfort Zone

I have crossed paths in my career with so many people who live life in the status quo mode. They can’t begin to think about change personally or professionally.  Yet they continually express frustration with work, their marriage or their kids.  Living in your comfort zone in today’s economy is dangerous – especially at work!

It’s not just our jobs that we hold on to in our desire to stay close to the familiar. We do it in other areas too.  We take the same route to work each day, drive to the same McDonalds for a diet coke (I am guilty of that one) or order the same items from the menus of the same restaurants instead of trying something new.  My husband took me to a restaurant last week that we hadn’t been to in a while.  I ventured out of my box and ordered a new type of fish I swore I would never try along with a wine that wasn’t my usual.  While it obviously wasn’t a life-altering decision, it did remind me how even small changes can have an impact.  My husband, who is a restaurant owner, was thrilled to see me try something new!  My meal was outstanding paired with a new wine, which made for an awesome dining experience. Lastly, it empowered me to want to step out of that box more often.

Consider: What is more important to you, success at work or significance in what you do? To me, significance is more important. Success rewards our bank account, but significance rewards our spirit.  The same holds true in your private life as well.

2.       Losing Your Passion

Realizing your life is on hold because you are trapped living in your comfort zone is quite different from another challenge to change, lack of passion. I remember coaching my managers that hiring people with passion to succeed is something you can’t teach. Passion breeds success, passion sells, and passionate people live fulfilling lives.  Passionate people inspire us to greatness.  We want those people on our team.

 A boss once told me, “your passion is your greatest strengthen and your greatest weakness.”  That is impossible!  How can a person’s passion for what they believe in be their weakness?  I think he may have been confused by the true definition of passion: 

 . . .any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.  A strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; passion for music, passion for life, job, your family and friends. . .

Don’t confuse the meaning of passion with a person’s opinion. Style of communication may be the real issue when trying to express concerns of a particular situation that cause discomfort. That is not passion!  If you have lost your passion for what you are doing currently in your life, ask yourself, what do you want instead? What are you passionate about? GO DO IT!

3.       Fear of Failure

I learned early in my childhood the true feelings of fearing failure. Fear is paralyzing for many. For me, however, fear became a positive feeling.  As a competitive figure skater, my heart pounded, my hands shook, and I was scared to death right before I stepped out on the ice to compete.  Yet I believe those internal feelings of fear pushed me beyond my boundaries.

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” Sven Guran Eriksson

Fear to take a risk is the barrier that holds most people back from climbing out of their box. If you are making small changes, I am sure you don’t have feelings of fear. However, bigger changes – major life changing decisions -bring greater risk producing greater levels of fear.

When I first started my career in sales, I felt feelings of fear because I wanted to be the best and achieve all my career goals.  I never again wanted to work so hard and not achieve those goals. You see, I spent my entire childhood training for the ultimate goal of qualifying for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, but that goal was never achieved.  My fears in my career come from the fact that I never again want to fall short of my goals.  Failure to make the Olympics shaped my life forever, giving me the perspective that fear will hold you back if you let it. That one negative result at that moment in my life was devastating but I have chosen to use that experience toward a positive outlook of fear. The fear of failure channeled correctly makes for a successful outcome in your life.  You can eliminate fear from your life when you understand that the reward is greater than the fear of trying.

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