Living a life of significance has certain requirements.
It requires you step out of our comfort zone. To embrace change and adversity. To become a person of action and a wise decision maker.
And all of those things require you to embrace the gift of fear.
Here’s the thing about fear; you have a choice of when you face it.
You can choose to face it today, when stepping outside of your comfort zone in service of a life of significance.
Or, you can live with the smaller, chronic fear that you’ll get to the end of your life and be full of regret because you never did anything of significance.
I choose to take my fear head-on. In fact, I use and embrace it to get where I want to go. More on that later.
You have to make the choice. Pay now, or pay later.
Sure, you can be safe and comfortable today. It’s just one day. It’s just one week. It’s just a month? It’s just a year.
You and I have plenty of time to do anything we want. But we don’t have time to waste.
Fear is something every human experiences. It shows up when we’re doing something new, or something we’ve not yet mastered.
For the longest time, I was terrified of public speaking. Now, I’ve gotten good at it and I love it.
And here’s another uncomfortable reality; once you overcome a fear and start your next challenge, you’ll face new fears. It’s all part of the leveling up process.
I want to share with you how I’ve created a life of significance, and how I’ve dealt with the fear along the way.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- The danger of your comfort zone
- What is a life of significance
- Embracing the gift of fear
- Leveling up and locking in your gains
Let’s get started.
The danger of your comfort zone
Our brains are very interested in keeping us alive. They’re the reason we’re at the top of the food chain.
That being said, an untrained brain will keep you right where you are.
An untrained brain wants to keep you in predictable patterns and habits. That’s because predictable patterns and habits keep you alive.
Whenever we start doing something new, our brains try to get us to come back to the comfort and safety of familiarity.
Think about the last time you tried to get up earlier than normal. Was it easy or hard? Odds are, your brain (and body for that matter) probably tried to keep you in bed.
We need to train our brains if we want to live lives of significance.
If we don’t, we’ll stay stuck in our current patterns. And if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve always got.
I used to be in the middle. And nothing incredible ever happens in the middle.
To do something incredible, you’ll need to move closer to the edges.
The edges are where innovation and creativity happen. They’re outside of your comfort zone, and they’re where significance happens.
What is a life of significance
The dictionary definition is “the quality of being worthy of attention; importance.”
But what does significance mean to you? What does it mean to live a life of significance?
I want you to push back from your computer or phone and think about that. Then I want you to write down what it means to you.
From there, I want you to think about why you want one. You could easily stay in the middle where it’s comfortable and just get by. Why do you want something different?
Next, I want you to get clear on what your life of significance will look like. When I think about goals, I focus on six key areas. I’d like for you to think about what your life is going to look like in each area.
Family: What does your family life look like?
Community: How are you active in your community?
Money and career: How do you earn a living? How do you invest your money?
Wellbeing: How do you nurture your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing?
Personal development: How do you spend your non-work time? What are you learning for the sake of learning?
Peace of mind: What brings you contentment?
Getting as clear as you can on what you want is an important step in making it your reality.
If you’d like to dig deeper into this, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost.
Embracing the gift of fear
Many people choose to avoid fear. I choose to take my fear head-on. In fact, I use and embrace it to get where I want to go.
Fear comes up everywhere and everytime we’re doing something challenging or worthwhile. Let it be a signal you’re on the right path.
When you’re in the middle, you rarely encounter fear. As you get closer to the edge, that’s where you’ll find it.
Think about it; when you make the decision to approach someone you’re attracted to, how do you feel? We feel fear because we don’t know what’s going to happen. The natural byproduct of uncertainty is fear. It’s our body trying to keep us safe.
When I talk about embracing the gift of fear, it’s recognizing fear for what it is. A signal that I’m on the right track. That I’m doing something unsafe and uncertain. I’m doing something that will help me live a life of significance.
Now that we’re on the same page regarding the value of fear, let’s talk about managing it.
In order to believe your efforts will pay off, you need a track to run on. I want you to think about someone who is doing something similar to what you want to be doing.
Identifying this person or people will help your brain recognize that what you want is possible.
Then, I want you to study what they did, and what they’re doing.
As much as possible, break down the required steps and actions into bite-sized chunks. Just like you eat an elephant one bite at a time, you’ll live your life of significance one day at a time.
For all your goals you wrote down in the previous section, break each down into actionable steps.
Doing so will help you feel more in control. It will help you to know if you’ve gotten better than you were yesterday. And that will help alleviate the fears we all feel.
Leveling up and locking in your gains
We’ve all been there. We set a goal, worked hard, and made it happen; only to relapse.
Maybe it was losing weight, getting out of debt, or consistently going to the gym. I don’t want you to spend the rest of your life a Yo-Yo.
What can we do to lock in gains you’re going to make, and to continue to uplevel every year?
You need to make the shift from working towards achievement, to embracing your new identity.
Instead of setting a goal to lose weight, and then being happy and satisfied when you accomplish it, I want you to start identifying as a strong, healthy and athletic person.
When you shift your identity, you’re no longer chasing goals and achievement. You’re simply working to get better everyday. It’s a really important shift in the way you think.
Think about the difference like this:
- The old way of thinking was, “Once I get that promotion, then I’ll be leading a life of significance.”
- The new way is this, “I’m leading a life of significance, and all my accolades and promotions are a byproduct.”
Creating and embracing your new identity will put you in a position to be leveling up everyday. You’ll be comparing yourself only against yourself from yesterday.
A life of significance is available to you.
Meeting the requirements of stepping out of our comfort zone, embracing change and adversity, and becoming a person of action will help to make it your reality.
Treating fear the way it should be, and training your brain to come along for the ride will help you to get better everyday.
Keep us up to date on your journey to a life of significance!
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