Are you getting a little bored and discontented with where you’re at in life?
Isn’t it time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, especially since I started training for triathlons, which regularly stretch me beyond my comfort zone and push me mentally and physically.
What I wasn’t prepared for were all the other benefits this would bring me, because even though going beyond your comfort zone can be uncomfortable – the benefits are that you learn, grow and go further than you imagined you could.
And that’s just for starters!
Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, therapist and author of Better Than Perfect, says people who regularly seek out fresh experiences tend to be more creative and emotionally resilient than those who remain stuck in routine.
“Breaking your own mould can only make you stronger and more confident to reach higher levels in your professional and personal life,” she says.
Being uncomfortable can be a great thing. It isn’t easy but it’s worth it.
Are you ready to break out of your comfort zone?
In this episode I share with you:
Why it’s easy to stay in the comfort zone
The many benefits of being uncomfortable
Things that I’m doing to step outside of my comfort zone
My biggest passion in life has been pursuing my potential, and also seeing potential in others and helping them to recognize it for themselves and do something about it!
Little did I know there is a whole movement dedicated to Human Potential, that sprung up the 1960s around the concept of cultivating extraordinary potential, which its advocates believe to lie largely untapped in all people.
I whole heartedly agree!
And hence why the idea for a podcast show called UNTAPPED leapt into my mind in late December and simply wouldn’t let me go until I did something about it.
I’m so curious about how to develop more potential, how do we live up to our potential and go beyond it.
What even IS potential? Are there different types of it? Who are the foremost experts in human potential, in personal development and what can you and I learn from them?
Then how can we apply this across all the areas of our lives that matter – relationships, health, wealth, career, personal growth, spirituality and contribution?
I figure I may not be able to become the best in the world, but I can become the best version of myself.
I feel like I’ve given this a great shot over the years, like in 2004 when I took myself on a 10 month journey to understand the weird world of body-sculpting and compete in my first, and only, competition.
Lots of weightlifting, learning, sacrifice and chicken and broccoli later, and there I was standing on stage, all bronzed in a tiny blue spangly bikini costume, holding a trophy for first place in the NZ Regional North Island Novice ‘Tall’ body-sculpting Championships.
Weeks later, less than 10% body fat and hungry as, I was on stage competing at nationals, doing a routine to ‘What a feeling’ from flashdance.
Or in 2007, when I trained with this fantastic group of women called the Sisterhood, and by 6am three time s a week, I was out to on the River Thames paddling with them…and for a few times Kate Middleton – well before she became royalty.
In July that year we smashed a World Record dragon boating across the English Channel to France.
Months later, I was in Brazil playing World Championship Beach Ultimate Frisbee with the Great Britain Women’s team…and somewhere in amongst all the training for that, hot sand under our feet, dancing, caipirinhas and too much sunshine, we won a gold medal!
To 2012 when I decided that cycling 6,500km down the continent of Africa, from Nairobi, Kenya to Capetown, South Africa, was just something that sounded like fun and a great challenge.
Incidents with hyenas in our camp, sightings of elephants running away from us, majestic giraffes on safari, 160km + days of cycling and a new nickname of Flatalie, for the most flat tyres in a given period…later – and that was the experience of a lifetime.
And several more adventures and proud achievements in between, and it’s time for the next evolution.
To untap my potential, to live up to my own high expectations…and go beyond.
And to frankly explore a new level of being and living that stretches me to moments of pure joy, lots of discomfort and a whole lot of fun.
Want to explore human potential with me?
I regularly take on tasks that cause me to grow and stretch. I like being in over my head because it keeps me sharp and pushes me to give my full effort.
But I fear, somewhere in the depths of 2018, I lost sight of that. I wasn’t learning enough, I wasn’t applying new things, I was instead, in some sort of unhelpful holding pattern, waiting for the airport control tower to give me the all clear to take off.
I might even be so bold as to say, I was doing what Seth Godin told me I should never do…waiting for permission to be chosen, instead of choosing myself.
So, I thought to myself, enough is enough. It’s a new year and I’ve got a fresh new perspective, while at the same time being back to my normal self – which is a self I typically quite like!
Here are a few key ways I’m going to live up to and even beyond my potential throughout the course of my life, this podcast, my vlog and as I live write a book on this very topic, that I hope you can apply to.
#1. Focus on today.
Not tomorrow, not yesterday. But right now. It doesn’t matter whether yesterday was good or bad. It’s over. So don’t get stuck there.
And don’t focus on the future too – sure you can think about your big goals and dreams, but more important is what one action can you take today that will make a difference in the future.
Because you can influence what happens right now so give the present day your full attention – for want of sounding cliche, it’s called the present because it’s a gift.
#2. Focus on my priorities.
If I want to continue to untap my potential, I need to focus on my priorities and I can do this by protecting my time and my calendar.
You and I both know that it’s all too easy to have your day dictated to you by someone else’s agenda, requests (some may say demands) or priorities.
No more putting yourself second to others. If we want to be our best selves, in order to impact and help more people, we need to prioritize ourselves first.
Be selective about what you do because you can’t do it all. We all have the same amount of time in the day, it’s not lack of time that’s the problem here, it’s lack of direction and focus.
Choose your priorities and use your precious time to accomplish them.
#3. Focus on my strengths.
I know what I’m really good at. I know what I’m mediocre at. And I know what stuff really doesn’t light me up and feels like a drag.
I could focus on improving the latter two, but I’d prefer to focus on improving the stuff I’m already good at, especially things I’m naturally good at, because those are the areas where I have the potential to become great, or even the ‘best’, if I put in the effort, time and training.
In other words it’s a good use of my time to focus on my strengths.
#4. Focus on my results.
This one has been really apparent to me since I committed to training for triathlons in October 2018.
I’m doing my best not to focus on the professional athlete’s times and results, and just focus on whether my personal results are improving.
And even though I felt like I trained 5-6 days a week for two months for no real gains, it suddenly started showing up in my physique, in my strength and my performance.
It’s easy to become tired or frustrated when you feel you’re working hard, putting in the effort and not seeing the payoff.
But by sticking with it, measuring your progress and continuing to turn up and make small, consistent improvements, you will see the results and payoff.
Of course you need to know what you’re working toward – what result or outcome do you want, what’s the purpose behind it, and what are the processes you’re going to take to achieve it…more on that in future episodes.
By doing this you will stay focused on the big picture – visualizing where you are wanting to get to, without losing focus on the present – and what action you need to take today.
I’ve been doing a lot of what he’s been doing his whole life too, creating and testing different processes to make me more effective, then showing up and doing them consistently, until they become habits – things I do unconsciously, that really work.
As James states:
“The effects of small habits compound over time. For example, if you can get just 1 percent better each day, you’ll end up with results that are nearly 37 times better after one year.”
And this nugget:
“Habits are not the only thing that influence your success, but they are probably the most important factor that is within your control.”
Which leads me to….
#6. Focus on what I can control.
I realized late last year, when many things were turning to custard – predominantly in my business and therefore finances, that I’d been focusing too much on things that were out of my control.
You can’t set goals or intentions that aren’t directly within your control – you just can’t, and not be disappointed if things don’t come off.
So focus on what you can control, and set daily actions or weekly goals or monthly intentions to achieve those things that don’t have any external influence.
I have Life Pilot – our life planning tool, to thank for helping me do that way more effectively – every day, week, month, quarter and beyond.
For example I set a priority for how much time I dedicate to studying, painting or triathlon training and I schedule it in my calendar.
I can’t, however, control for the weather, for my a friend being late, or for their being a power outage and therefore no wi-fi.
So with these in mind, I bring you UNTAPPED. The podcast that will tap into how I can live up to my potential, and even go beyond it.
I’ll be doing the research and experimenting on myself, to bring you what works, what doesn’t and what just feels good, fun, silly or outrageous.
Have you ever scrolled through, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see a friend or peer doing awesome things? Except, instead of feeling happy for them, you feel instantly envious or depressed? It happens to all of us, unfortunately, and it all has to do with this little thing called The Comparison Game.
Scrolling the Instagram feed has the ability to make me feel like I’m not enough, in an instant. So much so that I’ve stopped enjoying this app like I used to.
I value it as a connection and business tool, but I’m tired of seeing the perfectly curated photos that only show one side of that person’s life – the one that makes you feel like you’re inadequate and your life is dull or even sucks.
YOUR aim in life should be to be the very best version of yourself, by focusing on what you do best and love to do.
So why do we all consistently compare ourselves against others?
Why do we look at people who are 3, 5 or even 10 years ahead of us in business and in life and get completely dejected that ‘we’re not there yet’ or that we pale in comparison.
This destructive habit has to stop!
You can’t even begin to know what’s behind their journey, what it took for them to get to where they are now. But you can learn from them, and emulate the great things they do, so long as you don’t try to measure up against them.
Remember, there is always someone doing better than us in something but instead of comparing yourself, concentrate on where you’re at and what you’ve achieved.
In this video, I share:
Five ways to stop comparison game for good
Difference between competition and comparison
How to replace negative thoughts to positive thoughts
Everyday I get bombarded with stories about the power of a morning routine on Medium.
Yet I can no longer deny the research that says if you get up early and meditate then roll into focused work such as writing, painting or a creative activity, with no distractions, you’re far more likely to be a gazillion times more productive and successful.
Clearly that’s an accurate stat I’ve stated there, so you should take me very seriously.
The thing is it’s true.
The other thing that is true is that establishing the damn routine in the first place, is the hardest part!
Which is why so many people keep writing articles on why a morning routine, heck any routine that cuts out distractions and lets you set and act on your intentions for the day, is so powerful.
I should know. Back in 2004 when I was training to compete in my first ever Body Sculpting (Figure) competition, I had my entire daily routine down pat.
In this episode I talked about:
How to start a new morning routine without tying it to a big goal
The power routine I used while training for a competition that rocked my world
The new morning routine that is already making a difference in my life
“Changing our beliefs can have a powerful impact. The growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?”
This is a statement from Carol Dweck, author of the bestselling book Mindset.
A leading expert in the field of motivation, her research has demonstrated the role of mindsets in students’ achievement and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine motivation and learning.
So let me ask you a question right now: Do you have a fixed or a growth mindset?
Your answer to this will define how you go about learning and reaching your human potential.
If you’ve often struggled to improve and the act of learning is not something you enjoy, then listen in to this short summary of the first key idea in Carol’s book by OnePercentBetter:
Mindset was written by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. Her decades of research on achievement and success led her to discover what great parents, teachers, CEOs and athletes already know.
That our mindset is the basis of accomplishment.
Lesson 1: The Two Mindsets
People with the fixed mindset believe intelligence can’t be changed. This leads to a desire to look smart so they avoid challenges. They don’t want to look bad if they fail which holds them back. In the face of obstacles they get defensive or give up easily. They say effort is pointless and believe that people are only great at things because they were born with special talents. When confronted with constructive criticism they ignore it. Lastly, they feel threatened by the success of others. People with a fixed mindset achieve less than they are capable of.
On the other hand, people with the growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed. This leads to a desire to learn so instead of avoiding challenges, they embrace them. They persist in the face of obstacles and see effort as a path to mastery. They accept constructive criticism and use it to their advantage. Lastly, they feel inspired by and learn from the success of others. As a result, they fulfill their ultimate potential.”
Fascinating right? Yet how often do we just assume we’re not smart enough or good enough based on the stories we’ve told ourselves all our life, vs looking at whether we have a fixed mindset that’s caused this?
As Carol says in her book:
“Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
I wanted to share this as we come to the end of Season 3 which has been all about learning, because I think it’s critical to the role of learning in our lives, and more importantly, our enjoyment of it.
Right now I have around seven courses – yes seven, that I have invested in or enrolled in for free through some of the online learning platforms I discussed in the previous episode How to Learn More In Less Time.
Like most of us, I will often buy a course and then sit on it for months. Unlike many people I talk to though, I will dive into these when I most need them.
I made a conscious effort on my business sabbatical to really make progress thought, setting myself deadlines to do them in, or simply tuning into them at the right time – i.e when I needed them most.
So right now I’ve finally dived into Instagram with Intention that I bought from Hilary Rushford three months ago – because I love Instagram but don’t use it effectively for business and want to give it a damn good crack.
I’ll be diving back into Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, as I go into producing some new courses, or what I prefer to call LIVE experiences to help my community tackle areas in their business and actually DO the work like my upcoming Freedom Lab on making your first hire and building your dream team.
I want to refresh my memory on some of his great tactics for interest building in the lead up to a launch. Even though I’ve done several over the years, you ALWAYS learn something new on every launch.
Both of these courses are for my business growth and learning – that’s how I categorize them.
I’ve been enjoying videos on The Wealthy Mindset by Tim and Kris Hallbom who concept of the Universal Cycles of Change I discussed in “When Too Much Change is Dangerous“.
Going through these videos (often in the evening or weekends) is for my personal growth learning, and they’re helping me look at my habits and mindset with a new pair of eyes.
Along with this I’m finishing the Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani and there’s a course that comes with it I will dive into next – part business and very much mindset and rewiring your brain – so again personal growth.
I have Dr Libby’s latest book, all about eating the right food for you and knowing how to optimize your body and mind through what you consume.
That for me is learning to improve my health.
I wanted to give you a taster of how I learn, as I fit this into around content creation, course creation, mentoring calls, working on the property and that very important thing called everyday life!
Now I want to share a few of my personal hacks for learning, in addition to those in my most recent podcast and post on on How to Learn Anything Faster.
Hacks for Learning More
Schedule learning into your calendar so it becomes an event you make time for and has a deadline (a recurring calendar entry is even better)
Watch videos you learn from at 1.5-2 X the speed – click the settings icon or cog on most video players to speed it up.
Listen to podcasts (again at 1.5 X the speed) for daily bite sized learning
Learn with someone else by taking lessons together – for example my Mum and I are doing art class together, and Josh and I have been doing a Dog Essentials Training with our puppy Kayla; or
Go through an online course with a friend, do a coworking session together and go through the modules at the same time and share your learnings
There you have it, some hot tips for learning more faster. I hope you’ve enjoyed this season on the Quest for Freedom Podcast.
Want to stay up to date then please SUBSCRIBE on iTunes, Stitcher and Anchor so you don’t miss a show.
I’ll be changing up the intention behind this show and revealing all in the next episode!
This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.
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