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encouragement fear find your why motivation

How to get out of your comfort zone in 2020

Staying in our comfort zones is one of the biggest reason why we can’t find motivation to achieve our goals and dreams.

Do you remember the story of the frog in the pot?
Yes, he got too comfortable in the pot of gradually warming water, and before too long, he was cooked in the pot. I haven’t actually tested if this is true… but you kind of get the idea.
Frog in a pot

If Covid-19 hasn’t already affected you by now, you must be living in a different planet!

I have seen how some of my friends closed their businesses, or have their income severely affected by the crisis. I myself have also closed down one of my businesses due to the changing landscape.
Here are some steps which I have used to help myself get out of my comfort zone:
1) Be crystal clear about your “Why”
Write down what are your goals in the near future (2-5 years) and possibly a longer term goal (10 years). 
Many people aren’t sure of why they are doing what they are doing, and this stops them from putting their 100% behind what they do.
This is also why work feels like a dread and not a passion.
2) Find out the obstacles that prevent you from achieving your “Why”
Be clear about what are the areas of growth that you need to achieve, in terms of your mindset and skills, and perhaps even the value of your network.
Obstacles make us feel uncomfortable.
They stretch us and force us to grow.
Focus on how it feels like to overcome these obstacles.
Focus on the “pleasure”, and not on the “pain”.
What are some of the “negative” self-talk that you have? Or the negative thoughts?
It is time to thrash those self-talk and thoughts!
3) Break it down
I love to trek and climb mountains. Every hike is a minimum of 8 hours, and takes a lot of effort to prepare.
One of the trick I used is to break down the hike into chucks and check points.
Similarly, achieving our goals requires us to break it down into smaller chucks, so that we will not get discouraged even before we begin.
How then do you climb Mount Everest?
That’s right, one step at a time!
4) You will never walk alone!
Yes, that’s right. 
When I go trekking, I seldom do it alone. I always do it in a group, with my spouse and my friends.
Of course, on some trips, we have guides as well.
Similarly, find a mentor and find an accountability partner to help you along.
This will shorten your learning process, as well as give you encouragement and will to keep on keeping on.
5) There will be failures along the way…
But with every lesson, you learn to become smarter and stronger.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 
If you don’t make any mistakes, it means that you have not tried enough.
The failure of my business taught me many things on how not to run a business.
Yes, it was painful and emotionally draining, but it also taught me many valuable lessons.
6) Learn to enjoy the journey!
Have fun along the way! Learn to enjoy the birds and the bees. 
Breathe the fresh air as you embark on your journey, and treasure the many unique and interesting experiences that you encounter along the way!
Ask Yuantai
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encouragement faith fear hope

No Fear! Fear Vs Faith

I stood at the edge of the slopes. The wind brought a fresh chill to my face.

The instructor said in a gruff voice, “Ready?”

“Yup, I guess…”, I replied with a tinge of apprehension.

“Let’s go!”, he barked, and we ran off the slope, towards the yawning valley in front of us. The parachute caught the wind, and we took off. This is my first tandem diving experience!

3 years ago, when I leapt off the comfort of my pharmaceutical job, there was the same apprehension. And perhaps that F word: Fear.

And today, that very same F word is evident all around. People are fearing for their jobs, their health, their livelihood. There is apprehension, there is worry, there is despair and resignation.

Fear Vs Faith

Fear comes through knowing, while faith comes through believing. 

Fear is about knowing what you have tried and not succeeded, and being hesitant and uncertain about making the next move. Faith is about believing that the next time you try will bring you one more step closer to success, and is about not giving up in spite of.

Fear focuses on lack, while faith focuses on abundance.

Fear is about what we do not have or what we are not. Faith is about what we have on our hands, and what we can give to bless or help other people. You remember the biblical story of David and Goliath? If David was a fearful man, he would cower in fear like the rest of the Israelites and back off from Goliath and his giant brothers. But David was a man full of faith. He knew that he had certain useful abilities and armed with the 5 stones and slingshot, he marched off with confidence into the battlefield. He firmly believed that he had more than enough to defeat the giants.

Fear pushes you away, while faith drives you on.

Fear will cause people to run away from their problems and their pain, or seek temporary solutions to long lasting problems. This is how addiction comes about, when people indulge in the sensory pleasure to avoid tackling deeper, longer term issues. However, faith will drive you on to tackle problems at its roots, and summon up the courage to do so. During the Covid crisis, you can see how faith and fear operate to drive different outcomes. Those people who had faith would  bite the bullet, take the loss and re-organize their businesses and strategies. They would seek out opportunities to learn and upgrade, and come up with creative solutions to earn an income. Those who acted out of fear will always blame their circumstances, or do the same things expecting different results.

How can we overcome fear?

3 steps to overcoming fear: JAR!

Right focus

If we focus on the right things, we will get the right results.

Focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot do.

Focus on the future possibilities, rather than your current limitations.

Ask yourself,”What if I succeed?”

Abundance

The glass is half full? Or half empty? 

I would say the glass is half full, but there is another half to fill!

There is potential and possibilities! 

Most people believe in a zero-sum game, that you win at the expense of somebody else.

Or vice-versa.

But that need not be true!

You can collaborate with people and tap on each other’s expertise and network!

Also, it is such a joy and delight to be able to help someone freely…

Just do it!

Sometimes we overthink and we suffer from “analysis paralysis”.

Or we don’t feel confident, or good enough to attempt something.

Like my maiden tandem dive, sometimes it pays just to take a daring leap off the slopes!

David's 5 stones and slingshot