Tag Archives: fear and comfort zone

Just Do It!

Have you had moments where you know you need to do something, but you Just Do It!procrastinated?

Have you had moments where you are about do something, but your mind keeps coming up with excuses, reasons, or excuses not to do it?

If you do, that have happened to me too! In fact, they happen to me all the time!

Often I would tell myself: “Relax, I still have time.” But before you know it, the deadline is just around the corner!

If its my own commitments, I would tell myself: “Hey, no one would know right?”

I would then procrastinate on exercising, studying, and even updating my blog!

The truth is: There is someone who knows. That someone is: Ourselves.

Often when after I procrastinate, the sense of guilt will creep into my heart, and I will feel bad about it. Does that happens to you too?

 

Recently, I started observing what I procrastinate on. Then I realize that they are things which I am most uncomfortable about doing, things which I term as “troublesome”. It can be replying an difficult email, or doing something which requires me to learn something new, or simply something which I am fearful of.

Yes, I procrastinate on doing things which makes feel uncomfortable, as what I shared in the article “Fear Sense”, when we feel uncomfortable, its probably something worth doing.as it expands our comfort zone.

About a month ago, I started having a daily “Just Do It” item. This item is something which I am uncomfortable in doing. It might be to reply to an difficult email, or even to say “No” to a request which I don’t want to do.

At first, it felt like a task because I had set a KPI for myself, I had to force myself to do it. But before long, this what I observed, it became quite natural for me to deal with matters which earlier on made me uncomfortable. My comfort zone had expanded!

Today, my “Just Do It” item, is to do spring cleaning of my room, its painful as I haven’t done that for ages. I found old letters and documents dated years ago which are no longer needed! I started the spring cleaning at 3.30 pm and I only finished at 8.30 pm. At the end of which, I felt exhausted, spent and yet at the same time satisfied. Piles of documents are now, cleared from my desk and cabinets!

Do you have a list of items which you have long procrastinated on, or felt uncomfortable about doing? Be it learning something new, calling someone whom you haven’t done so in ages, or simply saying “No” to things which you don’t want to do. If you do, why don’t you do one each day?

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing that scares you everyday.” When we “Just Do It”, we stretch like a rubber band. Like a rubber band that has been stretched, once the tension been released, the rubber band is no longer the same as it once was, it grows bigger. Likewise we are no longer the same. we have expanded our comfort zone!

What is your “Just Do It” item for the day?

Shaun

Your fellow human being:)

Fear of the Known

Fear of the Known livewithfear

 

“Try this”, as I held out a piece of shitake mushroom for my girlfriend to try.

“Eeew, its disgusting! You know I hate shitake mushrooms!” My girlfriend shuddered with disgust.

Shitake mushroom, is Chinese/Japanese style dried mushrooms, a Chinese delicacy, when prepared well its a gorgeous dish. It can be braised, stir-fried (with other vegetables), steamed, fried (tempura style), or added to soup. Before it reaches your mouth, expect to be assailed by a woody fragrance, as you sink your teeth into the mushroom, you can feel the soft, tender, yet firm texture. Having absorbed the flavors of the gravy, and the rest of accompanying dishes, the harmonic flavors seeps out when you bite into it, mama mia! You can’t help but want to relish more of it.

Awesome isn’t it, but there is caveat. It got to be done well.

Apparently, my girlfriend has her maiden taste of shitake mushroom at a tender impressionable age. To say that whoever that prepared the dish didn’t do a good job was an understatement. It was absolutely awful. She hated it at first taste. Ever since then she had never put a piece of shitake mushroom in her mouth.

My friends, we often associate fear with unknown probability, and if I have to think of 2 words that best describe fear. It has got to be “What if”. “What if we die? What if this doesn’t work out? What if the food is awful?” People often spend a lot of time worrying about things that may or may not happened. Don’t get me wrong, these concerns can be valid, and we should take time to listen to fear, question it and address its concerns.

What is less talked about is fear’s is also associated with the known.

Imagine this scenario: A man abandoned his wife and daughter to fend themselves so that he can have a “better life”. The abandoned wife took it upon herself to provide for her daughter, working in the day as factory worker, cooks dinner for her daughter, only to rush off to the restaurant to work in the night as a waitress. On rare occasion when she has day offs, she would supervise the homework of the child. She would say: “Dear, you have to work hard at your studies. You can’t depend on men, they are all bad, just like your father. You can only depend on yourself”

My friends what do you think will happen? Do you think the girl will trust any men when she grows up? Do you think it will be easy for her to form a relationship with any guy?

No doubt that the father and husband is a irresponsible jerk, but are all men bad?

Ladies and gentlemen, sometimes first impressions, first tastes and first experiences can be disastrous. It may leave a bad lingering after-taste and maybe even fear.

But how much can we ascertain of something or someone based on first impressions?

In fact, have you ever wished that people not judge you based on first impression?

Do you think that something great good to happen if someone had given you a second chance?

If the answer is yes, perhaps we can consider giving someone or something a second chance if they had left a bad impression.

Next time when the fear of the unknown comes knocking, talk to it:

“Hey i understand that the first impression that we got is disastrous. But you know, we might have gotten off from the wrong foot, it probably wouldn’t be as bad if we gave it a second chance.”

Back to the shitake mushroom episode, my girlfriend gave the mushroom a try (albeit reluctantly) and she beamed. “Woo this is nice, can I have one more”

Having gave shitake mushroom a second chance after a disastrous first impression, she grew to like shitake mushroom (but only those dishes recommended by me). By being open to giving second chances, she has one more delightful flavor to relish.

instead of letting the fear of unknown stop you , can you think of the possibilities that might happen if you give ideas, people and things a second chance after a disastrous first impression?

Shaun

www.livewithfear.com

The “Fear Sense”

Soaring through the night sky;

Swinging between Manhattan’s skyscrapers;

Suddenly, his senses went into overdrive, shouting and screaming “Danger! Danger!”

“Swoosh”, he heard an object accelerating towards him, knowing it be dangerous, he let the webbing go and “Boom!” an explosive went off where he was a millisecond ago.

Spiderman, the marvel comic super hero, is the world’s most famous web-slinger.

His super powers includes: Enhanced strength, agility, and wall crawling. But the one is that is most unique is the spider sense, a tingling at the base of the skull that warns spiderman when danger approaches. Its has saved his life many times.

Do you know we something akin to spider sense too? We have what’s known as the “Fear Sense”. The fear sense is something that keeps us away from what’s unknown, the fear sense keeps us away from leaving our comfort zone.

Don’t believe me? Recall the last time you have been asked to do something that you have not done, tried or experienced before?

Take for example bungy jumping, or even public speaking! Do you remember how you felt? The queasy feeling in the gut, the legs getting soft and the brain keeps screaming “Are you nuts! Don’t do it!”

If you felt that before, you have the “Fear Sense”. Its purpose is to keep you within your comfort zone. Things that you are familiar with. Take note “Fear Sense” does not necessary keeps you safe. It merely tells you to stay within status quo.

What is status quo? The status quo may mean being a job you hate, may mean doing the things that you hate doing, and even living the life you hate living.

Does it makes sense to stay status quo in such cases? No?

But yet it doesn’t stop me from seeing hundreds, and hundreds and hundreds of people, who go about doing the same old thing, over and over and over again. The eyes of these people are dead and when you ask them: “Why don’t you try something else?” They give in to the “fear sense” and say, “The world is a big one, I don’t know what I will be getting myself into” or They will say:” I don’t know, maybe its better to stick at what I know.”

In short, the fear sense is the fear of the unknown, the fear of treading out of the comfort zone.

Likewise I had often given in to the “fear sense”. As mentioned in my earlier posts, I fear hardwork a lot, and I fear that my personal space will be taken if I work hard. As a result I often avoid doing any thing “extra”. I reflected over the lunar new year’s holiday and I realized how much  opportunity sweep past me because I wasn’t willing to “work hard” and break through my comfort zone. I felt a huge sense of regret. I  I told myself this year that I wanted to change, and the opportunity for change came in an unexpected way.

During one of my February toastmaster’s chapter meeting, we celebrated the birthday of February Babies. As I sang the birthday song, I thought of how some of these people like Coen, Ted and Carl have made such a difference in my life. At that moment I felt the sudden urge, an urge to celebrate these individuals by having a gathering of friends. It sounds simple right? But I had never organized such events before as I feared the hardwork involved, and I was going into unknown territory. The fear sense of course set in.

What did i do?

I questioned the fear:

Me: What were you afraid of?

Fear: I am afraid of hardwork and the lost of personal space.

Then I address its concern:

Me: Thank you for sharing your concerns. But these people means a lot to me, and I want to celebrate these individuals. Anyway, its just a couple of calls, text and emails away, its not that difficult.

Fear: Ok

Truth be told, a fair bit of effort was used in getting the people to come for the birthday celebration of my friends, Ted, Coen, Ming Jian and Carl. I sent out an email invitation on 12th Feb 13 for a dinner gathering on the 16th.

2 days had passed, no response. A part of said: “Yay, lets not celebrate!” But I reflected on past regrets, and I decided to text and call my friends up. As I tabulated the no of people who have agreed to come, the list came up to 10 people. Quite a respectable number, isn’t it.

When the event was over, I reflected on the whole process. Even though I spent some time on it, it had never really intruded on my personal time. I also came to one realization: Its quite simple. Most importantly, the smiles of satisfaction of my friends and the simple words of “Thank you” simply made my day.

This incident, as well as my foray into blogging, thought me that breaking out of the comfort zone, moving away from the status quo can be quite simple. All it takes is to question the “fear sense” and to address its concerns. What’s going to happen is that, when you expand and break through the comfort zone.

You will start going places, that you have never gone to.

Do things that you have never done before.

See things in a way that you have never seen before.

Live like you will never live before.

Next time, when you feel that queasy feeling in the gut, the softness in the legs. Be open to the idea, that the fear sense could be alerting you to an opportunity to break through your comfort zone.

To end off, I would like to share a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt said:” Do one thing everyday that scares you”

Shaun

Your fellow human being:)

www.livewithfear.com