Welcome to the first thing you need to stop doing in your 20's
Although I have ordered this list, each idea is unique and meaningful as a stand-alone concept.
Although this first idea is crucial, that doesn’t mean it is an essential idea. I would argue the final statement of this series is potentially the most important one on this list.
So what is the first idea you should stop doing in your twenties? I can hear you asking.
IDEA #1: STOP staying inside your comfort zone
I am sure you are aware of this concept, but for this series, I would love for you to approach these ideas with an open and fresh mind.
So what is a comfort zone?
A comfort zone is very simple. It is a place where you are comfortable.
Chances are you are in your comfort zone right now reading this post.
Imagine this blue person is you, and surrounding you is an imaginary bubble called a comfort zone.
Now I want you to imagine stepping outside your comfort zone.
- Are you about to perform in a band for the first time?
- Perhaps you are walking on stage to do a presentation.
- Maybe you are walking up to someone you fancy to ask them out.
Whatever stepping outside your comfort zone is for you.
Your knees are weak, arms are heavy… the sweat and shakes start to kick in.
What emotions do you feel?
Typically when we ask this question, we get answers such as this.
The list goes on, but here is my question to you.
Are the majority of those words positive or negative?
In fact, most of those words could be summed up into a four-letter “F” word.
So here is the first problem we encounter.
If you have negative associations with stepping outside your comfort zone, why would you ever step outside it?
Like a dog getting sprayed in the face with water whenever it barks too much, it learns to stop barking over time. And eventually, it stops barking altogether.
So the first thing we need to do is change your association with stepping outside your comfort zone.
So when you step outside of your comfort zone, let’s say you enter into the “FEAR” zone.
Now you have two options.
- Step back into your comfort zone
- Push through the fear zone
And what do you think most people do in life with faced with these options?
They quickly step back into their comfort zone.
HOWEVER. How would you feel if you were to push through the FEAR zone?
If you were to present on stage, play that instrument, ask that person out… how would you feel after?
Here are some typical responses we see:
Now let me ask you another question.
Where are the majority of those words, negative or positive?
So now you tell me you have a positive association with stepping outside your comfort zone. Do you think you are more likely to do it?
Like a dog rewarded with a treat every time it pees in the backyard, he is likely to keep doing it.
Now… I know what you are thinking. “But Byron, sometimes when I step outside my comfort zone, it is a bad experience.”
Yes… Welcome to life.
Not every time you step outside of your comfort zone will be a good experience.
Whether you fail or succeed at whatever you are doing, I promise you this. You will experience some level of growth.
And growth is what we should all be chasing in our twenties.
So to clarify, whether you fail or succeed, you will experience some level of growth. Don’t focus on the result of success or failure; focus on what you got out of it.
This leads me to my next important point.
(I thought I would make this an “Idea” two-parter, seeing as it is the first idea I am sharing)
Stop being afraid to fail.
They say the master has failed more times than the student has tried.
And in a world of curated perfection, social media gives the illusion that “successful” people don’t fail.
But just like an iceberg, you are probably only seeing the tip that sticks out of the water.
Anyone who is anyone has failed and failed and failed and repeatedly failed to get where they are.
Your ability to avoid failure will prevent you from achieving what you truly want.
It might feel good in the short term, but over time this one thing will cripple your life more than anything else, and the longer you wait, the harder it will get to start embracing failure in your life.
The reason most people fail is because they give up on what they want most for what they want now.
Let’s take a look at some case studies, shall we?
You know that frustrating feeling when you don’t get something on the first attempt?
Multiply that by 5,126 because that’s the number of failed prototypes Sir James Dyson went through for 15 years before creating the best-selling bagless vacuum cleaner that led to a net worth of $4.5billion.
The much-loved children’s author had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers.
He was on his way home to burn his manuscript when he ran into one of his Dartmouth classmates, who eventually helped him find a publisher for his book. Now, he’s known as one of the best children’s authors.
His books weren’t good enough for these publishers but went on and sold more than 600 million copies worldwide.
The truth is I could insert almost any “successful” or famous person in here and share their failures with you.
You aren’t winning or losing; you are winning or learning.
The only way to grow is to experience failure because it is in those failures that you can learn and grow from your mistakes.
If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.
And we simply do not fail or grow by staying inside our comfort zone.
Remember, the hero and the coward have the same fears, but the hero does it anyway.
Stop staying inside your comfort zone, stop being afraid of failure, and your twenties will be a very exciting decade.
Stay Young. Stay Driven
Challenge #1 - Get out of your own way
Your first challenge is simple and I am sure you saw this one coming.
Do something this week that is wildly out of your comfort zone.
Before you roll your eyes saying “I’m not going to do that”.
Recognise that very few people who read this will actually do this challenge.
It doesn’t take much to stand out, so stand out.
It doesn’t have to be something enormous!
Maybe you finally ask out that person you have admired for a while, or maybe you finally just message them.
Maybe you invite someone out to lunch.
Maybe you confront someone.
Maybe you raise your hand to speak in class.
Whatever is uncofortable for you, make a consious effort to step out of your comfort zone this week.
And when you do I want you to write down you experience.
How did you feel? What emotions came up?
How do you feel after?
Make a consious effort, at least do one thing wildly out of your comfort zone.
I promise you won’t regret it 😉