To become a successful entrepreneur, I had to radically shift the way I thought about myself, my life and success. Taking that long look in the mirror can be a painful process. Most people don’t like what I’m about to say but I need to say it because internalizing this is critical to success. This is the hardest truth I had to face and I imagine it’s going to be tough for you too.
You’re exactly where you want to be, your life is exactly as good as you feel you deserve it to be. Right now – in your career, in your relationships, in your life – you’re exactly where you want to be. “Wait,” you protest. “But I read articles on successful morning routines and the power of persistence! I want a better life. I want out of this cubicle. I want more money & more freedom.” I know how you feel, I’ve been there too.
The Wantrepreneur’s Dilemma
You’ve probably heard the term “wantrepreneur.” Basically it’s someone who wants to become an entrepreneur – they read about it, they talk about it, they listen to podcasts about it – but they struggle to take any real action. There’s a good reason for this – wanting isn’t enough.
You have to feel, down in your soul, that you also deserve the things you want. If you want more money, more freedom and a better life, you have to feel that you deserve those things too. Because if you don’t know it in your soul, your internal thermostat will kick in and push you right back into your comfort zone.
We all know how a thermostat works. When things get too cold, it turns on the heat. When things are too hot, it turns on the air conditioning. A thermostat regulates your environment to keep you comfortable. Most people, however, don’t know that we also have an internal thermostat that regulates the comfort zone of our life. When things get bad, or “too cold,” it kicks in the motivation to get you moving. You take action and solve your problem, which warms you up and settles you back into your comfort zone.
This is great when life is “too cold.” Unfortunately, the internal thermostat also works at the other end of the spectrum. When you earn some success and life begins to heat up, your internal thermostat will cool things off and bring you back down into your comfort zone.
The thermostat’s job isn’t to help you reach new heights of success, it is to just keep you comfortable. Since comfort isn’t what we’re after – we want success and happiness, we need to reset our thermostats.
“To move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and do things that are not comfortable.” – T. Harv Eker
How to Reset Your Internal Thermostat for Success
The only way to change your comfort zone is to change the settings on your thermostat. The only way to change the settings on your thermostat is to change your beliefs. It was this realization that I had to change my beliefs, in order to raise the upper limits of my comfort zone – that radically transformed my life.
Let me give you an example of a limiting belief that was holding me back:
“Working hard means you’re working long hours.”
When I was a kid, my dad owned a deli. He left for work at 5:00 in the morning and most nights didn’t come back until after 9:00. Most weeks he worked six days. He often got called in for an “emergency” on his days off. A normal work-week for my dad was 80 hours, easy.
As a child and a young man I thought the way my dad did it was the way it was supposed to be done so the belief that working hard means you’re working long hours was crystallized into my soul, my thermostat was set. A lot of us develop beliefs this way.
When I graduated college, I turned down a 9-5, corporate job to work in hospitality. For over 10 years I worked “in the business” as those in hospitality refer to it. Long shifts, working holidays, weekends, and nights, are all the norm.
I let my limiting belief of “working hard means you’re working long hours,” set a low ceiling on my comfort zone. There was a piece of me, without me consciously realizing it, that forced me to work ridiculously long hours. It wasn’t until I started to explore my limiting beliefs that I even uncovered this and started to raise the upper limits of my comfort zone.
I never felt so empowered as the day I discovered that my subconscious beliefs were holding me back. The path forward seemed so much clearer, I just had to destroy these limiting beliefs. I encourage you to explore, and destroy, the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. The next time the voice in your head says something like “rich people are selfish,” or “a steady paycheck is secure,” or “you need to be jerk to get ahead” – stop yourself and recognize that these statements aren’t true, they are just your limiting beliefs.
Awareness of your limiting beliefs is the first step to destroying them, and raising the upper limits of your comfort zone. Once you discover a limiting belief, ask yourself – is this always true?
“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” – Brian Tracy
If it’s not always true, then ask yourself why you believe it to be true. And if you can’t discover any good reasons to continue believing it to be true, then challenge yourself to replace your limiting belief with an empowering belief instead. These empowering beliefs could be “Working hard means caring about my clients,” “Rich people worked hard and I admire their success,” or “Helping others makes me happy and proud.”
When those empowering beliefs replace your limiting beliefs as the regulators on your thermostat, you’re comfort zone will expand to include all of your wildest success and dreams. Your internal thermostat won’t be turning on the air conditioning to sabotage your success.