Tag: comfort zone


With Every Great Purpose Comes Passion…and Challenge

When I decided to focus my career coaching skills on helping people pursue their passions, it was with the belief that passion yields purpose. The passions divinely instilled in each of us give us the ability to carry out our unique purpose on this earth, despite the challenges that come with our pursuit of purpose. And every great purpose will always include challenges. Passion is the spark that ignites our purpose. It’s also the grit that keeps us moving in our purpose despite obstacles or the temptation to give up.

Beware of the Lure of the “Easy Life”

When I started promoting paNASH’s services, I got a lot of followers on Instagram from those who assumed I was doing similar work to theirs. But they were promoting something different. Something writer Tom Kuegler refers to as:

“The digital nomad/laptop millionaire infomercial of the hot couple sitting on the beach sipping Mai-Tai’s and checking their PayPal account every 3rd drink only to find thousands of dollars rolling right in.”

They promised if I followed their cute little finger-pointing emojis to the posted link, they’d tell me how they achieved the “easy life” and how I could too. I could follow their cookie-cutter formula and spend the rest of my life laying around on a beach chair. As much as I love the beach and enjoy much-needed relaxation, I think I’d get bored doing that every day. Just like how the newly-retired 65-year-old discovers playing golf everyday gets pretty boring after a few weeks.

Eventually we long to be productive. And there’s no cookie-cutter formula to help us discover our unique purpose or know how we should be productive. There are various methods to figuring it out. Some are more tried-and-true than others. But we each have a different path to discovering our purpose.

One of my clients described the coaching I provided her this way:

“Going through our coaching sessions is like taking my car through the car wash. The car wash gets all the dirt and bugs off the windshield, making it clearer to see what’s ahead of me. I’m the one who still has to drive the car in my own direction. But at least now I can see where I’m going and feel refreshed. I have so much more clarity about my career path and my path in life.”

The Universal Desire for Purpose

Last week, I got to witness true passion and the universal desire for purpose. I found myself in the middle of the Amazon jungle gathered with pastors from small villages situated along the vast Amazon River. These pastors have a deep passion for providing care to the forgotten people of the Amazon. Their purpose is to show God’s love to their fellow natives and to share the Gospel, regardless of the challenge or the sacrifice. Through their actions, they let their people know that even though they’re isolated from the rest of the world, they’re not forgotten.

To fulfill this purpose, they traveled by boat, many for days at a time, to the annual  jungle pastors’ conference to learn things they can take back to their villages and their churches. The team I served on also had a long journey to the conference center in the Amazon jungle. We gave up the comforts of home such as air conditioning, hot water, and standard plumbing to teach them. But our sacrifices were unlike the sacrifices I heard of from the pastors and their wives.

purpose

Through those with the skill for translation, I heard the story of one woman who traveled nearly 36 hours to attend the conference. Her husband had to stay behind in their village to work his other job. She told us of her and her husband’s vision to build a new church in a poor far-away village. When we asked her how far away, she responded in thick Portuguese, “A seven-day boat trip.”

This is no seven-day river cruise on a luxury liner like the ones you see in those “don’t-you-want-my-life?” Instagram posts. She and her husband will soon take this long and treacherous journey in piranha-infested waters. It will require them to leave their grown children, perhaps never to see them again. This is real passion. Real purpose. Real nobility. With real challenges.

Don’t Play the Comparison Game

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the efforts of the passive income tribe. I’m sure they’ve faced struggles and challenges of their own because we all do in this lifetime. And perhaps their approach to work frees them up to pursue something more than just a lifestyle of permanent vacations. Something meaningful and purposeful that for whatever reason they choose not to share on their Instagram account.

The problem is when we start playing the comparison game. On one hand, If we compare our lifestyle to the glossy Instagram lifestyles, we can easily become jealous. On the other hand if we compare our contribution to the world to someone else’s greater contribution, we can experience feelings of worthlessness.

The goal is to focus on your own unique gifts and how they fit with your purpose. Don’t worry if your purpose seems small. In fact, one thing I kept hearing over and over last week was:

“You may never get to see or know the bigger impact your small role on this trip has made. But it’s much bigger than you think.”

I just had to do what I was equipped to do. And trust it was making a far-reaching difference throughout the Amazon whether it felt like it or not.

It took me up until a couple of years ago to fully understand my own purpose and how my God-given talents and past experience fit into that purpose. I realized my overall purpose is to increase productivity by helping people answer the call of their purpose. This is true in both my career and my volunteer service.

Sometimes this means helping people get “unstuck” in their fear of what they’re being called to. Other times it means helping them realize their talents and skills because they can’t see in themselves what others see in them. Oftentimes it means encouraging and cheering them on as they take their first wobbly step outside their comfort zone. All while providing them various tools to give life to their vision and accomplish their mission.

My purpose is not the same as yours or anyone else’s. Therefore, I have to focus on my own journey and not compare it to anyone else’s.

Nothing is Wasted

I was able to take what I do in my work here in the US and tweak it to fit a different audience in the Amazon jungle. (Something I never dreamed I’d be doing!) While what I was teaching didn’t require me to step out of my comfort zone, where and to whom did.

I went to the jungle to teach local pastors the importance of having a vision and a mission statement for their churches. While most churches in the US have such statements, this was a new concept for several of these pastors. I showed them how the mission statement can be used to help them make tough decisions their churches may face. I also showed them how to teach their individual congregation members to do the same for themselves. This is so they can make God-honoring decisions when facing the daily struggles of jungle life.

purpose

Presenting with my translator Harold Pinto

This class evolved from the tools I use with my clients in my coaching efforts and from the on-demand program Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic.

And those tools and programs all evolved from my previous work with recording artists in the music industry. When helping my young artists develop their image and brand, many of them couldn’t tell me what made them unique from other aspiring artists. Therefore, before we could create an authentic image and brand for them and their music, we had to back up and figure out what made them unique. Since this happened so many times, I had to come up with a process for not only helping them figure this out, but also how to articulate it to their fan base and potential labels.

I no longer work in the music industry. But being able to trace back where my teaching came from confirmed that God doesn’t waste anything. I NEVER could’ve dreamed in a gazillion years God would take what I’d created in my previous role all the way from Music Row to as far as the remote villages of the Amazon jungle!

Embrace Challenge

When you’re faced with challenges, instead of running from them or becoming paralyzed by them, learn to embrace them because they can lead to a greater purpose. Don’t be fooled by all the “life’s-a-beach” Instagram posts. And certainly don’t compare your life to the carefully edited lives displayed on social media.

Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’ve reached a dead end. In fact, one of the pastors leading the Brazilian team of missionaries said this last week:

“Airplanes don’t lift off until they reach the end of the runway. When it seems like you’re at the end of your road, that’s when things are about to take off!” Pastor Filipe Santos

purpose

Taking off from Miami to Manaus, Brazil

Be open to the ways your interests, talents and strengths can be used to fulfill your purpose in life. Let’s face it. We’d all be good at sitting in a lounge chair on a beach. But what kind of contribution would we make in this world if that’s all we did? How would we truly know what our purpose is on this beautiful earth if all we did was soak in its beauty without ever getting our feet wet or our hands dirty?

purpose

The view of where we landed was Instagram-worthy, but there was more spiritual beauty to behold as our boat went deeper into the jungle. (Left: the Amazon River from the beach in Manaus; Right: a village served by Justice & Mercy Amazon)

Discover Your Purpose While Helping Others

paNASH is now donating 45% of the sales from the the on-demand program Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic to Justice & Mercy Amazon. Your purchase of the on-demand program will help pay for a pastor’s expenses to attend future conferences.

The conference provides these pastors with the training and education they otherwise would never find in the Amazon jungle. It fills the gap caused by a lack of opportunity for formal education. It also gives the pastors renewed energy and hope as they return to their villages where they wear many hats. Not only do they serve the spiritual needs of their village. They also oftentimes serve as the only provider of medical care to their people. And some also serve as farmers to provide agriculture and food to their people.

The pastors have limited financial resources to make the long trip to the conference, but once they arrive, they learn many new things to take back to their villages to better the lives of their communities. The jungle pastors’ conference is the centerpiece of all the work Justice & Mercy does in the Amazon. This includes medical assistance, child sponsorship, emergency food relief, support for special needs kids, mission trips and training, and school construction.

Purpose

Therefore, when you purchase this on-demand program, not only will you learn how to better your own life by creating a purposeful mission statement to live by, you’ll also help Justice & Mercy accomplish their mission and achieve the above results.

You can also help by purchasing a copy of my second book, SUP: Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a Stand Up Paddleboard for only $12. I personally will donate 100% of the profits from book sales to Justice & Mercy Amazon and mission trip expenses.

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Sunday Inspiration: Break Out of the Box!

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“He will bring us safely into that land and give it to us.” 
Nu 14:8 NLT

When others saw giants in the Promised Land and wanted to return to Egypt, Caleb said, “The Lord…will bring us safely into that land and give it to us.” At that point two things happened. “The whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle” (v.10 NLT). When the people around Caleb said no, God said yes—and all you need is His approval! When you have that, you can disregard the nay-sayers and move forward. If you wait for everyone to approve, agree with you, and applaud you, you’ll get nowhere. There was a time when people thought the earth was flat, and that man would never walk on the moon. In 1899 the U.S. Patent Office almost closed because the commissioner, Charles H. Duell, said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” In retrospect this statement is ridiculous, but some of us have this same mindset. We stop learning because we think we’re too old. We’re afraid to change careers in case we jeopardize our pension. We don’t pursue our dreams in case we fail or get ridiculed. We’re so used to self-imposed limitations and telling ourselves, “I can’t do that,” we think we can’t do anything. In essence, we’ve built a box, crawled inside, and now we’re looking for something or someone to blame for our lack of faith. God didn’t box you in, you did it to yourself, and you need to take the initiative to break out. Today decide to do it—and God will bless your endeavors.

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/break-out-of-the-box

3 Excuses Keeping You In Your Comfort Zone

Yesterday I read a great post by Nashville’s own Allison Fallon entitled “3 Excuses That Keep Smart, Creative People Trapped.” I wanted to share her insights here because it’s so relevant for my readers.

When considering taking on a new coaching client, one of the questions I ask in the paNASH intake form is “Which do you wish you had more of:  time, money, or confidence?”

The reason I ask this question is because I’m trying to determine what might be an obstacle (whether real or perceived) that’s standing in your way of getting out of your comfort zone and pursuing your passions.

But sometimes obstacles can become excuses.

I loved how Fallon addressed the three most common excuses:  lack of money, not enough time, and fear.

Lack of Money Excuses

Fallon makes the point that “we allocate money for the things we decide matters.”

She then poses the question, “How would it change your money excuse if you were able to believe you matter?”

I see people who have no problems spending money on pet therapy for their dog. But they don’t believe they deserve an investment in career coaching. They give their pets things and experiences they know the pet will love. But they don’t think they’re worth the money to pursue their own passions.

One of my colleagues always says, “Show me your bank account and I’ll show you what matters to you.”

Not Enough Time Excuses

This same colleague also says, “Show me your calendar and I’ll show you what’s important to you.”

Unlike money, we’re all given an equal amount of time, so it’s a little harder to make this excuse fly.

It’s here where I want to insert an excerpt from Fallon’s article to really get to the heart of this particular excuse:

“I don’t have enough time to paint or draw or write or start a business because I am an incredibly busy, productive person and I don’t see how that thing is going to produce measurable results in my life.”

To this excuse, I would say: we live in a culture that is obsessed with productivity. Everything is measured by how much money it can generate, how much progress it can help us make. Thank you industrialization. And while there’s nothing wrong with productivity, the problem I see comes when we begin to worship productivity and forget that some of the most valuable things in life produce results so slowly, they are hard to measure.

In fact, consider some things that might be considered “un-productive”:

  • Getting more sleep
  • Taking a long walk
  • Daily journaling
  • Spending time with our children
  • Reading books
  • Working out
  • Saying “no” to an opportunity
  • Going to therapy

Are these things un-productive, or are they just slow-producing?

Over time, we will begin to see the fruits of our labor. But if we are desperate to see progress right away, we might feel disappointed. Some of the most valuable progress we can make in our life often happens under the surface, where nobody (including us) can see it.

Fear Excuses

Fallon says that once you’re able to say you’re afraid, you’re being more honest because the first two excuses are usually based in fear.

Fear of what?

It could be fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of control, etc.

It’s important to remember that everyone has fear, and it’s always going to rear its ugly head. It’s knowing how to view fear as Fallon describes in her article. And how to deal with and overcome fear as I explain in my recent post “Overcoming Fear“.

This can eliminate the excuses and get you out of your comfort zone!

Are You Ready?

Are you ready to stop making excuses, and start making yourself worth “it,” whatever “it” means for you?

If you still have concerns about money, time or fear, the best way to get started is with small commitments. You can access paNASH’s on-demand videos on various topics that are affordable (some are free!) and allow you test the waters and work at your own pace. Click here to learn more.

From the Comfort Zone to the Learning Zone

Last week I shared with you a diagram of circles that pinpoint the ideal “Sweet Spot” for your purpose in life and work. However, to arrive at that “sweet spot,” there are some zones you have to go through.

The Comfort Zone

You’ve often heard the phrase “get out of your comfort zone.” This is great advice because as you can see from another diagram of circles below, not much happens inside the comfort zone.

learning zone

While it’s smart and necessary to get outside your comfort zone in order to experience progress in your life goals, you have to be careful not to get too far outside your comfort zone. One article by Belle Beth Cooper explains this very clearly:  it all has to do with your anxiety levels.

The Learning Zone

Inside your comfort zone there are very low levels of anxiety (that’s why it’s called the “Comfort Zone”!). As soon as you start to step outside your comfort zone, your anxiety levels increase. While as humans we typically try to avoid anxiety, slightly increased levels of anxiety can be a good thing because it challenges us and motivates us to learn new things. This area just outside comfort zone is called the “Learning Zone.”

The Panic Zone

Where the concept of stepping outside your comfort zone starts to backfire is when you step too far over the line of your comfort zone. When this happens, you end up in what’s called the “Panic Zone.” This is the place where your anxiety levels increase at an alarming rate, causing a panicked response. When that happens, you become paralyzed with fear and can’t do anything constructive.

Stay In The Learning Zone

The goal then, when trying something new, is to find the “sweet spot” in terms of your anxiety levels. That sweet spot is found within the Learning Zone as illustrated in our next circular diagram:

learning zone

It is here where there is a balance of challenge and support. Too much support, and you’ll remain in your comfort zone. Too much challenge with little to no support and you’ll end up in the panic zone.

Pushing The Boundaries Of Your Learning Zone

There will still be anxiety and fears within the Learning Zone, but not to worry. Next week we will talk about how to overcome the biggest fear most people face:  the fear of failure. If you can overcome the fear of failure, you can overcome every other fear, allowing you to push the boundaries of your Learning Zone!

Until then, join our newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan. It is designed to move your passions from just something you dream about to something you live on a daily basis.

Source:  http://blog.crew.co/getting-out-of-your-comfort-zone-why-its-hard-and-why-you-should/