Andre finds it extremely difficult to hit the gym. Lucas just cannot wake up early in the morning. Teresa cannot muster the guts to quit her full-time job to pursue a brilliant business idea she has. Hannah is terrified to present a speech in public.
The number of people who fall into the same mindset of Andre, Lucas, Teresa or Hannah is way too many. In fact, pretty much everyone is vulnerable to this in some aspect of their lives. The solution, however, is far simpler. It begins with the realization of why you are unable to do what you actually want to do.
Let us take them one example at a time. Working out at the gym regularly is hard because it involves getting dressed in your gym outfit, taking a walk or driving to the gym and finally working out. Look back on the day you visited the gym and recall the entire sequence of events from making up your mind, getting dressed, traveling and working out.
The hardest part was actually making up your mind or getting dressed or traveling to the gym. You never really had a problem with the workout itself. In fact you loved the actual workout.
Let us now look at waking up early in the morning which many people find it impossible. Recall the sequence of events from the time the alarm sounded, you hit snooze, the alarm sounding again, repeating N number of times before you finally woke up.
The hardest part was making up your mind and sitting up on bed. You never hated the feeling that you woke up. As a matter of fact, you might not even clearly remember the other events that followed after you sat up on bed.
To become an entrepreneur most people fear the possibility of failure first along with other reasons such as loss of regular income, the resistance from family and society. Only a few are worried about the actual problem behind the business idea.
It is the fear of taking the plunge which seems the hardest.
The anxiety and the nervousness caused by the thought of going onto the stage and grabbing the mike can send a cold shiver down the spine of many. I have known people who have had sleepless nights before the speech.
The hardest part here is walking up to the stage and getting started.
In each of these cases, once you actually overcome the hardest part, the other side of the story is extremely blissful. The hurdle to overcome in almost every case is the mental barrier more than anything else.
Will Smith speaks about a skydiving experience where a group of people in an inebriated state come up with plans to go skydiving the next morning. Imagine you are one of them. The venue and time get fixed during a party in a lounge bar.
Once you get home, you are terrified at the thought of jumping off the airplane.
You are wondering if everyone was drunk too and the plan will be called off. The next day, you show up at the venue and you find everyone on time, which makes you all the more anxious.
As you are traveling in the van, your stomach feels uneasy. You act confident because you do not want to come across as a wimp. Little do you realize that every other person in the van is going through the exact same emotions.
As the plane goes up you are all the more terrified. You notice three lights, red yellow and green. The light is currently in red and you are wondering what happens at the green. After some time the light turns green, the doors open and you realize that it is the first time that you are on a plane with the door open. If you are smart you were sitting at the back so that you don’t go first.
Soon it is your turn and you are standing on the edge of the plane with the instructor strapped to you. You are staring down from the sky between your feet while fear engulfs every single nook and corner of your body. The instructor says at 3, and starts counting 1 ….. 2….. and he pushes you at 2 because people grab at 3.
You scream and fall into thin air. However, in just 1 second the fear vanishes and you realize that the experience is heavenly. At this point in time, you experience zero fear.
You realize that the point of maximum danger is actually the point of minimum fear.
In another few seconds, everything seems normal. You enjoy maneuvering your way mid-air and you are looking at different things around. Now if you look back, there was no reason for you to worry in bed the previous day or in the van or not enjoy your breakfast. There was no reason to fear until the point of getting ready to jump. The only outcome of such worry was that it ruined your mood and your day.
The point where you should really fear, which is the act of actual jumping, is the exact point where you have a surreal experience. The best things in life are always placed on the other side of your comfort zone.
The lesson to take back is that breaking the barrier of your mental impediment is the only small step required to step out of your comfort zone. We tend to attribute a plethora of information around it. For example, waking up just requires you to sit up, working out just needs you to get dressed, starting your venture just needs you to type your resignation letter.
Of course, there are lot more things that follow such as the actual workout or the whole planning required for the venture. However, these are not the factors which are actually stopping you. It is the little moments which seem the hardest.
The awareness that stepping out of your comfort zone and achieving success is just one step away is the tipping point.