Is THIS Why You’re Not Reaching Your Potential?

Are you living up to your potential? If not, I bet I can help you change that in the next three minutes. It starts with this question…

What have you done CONSISTENTLY over the past 30 days that’s outside comfort zone?”

If the answer is “nothing,” that’s why you’re not living up to your potential. The good news is, I know how you change this fast. I know that’s a bold promise. But I’ve got more than 10,000 hours of one-on-one coaching experience to back this up. Plus, I bet your intuition alone will confirm that what I’m about to tell you is true.

Again, it starts with this question…

“What have you done CONSISTENTLY over the past 30 days that’s outside comfort zone?”

No matter where you are right now, your present results are a product of two things…

  • 80% Habit
  • 20% Serendipity (call it “luck,” “God,” or “chance”…but you know what I mean).

And since your RESPONSE to “Serendipity” is a result of your habits, I’d say nearly ALL your results are a product of your habits. This can be good news, or bad. It all depends on whether your habits are making your life better, worse, or giving you more of the same.

That’s why, if you want a better life, this question…

“What have you done CONSISTENTLY over the past 30 days that’s outside comfort zone?”

…is the most important question you can ask yourself. If you aren’t already forming new habits, NOTHING in your life will change until you start. And the only way to form new habits is to get out of your comfort zone because…

Your Best Life STARTS Where Your Comfort Zone Ends

New habits, by their nature, are OUTSIDE your comfort zone. That’s why they’re so awkward, scary and uncomfortable. Of course, this isn’t true for all habits. Only productive ones. I’m pretty sure I could easily form the habit of eating a candy bar every night before bed. That wouldn’t be awkward, scary or uncomfortable. But it wouldn’t be productive either.

If you want to achieve your true potential, you must form productive new habits. And this is why a better life will ALWAYS require you to leave your comfort zone.

I know. I’d do much better telling you I have some super duper shortcut. But I often tell my coaching clients that they have to grow for the life they want, not the life they already have. And growth only comes from forming new habits. If you’re not forming new habits right now, life will only give you more of what you’re already getting.

Picture a plant in a small pot. If you put it in a bigger pot, it’ll grow to fill that pot. But if you leave it in the small pot, it’ll only grow to fill that one. That plant is a metaphor for your life. The small pot represents your comfort zone. It contains all the habits which you can currently perform without the aid of conscious effort, willpower, or outside pressure. And, of course, the plant represents your life and all the results you’re already getting.

If your “plant isn’t growing, it’s because your “pot” isn’t growing. It doesn’t matter how much you water it, prune it, fertilize it or think positive thoughts about it. A plant will never outgrow it’s pot. Likewise, your life will NEVER outgrow your personal habits. Popular books, blogs and seminars on personal growth fail to make this clear. They teach you to make to-do-lists, get accountability partners and to think more positively. They focus on willpower and motivation. But those only get you so far.

If you want lasting change, you have to outgrow the life you have now. Not outperform it. Outgrow it. The ONLY way to do this is to get out of your comfort zone, every day, until things which were once awkward and uncomfortable become second nature. This is good news if you’re the type of person who can only stick with something so long before you backslide into old habits.

The backsliding isn’t because you lack self-control or discipline. It’s because you’re depending too much on willpower, motivation and hyper-vigilance. Habits don’t require willpower or motivation. They’re a natural expression of your current level of growth. And once you outgrow your current habits, your life will change just as naturally as grass grows in the spring time.  Here’s how you start…

Growth Comes in PRESENT Moments, Not in Future Hopes

I’m 100% convinced that most people never achieve their potential because they put too much hope in the future. There’s only ONE time you can grow in, and that’s right now. You’ll never live one moment in your future because your future only exists in your imagination. This is why you should put ALL your hope and passion into whatever you’re doing right now. Even if you’d rather be doing something else.

I know this is hard if you’re unsatisfied, or even disappointed, with your present life. But you’ll only become who you’re becoming RIGHT NOW. And whoever you become today will determine what your life will be like tomorrow. So you have to ask yourself if the habits you’re forming right now are consistent with the life you really want.

I’ve talked to HUNDREDS of people who assume that they’ll start giving life their best once they get into the “right job” or the “right relationship” or once they get to the “right body weight,” or once they “get out of debt.” But if you’re forming the habit of being less than who you are right now, there’s no reason to think that habit will disappear once your life gets better.

Instead, your present habits will follow you into your next relationship, your next job and into EVERY future endeavor in your life. Have you ever had a great opportunity thrown into your lap, only to see it mysteriously fizzle out? Have you ever sabotaged a “perfect” opportunity which you thought was going to change your life for good? I certainly have. This happens because we don’t adequately prepare for our future by BECOMING our best self in the PRESENT.

Again, there’s only ONE time you can grow in, and that’s the right now. If you wait for things to get better before you start giving your best, your life will be a string of “almosts,” which never quite turn out the way you thought they would. So, make a clear decision about what you want your life to look like in the future. But once you’ve done that, put ALL your energy into outgrowing the life you have right now.

If you do this, something truly awesome will happen to you…

As You Take Care of Growth, Results Take Care of Themselves

The most important habit you’ll EVER form is to become growth-focused instead of results-focused. This might sound counterintuitive. Especially if you grew up in a Western Culture. But everything that happens is the result of a specific process. And growth is the most positive and empowering process of them all.

People who focus too much on results, miss this. They look for shortcuts to the result. Others give up on the process because they think it’s “not working.” Both end up right back where they started. Sometimes, worse off than they were before.

It’s true that you can waste a lot of time by following the wrong process. This makes it tempting to constantly check your results. But if you become too invested in end results, you’ll lose sight of the process of mastering the habits which will NATURALLY bring about those results. This will make you highly vulnerable to distraction, procrastination and discouragement.

Case in point, I can almost always tell when someone is about to give on a new goal. It happens shortly after they start asking questions like this…

“How will it take for ___ to happen?”

You can put any goal in that ^ blank.

People on diets ask…

“How will it take for me to start losing weight?”

People starting businesses ask…

“How will it take for me to start making money?”

People learning musical instruments ask…

“How long before I can play my favorite song?”

The problem with ALL these questions, is that they’re too focused on nailing down a definite deadline. Deadlines are fine if you’re following a process which has already been proven to create a specific result within a specific time. After all, we have definite processes for baking pies, building houses or even traveling to the other side of the world within a certain timeline.

But if you’re trying to accomplish something you’ve never accomplished, there’s NO WAY you can put definite date on it. People do who manage to nail a goal by a certain date, usually do so out of pure luck in guessing the “right” timeline. But no one can tell you exactly how long it will take you to achieve something you’ve never achieved before.

This is hard to accept if you’re a results-oriented person. But rigid deadlines are often the biggest reason people give up before they see the fruits of their labor. Remember, your life is the product of your HABITS. If you set milestones to track your PROGRESS in forming the right habits, those HABITS will be the most telling sign of progress. Even if you have no results to show yet.

And if you keep at it, those habits will become second nature and the results will take care of themselves. Most importantly, any changes you make will be lasting and natural because they won’t depend on constant willpower, motivation and vigilance. This is why growth is the smartest path to lasting and fulfilling change.

So, let’s go back to our original question, and make one simple change…

What WILL you do CONSISTENTLY over the NEXT 30 days that is out of your comfort zone?”

Think of something and write it down. Make sure it’s consistent with the life you really want. Start with something small at first. Good habits have a way of snowballing into bigger ones. Most important, make sure it challenges you to get out of your comfort zone. Remember, your best life starts where your comfort zone ends. And if you grow for the life you really want, your life will grow along with you.

-Stay Awesome,

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