Monday, January 08, 2007


Copied From The Sunday Times Mumbai Edition, 7th Jan 2007 ( WIthout permission.. ooops_)

Clinging to familiarity can keep us from accomplishing things that are important to us, says Diann Cannon

Remember that big conversation you had with yourself, in which you vowed to lose weight or find a new career or start exercising? Do things always seem to get in the way of accomplishing even the simplest of goals like calling potential clients? If you find yourself in the intellectual zone and not the productive zone, I have some ideas for you to think about if you’re willing to break out of your personal “comfort zone”. What is it that separates productive people from those who for whatever reason are unable to be all that they would like to be? It is an irony to be sure, but our comfort zones can actually bring about a great deal of discomfort when they keep us from accomplishing things that are important to us. Productivity is fueled by self-talk. Self-talk is nothing more than thoughts, but thoughts have the power to motivate or cripple us. What we believe to be true about our environment and ourselves is derived from our core beliefs, which is the most accurate predictor of all for happiness, contentment and success. Comfort zones usually feel familiar and predictable and that is what makes them comfortable, not the experiences or outcomes associated with them. That is why it is possible to get stuck in a comfort zone even when it is extremely uncomfortable or painful being there. It has been said in many different ways that the brain can only truly focus on one thing at a time. If your focus is say, losing weight, but one of your core beliefs is that you are unattractive, your brain will go into overdrive processing all the competing messages and negative self-talk, which will cause you to become distracted from your focus and robbed of the energy you need to be successful. Allowing negative thoughts and emotions to rule our interior keeps us from being productive and happy. If you are wondering how to breakthrough situations like this, it is often helpful to just take a moment and really listen to what you are saying to yourself. Really hear it. Taking a non-judgmental position, ask yourself if the negative message is really true or a faulty core belief that has no basis in reality. Next, ask yourself whether the old thought patterns of discouragement originated from someone in your past. If so, then put it in the proper perspective and decide on a replacement message that more accurately describes who you are. Encourage yourself to reinforce the new message over and over again when you stumble. Negative messages can paralyse us with indecision. But being able to make decisions is a huge part of being productive. There comes a point when it is time to stop collecting information and get into action. Let’s face it; we are all human and there are no perfect human beings. And the simple truth is that no matter what you do, someone is not going to like it! But making decisions that are sound and right for you are essential components to living a meaningful life. If you find that you are dealing with a faulty core belief, you will recognise it for the old baggage it is by comparing the degree of your reaction to the severity of the incident. If your reaction is out of proportion to the situation, you can pretty much bank on it being old baggage. So get rid of the baggage if you are interested in changing your life. Those who have worked through their baggage are usually pro-active. So, if it is a new career you are interested in, take action! Get your resume updated, check out the newspaper classified ads, or start networking with friends and colleagues. By listening to the signals your intuition sends you and taking an action on its behalf, you will automatically feel stronger and more confident. That is what comes of being true to your self. It’s not listening to your truth that is depressing and destructive. Also, take stock of the community of people you choose to be around. Do you spend your time with people who hate their jobs, who only work for the paycheck and sit around waiting for a better life to happen to them? Get out of there! Don’t allow yourself to be contaminated by that kind of energy. I have a group of peers who are all very interested in continuous improvement that I meet with once a week. Spending time together is a good way to reinforce our values. Guess what? These people tend to hang out with other like-minded people as well, because they know that the people you hang around with affects your overall productivity. Finally, you may need to eliminate something in your current schedule to free up the time and effort you will need to do this work and accomplish your goals. Be honest with your self; make a list of the things you can do by yourself, acknowledge your limitations and then respect the boundaries between.

1 comment:

Fatima Mohamed said...

wow very inspiring.. ive learnt a few stuff