Be willing to step outside your comfort zone
once in a while;
take the risks in life that seem worth taking.
The ride might not be as predictable
if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put,
but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.
Edward Whitacre, Jr.
READY, WILLING & ABLE means to me
that you are driven by the simple premise
that work WORKS!
If there’s anything you want to change in your life, you’re going to have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and likely tolerate some level of imperfection.
This is scary for most of us.
It’s a comfort zone for a reason!
However, no change can come from staying in the same place that got you to where you are.
We all have our reasons and justifications, or perhaps we can call them excuses, for why we can’t make changes.
We defend our behaviors, justify our lack of action, or blame other people for why we’re stuck.
We complain that it’s too hard or give up because it takes too long.
Are three of the worst inhibitors of change.
Many of us have a tendency to want to spend the first hundred years of life ironing out all of the kinks,
And the next hundred years actually living.
Such an inclination to avoid risks,
to avoid doing anything badly,
Will only prevent you from doing things you might actually enjoy,
And will keep you from engaging in the regular practices that produce progress.
There are lots of reasons we get stuck in our rut and don’t make change, but the most common reason is fear.
Change can be scary.
It can be overwhelming.
It’s not always guaranteed to be what we expected or wanted.
What if you fail?
In order to grow and make changes, we have to be willing to risk failure.
You have to be willing to do the hard work.
And the hard work is stepping outside your comfort zone.
If you’re unwilling to perform a task badly, you can’t expect to make progress toward learning to do it well.
This is true for any area in your life that you want change:
Here’s the real kicker though: You can’t just step out of your comfort zone one time.
You have to be willing to continually push yourself.
It’s really easy to get discouraged because you didn’t see the change you’d hoped for right away.
I know it’s hard, but I promise that if you keep trying you will see change.
But there is more to it that just being willing…you also have to be READY.
The key to true preparedness isn’t to be ready for one thing.
It’s to be ready for anything.
How can you be ready for anything?
There are many things in life that require preparation.
Things we need to be ready for.
There are natural disasters,
(I think you get the point.)
But what about success?
Don’t we need to be prepared for that too?
How does one prepare for success?
When it comes to approaching a major performance test, most of us follow advice that can be distilled into three words: Focus on success.
We need to prepare ourselves by banishing doubt and visualizing the positive.
We vividly imagine ourselves making all the right moves with fluid grace, with zero mistakes or missteps.
And it feels good.
But that’s not what the pros do.
In order to explain what I mean I am going to use the Green Berets, the U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers.
Teams spend weeks training for a mission (most of which happen at night).
On the day of the mission, they follow a two-part routine.
First, team members spend the entire morning going over every possible mistake or disaster that could happen during the mission.
Every possible screw up is mercilessly examined and linked to an appropriate response: If the helicopter crash-lands, we’ll do X. If we are dropped off at the wrong spot, we’ll do Y. If we are outnumbered, we’ll do Z.
After some hours of doing this, the team members take a break and have lunch together.
They socialize, relax, and maybe take a nap.
Then they spend the afternoon in Phase Two, talking about everything going exactly right.
They review each move, visualizing each step, and vividly imagine it going 100 percent perfectly.
You might call this a Balanced-Positive Approach: equally split between negative and positive, and ending on the positive.
Notice the complete wall of separation between the two phases. The team doesn’t toggle back and forth between positive and negative.
The two phases are kept as separate as night and day: First comes all negative, then all positive.
In this way they are ready and willing to encounter anything.
Now it’s your turn.
Start with potential mistakes or mini disasters.
Think of a number of likely–and even unlikely–scenarios and determine how you will handle them.
Then take a break.
And then come back and rehearse–
but this time focus on everything going perfectly.
Hit your marks.
Roll through your day.
Nail your goal.
That way, you won’t go through your life feeling worried or anxious.
You’ll face your life,
Willing and Ready to succeed.