What did you dream of becoming when you were young?
When I was about 4 years old, I remember sitting around the breakfast table with my older sister and two older brothers.
My mum was telling us that we could be anything we wanted to be when we grew up and asked us what we dreamt of becoming.
My oldest brother wanted to be a soldier and my other brother a pilot. My sister said she wanted to be a nurse and when they turned around and asked me, I replied;
“I want to be a dolphin”.
They howled with laughter and even today, they still remind me of it from time to time, but at that age, I didn’t understand what the joke was! Mum said I could be whatever I wanted, and that’s what I wanted to be! The dream of being a dolphin made me happy. And so for a while after I kept on dreaming about it ……
In this modern day and age, most of us are too busy to take time out to dream anymore.
There is always too much to do and too much entertainment around for us to have happy thoughts and dreams. No wonder so many people suffer from anxiety these days and worry so much about the future.
And as a result, one beautiful and simple tool we can use to manage stress anytime, anywhere has been forgotten about…. DREAMING.
Taking some time out every day to daydream is good for you for so many reasons.
Firstly, it releases stress. When you start to have happy and positive daydreams, your body automatically starts to relax. Your breathing slows down and as a result, so does your heart rate which reduces your blood pressure. Your muscles also relax and your hormonal system returns to its natural state which calms the mind and strengthens the immune system.
In other words, happy daydreaming is very good for your physical health.
Now, when you are not paying attention to your thoughts, any memories or thoughts that contain strong emotions will surface in your mind automatically.
So the more time you spend dreaming happy thoughts, the more positive thoughts naturally arise in your mind when you are not really thinking of anything. As a result, you will find yourself in a good mood most of the time.
And when you are in a positive mood, you not only deal with difficulties and challenges far more easily, you may even find that you actually enjoy them.
But if you are in a negative frame of mind, any difficulties will be met with resistance, worry and irritability.
Not only that but dreaming about your perfect life starts to give you a clearer picture of what it is that you want to achieve during your short stay on this planet. This then allows you to make better decisions and choices today to take you to where you want to go in the future.
Daydreaming also gives us greater focus so we can more easily seek out the things we need to make our dreams come true.
It also makes us more creative and better at problem-solving.
The best thing about dreaming is that you don’t need any instructions to do it, you can do it anytime, anywhere and it will make you feel good.
So, daydream more!
One last thing about dreaming…
I am working in the Maldives at the moment and on my day off went on a snorkelling trip.
The boat stopped in the middle of the ocean and I couldn’t believe it.
We were surrounded by about 100 dolphins!!!
I jumped into the water and for the next hour saw dolphins swim below me, next to me and at one point even above me.
One slow pod of about 8 dolphins swam so slowly, I actually swam with them for about 4 minutes.
For those four minutes, my dream finally came true. I completely lost myself with them. For a brief period of time, I was no longer Toby the Man, I really was Toby the Dolphin.
Even your wildest dreams will come true if you focus hard enough.
Who are you?
Ever asked yourself this question?
Have you ever contemplated the fact that you are a different person to different people?
You may be a husband or wife to your partner, a brother or sister to your siblings.
You may be a mother, a father and at the same time a son or daughter.
You could be a neighbour, an acquaintance, a work colleague or a best friend, depending on your relationship to the other people around you.
You may even find yourself being a teacher in the daytime and a student in the evenings.
Which brings us back to the question of, “Who are you?”
We play many different roles in life for different people. If you don’t think this is true, ask yourself if you would talk to a 5-year old in the same way you speak to your boss.
So when someone says to you, “Just be yourself”, well which one of these “selves” do they mean?
William Shakespeare once said in one of his plays,
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts”.
So, what is meant by “Just be yourself?”
I think what is meant is just learn to relax into whatever role you are playing and feel comfortable with it. Understand that we are always playing roles and learn to play new ones whenever you have to.
The reason I point this out is that sometimes, certain roles in life which we play do not create the outcomes that we desire.
Being overly kind to people in the hope they will like us or buy our product.
Being the victim of an abusive relationship.
Trying to please people all of the time rather than standing up and clearly stating what we want.
Allowing managers or work colleagues to bully or patronize us.
During these times, we must learn to take on a new role so that we stand up for ourselves and take what is rightfully ours.
Sometimes we need to be a leader, to stand up and give the impression we are strong.
Sometimes there is a time we need to feel and look confident, even though we aren’t.
When you see sportsman and women before a big game or a race, they may look confident and relaxed on the outside, but believe me, they are nervous as hell on the inside. But do they show it?
No. Because they are actors and actresses, just playing a role. The role of a winner.
There are times in our lives that we need to let go of the old roles that we used to play and take on the role of stronger people. For if we don’t, we will always find ourselves playing the victim.
To do this, we need to change our personality.
It is awkward and uncomfortable at first, but just remember this.
Life is nothing more than a game, a stage show. Perform the role you have to and when the times comes, just leave the stage without any fuss.
In order for us to change, it is important to observe the personalities of the people we would like to become. Watch how they stand, how they walk and observe how they act. Notice their voice, their calmness and confidence and mimic these personality traits. Imagine yourselves in their shoes and having their confidence and before you know it, it will become a part of your new personality.
Only then will people who once took advantage of you start to pay you respect. Only then can you become the person that you wish to be.
The expression “To be authentic, to be yourself” actually means nothing at all.
What we need to do is play a role and learn to feel comfortable with it. That is what is meant by “being yourself”.
So take a long hard look at your life and ask yourself whether or not your current personality is taking you to where you want to go in life or if it is holding you back.
If it is holding you back, then maybe it’s time to take on a new role.
When I fly back to the UK having been away for a few months, I often find myself being more observant than usual of the things around me.
On my last visit, I found myself on the London underground during rush hour where most people were heading off to work.
In the carriage, I could see 27 people around me. 22 of those were either staring into or listening to music on their mobile phones, 2 of them were reading newspapers, one was reading a book, one was sleeping and there was one other person, like me, just doing nothing.
Doing nothing is a lost art these days. People simply do not know how to switch off, yet these moments of switching off are very important to the brain.
Because it is in these moments of “doing nothing” that our brains manage to reflect on life and give us greater clarity of thought.
When we are busying ourselves, we are just taking in information but have no time to reflect on it. This also actually means that most of what we are reading is not being absorbed into the brain but just giving us temporary relief from boredom.
When I recommend books to people, I tell them not to just read the book, but to study and reflect on the teachings. This way, your mind can really understand the information rather than just experiencing momentary pleasure from it.
Only by reflecting on knowledge and putting into practice can we experience true wisdom.
But if we spend our lives with our heads in our mobile phones only reading about knowledge, we are not really assimilating that knowledge into our daily living.
‘Doing nothing’ is often recognized by many people as being a waste of time, but in fact, just like exercise, our bodies need this down-time to recover from ‘information overload’. This information overload means our brain has little or no recovery time which in the long term can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
In addition, when you take on knowledge without reflecting on it, you are merely following the opinions of other people. But taking the information and reflecting upon it will give you a greater personal understanding of the problem and what action you need to take.
Inner reflection also allows time for personal growth too. It is very important that we have some self-awareness and this can only come through periods of ‘downtime’ when we spend some time just ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’.
When we have more self-awareness, we also have a greater understanding of other people too. As a result, our empathy increases towards other humans as we begin to realise that they experience life in the same way that we do. This, in turn, improves our communication skills on both a personal and professional level.
Another thing about learning to do nothing is that it helps reduce anxiety especially if we can combine it with a walk in the park or sitting outside on a sunny day. Just observing the world around us or even taking our focus of awareness into our bodies will help us to reflect on our lives internally.
This, by the way, is different from conscious thinking. Conscious thinking can do the opposite, for example, sitting in silence but spending that time churning a problem over and over again in your head. This can exasperate the problem.
What I mean by doing nothing is just relaxing the body and noticing what is going on around you, now, in the present moment.
When we enter the sea on a windy day, it is often difficult to see more than a few feet in front of us as all the sand gets churned up with the water.
However, after a day or two, when the sea has settled, all the sand sinks down to the bottom of the ocean and it is possible for us to see clearly for 20 or 30 metres.
The mind works in the same way. When we allow it to settle by doing nothing, the thoughts of the past and future start to settle and we can see things much more clearly because our ideas are not clouded by our previous experiences from the past or worries about what might happen in the future.
Even Albert Einstein said that many of his greatest ideas came not whilst focusing on a problem, but after he had stopped thinking and was going about his day to day tasks.
And I am sure you have experienced a time when you are trying to remember someone’s name and the harder you think, the more it alludes you. But go about your daily tasks and all of a sudden the name pops straight into your head!
So take some time out now and again from your mobile phone, TV, iPod, book or whatever you use to distract your mind and spend some time, each day, allowing your mind to do nothing.
You will find greater peace of mind, clarity of thought and new ideas revealing themselves faster than ever before.
It is not an easy world in which we live.
I have so many clients coming to see me telling me of the long hours and stressful jobs that they have. And I sympathise because I was the same once upon a time.
Today I will tell you a bit about my story, not to gloat, not to tell you how great my life is, but in the hope that in the same way I managed to change my life around, maybe you can too. And so if this is something that you are experiencing in life, I hope that this blog will give you the confidence to do the same.
When we are born, we need our parents to take care of us and teach us how to survive. This is the same in every culture and every animal species.
So we copy them and do as we are told.
Then we go to school and we are told we have to obey the school rules, work hard and get to the top of the class.
If we do we are praised and told how good we are. It makes us feel good.
If we don’t we are chastised and made to feel bad.
And this goes on throughout our lives, constantly being told what to do and pressurized into doing things that we probably don’t even like.
But ‘hey ho’, we tell ourselves. This is life and we have to do what we are told which also means sacrificing our happiness if we are told to do so.
But one day we will be adults and be free, we think to ourselves.
But we are wrong!
We get a job. We sign a contract which says that we will do a certain job and we will receive a salary in return for doing so. And as we need money to live, we sign that contract and then we are back to the same scenario, someone telling us once again what to do!
And this is fine if you absolutely love your job and you have a good employer who respects your time and doesn’t burden you with excessive work, but many employers know that you are desperate for the money and will squeeze every penny out of you that they can.
So many people are made to work long hours under stressful conditions, where budgets and targets are put into place that you need to reach.And if you don’t reach them, you are chastised once again, just like you were at school and praised if you reach them.
And because we still have this ingrained mentality of doing what we are told by those above us, we continue to do it.
A part of us still hasn’t realized that we are adults now and we are free to think and do whatever we please. And so we continue to let other people dictate our lives.
And so many people wake up on Monday mornings thinking the weekend was simply not long enough. They dread the week ahead of them and only look forward to the next weekend or their next vacation. This means that they are wishing away most of the precious time they have on this planet. Is this really a healthy way to think?
If this resonates with some of you, I know what it feels like. I have been there myself.
But I have always had a problem with people telling me what to do. It annoys me and it is the reason I never did very well at school. Tell me to do something nowadays I won’t. Ask me kindly, however, and I will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you.
So when I found myself working 10 hour days in a stressful city job and having little control over my life, I decided to get out, drop my career and take back some sort of control.
I became an English teacher. Why? Because I knew that I would just get a schedule, walk into a classroom and wouldn’t really have to take orders from anyone. Also, I wouldn’t have to work more than 25 hours a week, (or so I thought until I realised I had to do lesson plans before each class!!)
When I started to teach English, I enjoyed it because I had a lot more freedom. I was also living in Thailand where they were screaming out for English teachers and desperate to keep good ones, so I never had to worry about job security. I could leave my job anytime and comfortably walk into a new job the following week if I wanted. So I knew if ever my employers gave me a hard time and piled on the hours I could just walk out of there and get a better job with ease.
I enjoyed the work, but I didn’t love it and because of the term times and the salary, it meant it was difficult to return back to the UK to see my family every year. I needed to earn more and be able to take more time off if I wanted to have more freedom and spend more time back home..
So I started to formulate a plan on how I could do this.
I sat down one day and imagined my dream job.
Travelling the world, working 4-5 hours a day, doing a job I loved, staying in the best hotels in the world and being able to choose when and where I worked. I would be able to take breaks whenever I wished and spend quality time with my family whenever I wanted to.
Before, I was always terrified of being self-employed. I needed the security of a monthly salary and didn’t think I could ever work for myself.
But one day I had an idea to set up a spa and hotel training company and the more I thought about it the more excited I became. I threw caution to the wind and did it.
For the first time ever, I became my own boss. I doubled my income immediately and found myself working 2 full days a week instead of 5.
The sense of freedom I had from that, being my own boss, making my own teaching schedule and telling managers at hotels what hours I would be working rather than them telling me, was ‘heaven’.
It was that taste of freedom which made me realise I could never work for anyone else again.
It was a huge boost to my confidence and happiness and it made me realise I could do anything I wanted to if I tried.
It was this confidence in myself that allowed me to put my master plan into operation and start to carve out my dream life. And that’s what I did.
These days, I do the job that was once an impossible dream 12 years ago. I am my boss, I decide where and when I work, when I take time out to go home and spend it with my family, which hotel I will stay at and for how long. I am happy with the money that I earn and I get to travel and stay in some of the best hotels in the world for free. In fact, I don’t stay for free…they pay me!! 🙂
I love my life, most of all the fact that I am the one who calls the shots. I work alongside hotel and spa managers, not under them or above them. Yes, there are certain common sense rules that apply and I am happy to follow them, but that’s about it as far as being told what to do.
What I am trying to say is this. You don’t have to do what other people tell you to do. You can make your own rules up in life and live by them rather than doing what other people tell you. You don’t have to be a slave to the corporate wheel that would replace you in a week if you dropped down dead tomorrow.
You don’t have to be particularly bright or brave to go off on your own and start up your own business, but you do have to be persistent, have a dream and never give up. And most of all, understand that living your life by your own rules and on your own terms is a choice. You can do it if you chose to.
So if you are tired of people telling you what to do, take off the shackles of your childhood and take control of the reigns. Your life can be full of so much freedom and happiness when you do. Change your focus and you can change your whole life.
…food for thought 😊
I went to a friend’s party last week where I caught up with a lot of people who I hadn’t seen for about 10 years.
A lot has happened in that time and obviously the old, “So what are you up to now?” question was thrown about several times during the evening.
When I talk about my job, I often get a lot of “Wow, what a great job to have. You really are living a dream life”, kind of response.
And when I talk about it, yes, to some people it may sound amazing.
BUT I know that in reality, if they lived my life very few of them would actually enjoy it.
I travel and work all over the world, live in some of the best 5 Star hotels for free and work 3-5 hours a day doing a job that I absolutely love.
And yes, for me, it’s perfect and I absolutely love it!
But this is what people don’t realize about my life.
I have always been a nomad. I live out of a suitcase and I don’t have a base or anywhere that I call home. Although I am in the process of buying an apartment back in the UK, it is purely for investment purposes and I have no intention of ever living in it.
Every month I live in a different hotel room, which again, I love. But many people find it difficult to sleep in any other bed but their own. I change my room so often that sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I don’t know where I am. This amuses me, but I can imagine it could freak some people out a bit.
Also, I never cook and I am not really into cooking. I either eat in the hotel restaurants or I order room service. But I know many people love to cook and would hate the thought of eating off the same hotel menu for a whole month at a time.
In addition, I am single as it is very difficult to have a long-term relationship when I am living in a different country every month. But I don’t’ mind. Every day I get to meet new people and go to new places, so it really doesn’t bother me. I very rarely feel lonely and enjoy my own company.
Also, I have very few possessions, one suitcase and my hand luggage to be precise. But I am happy with what I have. “Things” don’t excite me. In fact, they get in the way. The less I have, the less I have to worry about.
As I am restricted with the amount of luggage that I can conveniently take with me, I only buy clothes in 3 different colours; black, white and navy blue. This way, I can always match the few clothes that I do have and don’t have to take too many clothes away with me.
It also means that I only buy new clothes when I am ready to throw something else out. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to fit it in.
I rarely take a holiday as my life feels like it is one. When I do take some time out from work, there is only one place I want to go…. back to England to spend time with my family. Most of all in the winter months when I can escape the heat and experience some freezing cold weather. I LOVE THE COLD!!!
So, does my life still sound appealing now? Could you imagine yourself this kind of life?
You see, this is the side to my life that people don’t always ask about or see.
For me, it is my dream life and I absolutely love it!! I WOULDN’T SWAP IT FOR ANYTHING!!
But I can’t imagine many people actually enjoying living the way I do.
Most people need a familiar home to go back to at the end of every day and love “things”, such as a nice car, a nice house, a big flat screen TV, their box sets, gadgets and a regular routine.
Most people like to have a wardrobe full of clothes, always be near their friends and family, have a steady job, sleep in the same bed every night and spend their vacation in a nice hot country abroad somewhere with a partner or family.
And if you do want most of these things, then that is great. But it is not what I want.
And so here lies the moral of the story.
Never compare yourself to other people as we are all very different and we all want different things out of life.
Also, the way we perceive other people’s lives may not actually be the way they are.
If you look closely at someone who seems to ‘have it all’, you will probably discover that actually, their life wouldn’t suit you at all.
We all like and want different things out of life and one size does not fit all.
So rather than measuring success by comparing ourselves to other people, we should really just have a good, long hard think about what it is that we want and measure our success by how happy we are.
And if we are happy, then why stress and strain chasing after more?
“Health is Wealth”
Our health is the most precious gift that we can have in our lives, but most of us ignore this fact or completely take it for granted UNTIL we become ill. Managing our health should be our number one priority in life, but most of us put work at the forefront and our health somewhere near the bottom. Without your health, you have absolutely nothing and it is only when you lose it that you will realise that everything else in your life is of secondary importance.
Maintaining your ideal weight is the key to living a healthy lifestyle and this can only be achieved with a positive mental attitude, regular exercise program and a balanced diet.
Well, we all know that diet and exercise are they key to maintaining our ideal weight, so where does the positive mental attitude fit in and how can we attain it?
“Do what you love, love what you do”
When it comes to exercise, make it enjoyable! If you love to exercise, maintaining your ideal weight then becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. Exercise doesn’t have to mean slaving away in a sweaty gym or running aimlessly on a treadmill for hours on end. Find a sport that you enjoy doing! There are hundreds of different sports to choose from, so find a something that suits you.
It doesn’t even have to be a sport; learning to dance for example can be your exercise, anything that gets you up and moving. In this way, you will look forward to exercising rather than dreading it. Even better is to find a friend or friends to join you. When you have friends to exercise with, you will feel more motivated and push yourself harder. It can also open up a whole new social scene to you if you join a running club or take up a martial art.
Also, set yourself some long term achievable goals when exercising and make it a priority. Long term goals such as competing in local running competitions , triathlons or attaining your black belt in karate will also help with your motivation. Short tern goals such as losing 10 lbs in the next month are often ineffective, because as soon as you attain your ideal weight, your goal will have been achieved and you are likely to then sit back and put the weight straight back on again.
When it comes to your diet, make sure that you enjoy your food.
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring food, so learn some healthy recipes that you can not only knock up quickly and easily, but are also agreeable to the taste buds. Educate yourself about nutrition so that you know which foods will make you pile on the pounds and which ones will help you to keep your waistline in check. Often we don’t have to consume less food, just healthier food to keep the love handles at bay.
Also, you may wish to introduce a juice cleans or raw food diet in to your lifestyle on occasions. Not only will they help you maintain your ideal weight but will also strengthen the immune system and cleanse the digestive track which will help to increase your metabolism.
The key to happiness is to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, so seek out pleasure in everything that you do.
What is success?
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself this question?
It is something that most people strive towards, yet few people ever contemplate what it is.
When I usually approach this topic during training, the first thing most people say is “A well paid job”.
Sounds like a good answer, but ask yourself: How does having a well-paid make you successful?
And what is a ‘Well-paid job’ anyway?
A well paid job for one person could be £75,000 a year and £1 billion for another. So how can you even define “well paid?”
And if a person believes they have ‘well-paid’ job but hates it, suffers headaches and migraines from the stress it causes, has no time for their family, is overweight, suffers from depression and drinks a bottle of wine every night to cope with day to day living….. are they successful?
So what does makes a person “Successful” and do you know when you’ve got it?
Well, let’s look first at the theory of a ‘well-paid’ job.
Why would someone want a ‘well-paid’ job?
Would you agree with me that they believe it will bring them a better life?
It sounds as though it could do, doesn’t it? Maybe a nicer house, nicer car, financial security, holidays in the sun, better education for their children and possibly an earlier retirement.
Would you not agree?
And why would a person want all of these things?
Simple – they believe it will make them happy.
Think about it. What other reason would there be?
Would you chase after a ‘well-paid’ job if you thought it would make you unhappy?
Everything single action that a human performs is to either a) experience pleasure or b) to avoid pain.
Sometimes we have to experience some short term pain to attain long term pleasure. This is why we sometimes put up with jobs that we don’t really enjoy, because we are thinking of the money at the end of the month and how that will bring us the happiness we are looking for.
Now this is all fine, unless you are working so hard at your job that it is making you permanently unhappy.
Because then, you are trying so hard to be happy, that you are making yourself unhappy. You are completely defeating the objective as to why you are working in the first place.
Isn’t that just the most bizarre and crazy thing to do??
Making yourself unhappy, trying to be happy?
It doesn’t make sense.
Yet I have come across so many people who are doing just that!
It is really important to stop, think and reflect on your life from time to time and ask yourself what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Over the last 20 years, the work culture of devoting your life to your job no matter what, has become insane.
It is not normal and you have to be careful that you do not get sucked into it in the way that so many people have.
Working all the hours God sends and sacrificing your peace and happiness is just crazy, but has become accepted as the current ‘norm’.
Be very clear about this. IT IS NOT NORMAL!
It was only a few hundred years ago that hunting down ‘witches’ and burning them at the stake was considered normal in society. The modern work ethic is just as messed up!
The modern work theory seems to be that if you are not stressed, you are not doing your job properly!
Yet scientific evidence shows that the opposite is true. If you are stressed then you cannot do your job properly.
Put your happiness and wellbeing first. If you are not in a good, positive state of mind, you are of no use to anyone; not your family, friends or work colleagues.
You have to draw your own conclusions as to what is important in life, not just blindly follow what everyone else is doing.
Stop, think, question, analyze.
Don’t believe what other people tell you INCLUDING ME! But listen to what I am saying, think about it and then draw your own conclusions. Only that way we will you discover truth and happiness within yourself.
It was about 4 years ago that I ran my first half marathon and having thought I was quite fit, passed the finishing line at …. well … let’s just say the latter part of the race.
I wondered how I could improve, and decided to train harder for the next race.
So I did. Well, a little bit harder anyway.
Despite a turn up of nearly 5,000 and some highly professional athletes and runners, I won!!! I came in first! And it was easy!! So easy in fact that I hardly broke out in a sweat!
How did I manage it?
Simple. I ran the race one day before everyone else. No competition! I ran it in my own time and even walked the last mile.
So why am I telling you this?
Well think. How can you use this story and apply it to your life or your business?
If you feel that it is difficult to get by because there is so much competition out there, is it not because everyone is doing the same thing? If you think differently to everyone else, come up with new ideas and follow them through, then you have no competition.
So start to think out of the box. Allocate yourself some thinking time, dig deep and really ask yourself, “How can I work less and earn more?” Think how you want to live your life and operate your business more easily. Because when you start to think in this way, your mind looks for the answers and they will come. Then you can live your life on your terms and not be dictated to by others around you.
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerburg, Warren Buffet, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Anita Roddick, Walt Disney….
The list is of successful original thinkers is endless.
So stop, think, question. How can you win the race in your own way? There is always an answer, just spend some time focusing on it and it will appear.
For those of you who don’t know me very well and wonder why I spend so much abroad, I work as something called a visiting practitioner. Hotels and Wellness resorts worldwide invite me to stay as a kind of guest/employee at their resort and treat the guests. I have a number of skills, including hypnotherapy, massage, acupuncture that I can offer to the guests in addition to their regular spa treatments. With so many people these days suffering from stress and physical ailments, having a specialist to help them whilst they are on holiday can really enhance their stay.
It’s a great job. I get to travel around the world and stay at some of the most exclusive and expensive hotels in the world for free.
However, when there are not many guests, then I have to make my stay at the hotel worthwhile, so I do have to speak and sell myself to the guests.
When I first started this line of work it was something that I absolutely hated doing; approaching guests when they were having breakfast or in the spa and feeling as though I had to sell them something. I have always hated salesman, as I am sure most people do, and having to be one made me cringe.
I used to feel so uncomfortable and could sometimes feel myself going redder and redder, almost panicking as I tried to think of ways to sell myself to the guests without sounding desperate.
That was 8 years ago.
Today, I feel very comfortable at walking up to almost anyone in the resorts and striking up a conversation with them. I don’t even sell myself anymore, I just chat with the guests and usually, they then ask me what I do and I tell them. If they think I can help them, great. If not, that’s absolutely fine.
But the only way I managed to get to this state of feeling comfortable striking up a conversation with complete strangers was through constantly stepping out of my comfort zone so that I eventually became comfortable with doing it.
Now, you may have heard of the expression ‘comfort zone’ before. But have you ever thought about what it is and how it can either entrap you or make you grow as an individual?
The comfort zone is an imagined boundary which we have created around ourselves. When we live in the comfort zone, we do not feel threatened. We feel relaxed, we feel calm and at ease with our environment. This is a great place to be …….. for most of the time.
The only thing about the comfort zone which can be regarded as negative is that after a while, it just gets boring.
In fact, the more we step out of the comfort zone, not only do we learn more, but we also make our comfort zone bigger, so in fact, we feel more confident in doing things that previously made us feel uncomfortable.
The first time we try anything new we feel uncomfortable, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. But it does become an issue when we spend too much time out of comfort zone because then we start to feel overwhelmed with the feeling of being uncomfortable, which then results in stress.
However, the opposite extreme of not stepping out of our comfort zone from time to time also becomes stressful. Why? Because we become bored, we don’t feel challenged, we feel like we are not moving forward or learning anything new. In other words, we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t!
What is important to know is that it is OK to feel uncomfortable at times and that in the long term it is extremely beneficial for us. The more we do it, the more we grow in confidence and the more we feel as though we can take on anything new.
So if you are feeling a little bored with life, or you want to become better at something or there is something that you want out of life, step out of your comfort zone. It may be painful at times, you may feel awkward, but if you want to improve yourself, boost your confidence and move forward in life, there is no other way.
So go for it!