Scroll through your timeline and you are sure to run across a meme that someone has shared declaring “there is greatness within you.”
It’s true, there is.
But how do we get the greatness to be manifested so we can do our best work?
Another popular meme will tell you that this greatness you seek is outside your comfort zone. Can I get a like and a three fire emojis for that one? Or better yet, the directions for moving out of this zone and into the greatness zone?
If the last six months has confirmed anything, it is that we are creatures of comfort. When everyone was forced to stay indoors and work from home, the first thing women gave up was wearing a bra. We all traded professional wear for lounge wear and Netflix and Chillin’ was no longer for weekends alone. We kept our video cameras off for the proliferation of Zoom meetings and webinars we had to endure, so no need to wear makeup.
During the lockdown on Montserrat, my weekly supermarket visits became something to look forward to. But after standing in line for hours to wait for them to allow people whose last names began with the letter G into the store, what a disappointment to find no ice cream, chips or cookies left to purchase. Everyone was seeking comfort food. Something sweet and delectable to pass those very long days indoors more enjoyably.
Comfort is not a bad thing. We need it at night so we can be well rested. A good night’s sleep allows us to accomplish more during work hours and engage more meaningfully with our significant others. There is comfort in routines and knowing what we need to do ahead of time. It helps people to have confidence in us and builds consistency and reliability.
Comfort isn’t the enemy. Choosing comfort over growth is.
In our lifetime we will move in and out of comfort and growth zones from season to season.
Comfort zones are where we build habits that can help us to strengthen our ability to be sustained during times of change. Consider this, if we saved a portion of our salary each month for emergencies, in a time of crisis, this reserve would be handy. We don’t usually save well in moments of transition and growth. In growth phases you are investing money, putting in long hours and all of your energy to make sure your business can be birthed.
We don’t get up one day and decide we are walking into the growth zone without a trigger.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been such a trigger for many. Plans that were being put off have been moved up. Doors that closed led to breaking through a wall to create a new pathway. Death, loss, stress, illness, heartbreak, dissatisfaction, and desire can trigger movement towards a growth zone.
As I said earlier comfort and comfort zones are not the enemy. For many, it was a hard fought space to arrive at. It takes effort to maintain comfort and then it becomes a mental battle to surrender comfort to pursue more.
This is where the work is. There is greatness within you. Remember that quote?
If we use my analogy of saving money again, imagine we now wanted to save more money for a down payment on a house. Whereas before, putting away $200 a month gave us a reasonable emergency reserve, we now need to triple that to $600 a month for our future home purchase. Do you think the same tactics will get you there? Now rather than just kicking your coffee or candy habit to save the $200, you now have to stop eating out, cook all meals at home, and cut off the cable or another subscription to put away the money for the house. It may very well require you to downsize your current accommodations so you can keep more of your earnings.
As you count the cost of what it will take to move into this new zone, you must evaluate whether it is worth it. Do you want the discomfort of having to move from three bedrooms to two to save money? Are you prepared to learn how to cook interesting meals to keep you eating at home rather than dining out? How are you ever going to survive without your music streaming subscription?
We would not be able to innovate and grow if there were no change in seasons. We won’t get to the growth zone without rejecting our current comfort zone. It is a daily decision. Prepare meals at home, don’t buy any coffee, find cheaper no-cost entertainment options.
To go after more as a Caribbean entrepreneur you will have to learn new habits, and deploy better systems. Growth cannot happen without increase. Increased investment in training, technology, adding staff, expanding your products and services, and your reach.
Whatever has triggered your yearning to push towards the growth zone, consider these strategies to keep you moving forward.
Try Something New – Audit your current habits. Which ones can do with a new an update? The most effective changes will happen gradually. Make one small shift daily.
Make a Decision in Five seconds or Less – If you are an overthinker, make decisions faster and follow through.
Take a Longer Time to Make a Decision – If you are always in a rush to decide what to do next, this time think long and hard about what you need to do next. Evaluate all the pros and cons, do more research and then choose a course of action which you will stick to.
Commit to Learning A New Way to Live and Be – If you were planning to relocate to a country which spoke a different language wouldn’t you take the time to learn how to speak and understand it? In the same way, if you are planning to make more money, learn how to manage and invest it wisely? The person you must become to succeed in the growth zone does not exist yet. You will have to learn how to become this new person.
Get an Accountability Partner – Find a fellow entrepreneur, a spouse or friend who will hold you accountable to your decision to grow. They should be willing to keep your confidence, provide honest feedback and encouragement.
Join a Mastermind – Find other Caribbeanpreneurs who are intent on growth as well. If the group you need doesn’t exist, create it and invite others to join you.
Much of what we need as entrepreneurs in the Caribbean region we must create but with so much greatness within you, it is well within your capabilities.
If this resonates with you, let me know in the comments and be sure to share it with your network.
I am more determined than ever to spread good news and tell you that you can transform your life and that of the people you love with entrepreneurship and purpose. At nerissagolden.com you will find How-To posts and books to inspire your growth. If you want to turn your blogging into a book, I am ready to coach you.
I believe it is time to #tellyourstory. I help my clients from the private and public sector to leverage traditional and digital media to increase their visibility and make more money. I am a mentor, business strategist, a certified Business Continuity Specialist and the author of seven books, including In Plain Sight and The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn for more great tips and ideas to help you grow.