Fear and Fulfillment


What is fear? Fear is characterized by feeling vastly uncomfortable. We all have our own comfort zones and the things we fear.

I’d like to share one of the best talks I ever heard on comfort zones. On a piece of a paper draw a big dot. That dot is you. Now draw a circle around that dot- that’s, your comfort zone. Next, draw an X outside of the circle. That is where growth happens.

Growth only happens outside of your comfort zone. While this news may not be profound, it was so impactful to me. How can you grow from inside of your comfort zone? You can’t!

One of the easiest ways to drive more fulfillment into your life is to know that you can change. You can work to change into an ideal version of yourself. You can change your thoughts, your words, and your actions. Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.”

The overwhelming majority of people are held back by their own limiting beliefs. Think about an aggressive goal that you have. Now think about the different reasons you would describe it as aggressive. One of the reasons might be that you’ve never done it before, aka your goal is outside of your comfort zone. Some of the other reasons may be the goal is aggressive because you are/are not ______ [insert trait here]. Many of these traits are not written in stone. Many of these traits can be learned or refined by small activities.  

For example, take the trait of introversion. Many would say you can’t change your disposition between introversion and extroversion; while this may or may not be true, there are many things that an “introverted” person can do that could embody strengths of someone who is more naturally extroverted. Some limiting beliefs an introvert might have may include “I am not a people person,” “I’m not good at talking to people,” “People don’t naturally gravitate toward me.”

Small things that someone with these limiting beliefs could do include smiling at more people, engaging in short, no-stakes conversations, and approaching people and just saying hello. These activities may start outside of the comfort zone, and a person may be fearful of these activities. However, if that person did little things often enough, then these activities would gradually be closer to their comfort zones, and may eventually make it inside of the comfort zone. A similar strategy can be applied to most limiting beliefs.

Take a moment to evaluate your limiting beliefs.

What thoughts are you thinking?

What words are you saying?

What actions are you taking?

Next, work backward-  what traits do you wish to embody in your life?

What actions would someone whom you’d want to be more like be taking?

What words are they saying?

What thoughts are they thinking?

Now start your changes with what you think, what you say, and what you do.

Ruby Deinla