There are plenty of reasons to be afraid these days. But whether we are worried about COVID, flying, loneliness, our financial security, or the uncertainty of the future, most of our concerns are rooted in four major fears – the fear of change, failure, loss, and powerlessness. Yet, rather than addressing these fundamental fears, we usually focus on battling their different expressions as they surface. When a tree continues to produce unripe or flavorless fruit, just polishing the fruit or discarding it won’t solve the tree’s problems. To truly overcome our fears, we need to address them at their roots.
For example, the fear of change: Change usually entails leaving our comfort zone, which is why we perceive it as a somewhat uncomfortable risk. Comfort zones are created by our minds so that we can experience and engage with different aspects of our lives from a place of safety, familiarity, and control. The internal boundaries of a comfort zone are established by mental, emotional, and behavioral patterns. They can be defined by the radius of our personal space, the emotional distance we keep, or by the degree to which we interact with our environment.
Our comfort zones differ greatly. Each one depends on how we feel about ourselves within the context of each aspect of our lives. For example, our work-related comfort zone may appear small and rigid in comparison to the wider and more flexible comfort zone we share with our loved ones or establish during a vacation. Comfort zones are meant to be temporary and their boundaries flexible. As we’re growing and expanding, and our beliefs and mental programs shift, we extend the boundaries of our comfort zones to adjust to who we’re becoming.
In contrast to a healthy comfort zone, an fear-driven one tends to work in the opposite way. Its size decreases, and its boundaries become rigid walls. Fear morphs comfort zones into protection zones that shield us from that which makes us scared and anxious. Our lives shrink. We perceive an increasing number of situations and people as unsafe and, therefore, something we must avoid.
At some point, we feel as though we’re no longer choosing the size of our comfort zones. Instead, our comfort zones control us and the size of our lives. A constricted comfort zone can be one of the greatest obstacles between us and positive change. The longer we stay in that constricted zone, the more we avoid and resist leaving it, even if we aren’t at all comfortable in it anymore.
So to overcome the fear of change, especially when we are stuck in our comfort zones, we need to leverage the power of ‘away and toward motivation’. How?
Join me this Thursday March 4th on Empowerment Radio at 9AM Pacific / 12PM Eastern and learn how to resolve this and the three other deepest fears, and how to build a stronger foundation of trust and confidence. You can also watch on Facebook Live.