Mindset Reset

How I stepped Outside My Comfort Zone

For me, the safest and best place to be is to develop my own sense of calm in the middle of the chaos that is life. It’s taken me a very long time to get there, but there is nothing anyone can say to me that will ruin my mood, my goals, and what I want to achieve in life. 

If you are strong enough and secure enough in who you are, in the truth of who you are and be ok with dealing with a little bit of criticism you can go far in this life of living to your full potential. 

When you find yourself persuading yourself from taking the jump, all I am saying is just close your eyes and jump.

Every day you have a decision to make;

  • Give up
  • Give in 
  • Give it your all 

My motto is; jump and give it you’re all!!

To do this, we need to build case studies of ourselves

Here is something important I have learnt. Self-belief doesn’t come from social media quotes, motivational speakers, and it’s not going to come from me!

For example, if I broke in your house, grabbed your partner and said: “I am going to kill your partner if you don’t believe I am Jesus.” The only thing you could do, in that situation, is, lie to me.

Why because you couldn’t believe I was Jesus without evidence. 

The same is true in your own life, in the belief you have about yourself.  

No matter how many times I say to you “Believe in yourself, you can do it.” There are things deep inside of you coming from early childhood experiences, relationship experiences, life experiences, which are much stronger and prove a much stronger sense of evidence to the contrary of what those social media quotes or me telling you. 

So you have to build cases studies (I call them case studies some people call them goals)  in your life of things, events, actions, where you were able to do something that you didn’t think you could. And the best place to start is somewhere small. 

That could be setting a case study of going to the gym every day of a month and you doing everything in your power of going to the gym every day for a month. It may be you set the alarm on your phone to go off every day at the time you leave work, telling you it’s gym time to keep you motivated and to remind you of your case study of going to the gym every day for a month. Then at the end of the month, you say to yourself “I did that, now I am going to set myself another new case study.”

Or maybe you hate your job, it makes you miserable and is affecting your mental health. Set yourself a case study to apply for a new job once a week, for a whole month. At the end of the month, say to yourself ” I am proud of myself for getting a new job I love that is making me feel fulfilled.”

I have naturally been stetting myself small case studies for a while now. And I have got to the point where nothing is going to stop me once I set myself a case study. To the point where I genuinely believe that if you asked me to climb Mount Everest next month, I would make that happen, even though I have no climbing experience at all. 

That’s the power of creating small case studies for yourself! 

I understand you have tried setting yourself case studies or goals, and they have failed. But these case studies or goals you have been unable to complete because of your belief in your self, built on life experiences, which were out of you control and have stopped you from moving forward. 

“Oh I can’t, what will people think of me?” or this will get in the way or there will be no way I can do that, or “People from where I come from can’t achieve that.”

I understand because those are the same narratives that came to the surface every time I tried to do something. Because these narratives are what I came to believe due to my past life experiences. 

The great news is these narratives are not the truth, they are not who you are, they are just things you have come to believe, and beliefs can change. 

It’s all just a decision at the end of the day! A lot of people go through life avoiding getting their case studies, by trying anything and everything and never believing in themselves. That’s why it’s all about making the decision, getting on with it. After all, we all have some control over our destiny! 

So here is the science part, because we all know I love to prove everything through science. 

There is a perfect theory called the Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters, he has written a fascinating book, and if you want to learn more, I highly recommend you by it in paper form or on audio. 

Dr Steven Peters has found we have three parts of our brain. He calls them; The Human, The Chimp and The Computer. 

The chimp element of our brain is our emotions where we are most likely to develop confidence, success and happiness. The ‘Chimp’ can potentially be our best friend as well as our worst enemy. 

Chimps like to survive. They search for others and those that are protectors. The chimp tends to consider how it will feel before undertaking any action. It can be unpredictably anxious or calm. Rather than try to understand why it feels as it does, and it is best to tame it.

The computer element of our brain acts as a memory bank so that many of our responses are automatic. It has two main functions which serve as a reference source for the chimp or human element of our brain. 

  1. Autopilots which are our automatic beliefs and behaviours  
  2. Unhelpful and destructive programmed beliefs and behaviours that are removable, Steven calls these’Gremlins’.

When we process information, we get an answer from our ‘computer’ 20 times more quickly and from our ‘chimp’ 5 times more rapidly than using the human element of the brain. Therefore he suggests that if we are looking to make changes, we can modify information stored in our computer and also tame the chimp as well as looking to alter information in our human brain.

If you want to move your life forward, take action on your case studies or goals, we need to educate the ‘chimp’ element of your brain with the human aspect of your mind. 

Because the ‘chimp’ interprets, your case study or goal and starts info processing, if it senses danger, it will take over (and that’s where the blood supply to the brain is sent). It will look at the ‘computer’ element of your mind to see what is stored there. If the computer does not reassure the ‘chimp’, the ‘chimp’ will take over.

If the ‘chimp’ is reassured, it will ask the ‘human’ or ‘computer’ elements of your mind to act. At this point, you need the ‘human’ part of your mind to take action and tell the ‘chimp’ all is ok “I am ambushes, and no matter what happens I need to take action and not play the victim!”

Instead of saying to the ‘chimp.’ “It’s ok for such and such because they had everything handed to them on a plate.” Or “It’s ok for so and so because they had someone to believe in them.” 

But instead, you are saying to the ‘chimp’. “I am going to take the bull by the horns and run with it, no matter what.”

By doing this we are not only taming our emotions, the ‘chimp’ part of our brain, we are also laying out the foundation for new beliefs for the ‘computer’ part of our mind.

I hope I have not got you lost with all the science stuff, but I feel it’s essential that to change the belief we have of ourselves, we need to understand how we can do that scientifically.

Before I go and you start creating a case study for yourself, I want to quickly share with you a hack I use before setting myself my next case study. 

It’s called Best Possible Self (BPS). Over the past years, research into BPS has repeatedly been demonstrated to increase people’s mood and well-being. The goal is to increase optimism in terms of expecting a favourable outcome, which is perfect when it comes to changing our belief about ourselves.

While I do this in written form, you can make drawings or the most powerful way to use this exercise is by visualizing your best possible self daily.

The Best Possible Self (BPS) Exercise

  1. Set a timer or stopwatch for 10 minutes, during this time you are to think about your best possible future self and to write it down on paper.
  2. Imagine your life the way you always imagined it would be like, your best possible self. Picture that you have performed to the best of your abilities and you had achieved the things you wanted to in life.
  3. While writing, don’t worry about grammar or punctuation, focus on writing all your thoughts and emotions expressively. You may want to have several sheets of paper for this exercise.
  4. Reflection: after completing reflect on your feelings and think about the following questions: 
  • What effects did this exercise have?
  •  Does this exercise affect you more emotionally, or does it affect your current self-image?
  • Did it motivate or inspire you?
  • Does it make you want to make changes?
  • How did this exercise affect you overall?

When I have completed this task, I pin my best personal self above my computer, so I can remind my self every single day, what it is that I am working towards. 

What is the first case study or goal? What reasonably time are you going to set your case study to last for, a week, a month? What action does your best possible self (BPS) take in moving forward to the next stage of your life?

Let me know in the comments below, I reply to all. What’s your story?

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