So you’ve embraced a positive mindset about your career, but what now? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and raise your self-expectations.
The more you expect of yourself, the better your chances are of attracting a job that you love.
In other words, raise your vibrations. Challenge yourself, push your boundaries. Take a risk. Expect more. Attract more.
Being comfortable in your job can be helpful when other areas of your life are in chaos. For example, the routine of your job can bring calm if your marriage is imploding or your child is having health problems.
But if you are settling for the same old, same old day at the office because you are scared to try something different, that’s where the comfort zone becomes a career trap and a confidence buster.
Your career starts with you. Raising your personal expectations can help you accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
We’re going to show you how to push yourself out of your comfort zone without pushing yourself over the edge.
Why Raise Your Expectations?
Raising your expectations is the antedote for breaking out of your comfort zone.
When your comfort zone consists of a job you hate or a so-so career path, it is easy to want to leave.
You are motivated to take risks such as getting a new job, going back to school or starting your own business.
Out of Your Comfort Zone You are Free to Grow
But when you are actually comfortable in your comfort zone — i.e. you have no huge complaints about your job, it pays the bills, etc.— you can get stuck.
Think about a time when you’ve expected nothing out of a situation. Chances are you weren’t unhappy with the results because you didn’t really care.
But at the same time you probably weren’t fulfilled either.
While having greater expectations opens you up and makes you more vulnerable to failure, there are also big rewards too.
It’s worth it in the end because a negative experience is still an experience that you can learn from.
A positive experience may provide you with one of those life-defining moments that make you happy to be alive.
7 Ways to Raise Your Expectations
Do Difficult Things.
Pushing your limits can only be achieved by doing difficult things. You might not find success right away, but when you do, it can be the starting place for doing even bigger and better things in the future.
Expand Your Comfort Zone.
Staying comfortable is another way of continually playing it safe. When you expand your comfort zone, you open yourself up to new and exciting things. You’ll then come to expect more from yourself just because you’re comfortable with more.
Challenge Yourself and Set a Deadline.
Set yourself up with a specific challenge or make a dare with yourself. If you’re dared to do something, you pretty much have to do it!
Take a Survival Course.
Taking a survival course can show you how to get back to the basics. These courses are not just about basic survival, they can also teach you about yourself. You can learn more about your abilities and strengths, and then continue to challenge yourself in the future.
Learn Something New.
Work on being a more open and adaptable person. When you do, you may find that new experiences and situations simply fall into your lap. It’s an easy way of broadening your horizons, and with new knowledge and skills under your belt, you’ll be able to raise the expectations of what you can do.
Higher expectations for yourself also raise your self-esteem.
Turn Negative Thoughts into Motivation
What you think you can achieve is very important because it decides what you will achieve. When you raise the bar, you enable yourself to do more and be more than before.
Remember that your thoughts are very powerful. Negative thoughts can flood in: I can’t really do this. I’m an amateur, this is going to fail.
Whatever negative thoughts creep in, flip them around and keep pushing yourself.
For instance, This is difficult, I’ll never learn how to cook a soufflé. This negative thought could become: Each time I try, I get closer to making a delicious souffle.
Thomas Edison had to try creating the light bulb 10,000 times before he got it right.
When you make the effort to raise your expectations, you’re also strengthening your self-worth and abilities. You’ll see yourself in a positive light and be better able to achieve your ultimate goals.
Use the Power of I Can
Successful people often say that it was their desire to keep on going and NOT quit that drove them to successful heights in their business or careers. That sentiment perfectly sums up the “I can” attitude.
In other words, even though the odds may be against you, keeping a positive mindset can give you the mental push and energy to stick to your plan and build your business or career the way you intended.
If you develop a negative “I can’t” attitude, it can pervade any situation you’re in. It can affect your business plans, career track, or even personal family or social situations.
If you keep telling yourself you can’t do things, eventually you’ll believe yourself and will lose the desire to even try new things.
Have you ever wanted to take part in a new social activity, but chose not to go because you didn’t know anyone? Is there a business conference you want to attend but are afraid of not knowing anyone else?
These are the exact situations in which you should face your fears and attack that negative attitude, especially if there are distinct benefits that could help your business or personal life.
Don’t be discouraged by set-backs or failure. Think about your abilities and strengths and push ahead!
When someone says, “I can’t,” what they’re really saying is “I’m afraid to fail, so I won’t try.”
If there’s a breath in your body and a means with which to do your work, why wouldn’t you want to keep moving on?
If there’s a way to improve your life, career, or business, why wouldn’t you want to take that risk?
The answer is exactly that…trying new things involves a certain amount of risk and not all of us are risk takers.
Most new situations don’t involve a life-threatening risk, but the simple fact of not knowing the outcome can paralyze people with fear.
Being fearful will prevent you from trying anything new and it’s often difficult to break this catch-22 cycle.
“I can’t” are the words that come out of someone’s mouth when they’re crowded by the doubters, plagued by low self-esteem, and stopped believing in their goals and aspirations.
A strong support system comprised of friends and family members who believe in your goals can help change your mind set, provided you’re comfortable sharing your goals with them. If you don’t have a good support system, you can look for support online in social media groups or business communities.
“I can’t” is a way to deny yourself success because you’re uncertain that you’ll be able to achieve it and you’re afraid to disappoint. But in the end, the only one you’ll disappoint is yourself if you don’t at least make an attempt.
Strong leaders don’t have this attitude – or if they do encounter it, they know the steps needed to combat those negative thoughts and continue with their plans. Sure, it’s human nature to doubt your ability or expertise, especially when faced with something brand new.
The difference between a leader and others is how each one handles the new task. Those with leadership skills or a “go getter” attitude know how to turn their negative thoughts into positive actions. Rather than dismissing themselves from contention, they welcome the challenge to learn something new.
Here are some steps you can take to combat self-doubt and become action-oriented:
1. Don’t take criticism or mistakes personally. No idea is perfect. Learn from the experience and prepare to have a great idea the next time.
2. Find ways to improve your skills. Take continuing education classes, e-courses, or read e-books to gain confidence in those skills you think are lacking.
3. Think about past successes. Success is sweet and words of praise can do wonders for self-esteem. Think about the times when you were successful and find ways to regain that feeling.
4. Think about the problem or task logically and break it into pieces. This can be overwhelming, so tackle smaller goals one at a time to avoid confusion and added stress.
5. Delegate what you can to other qualified experts. Use the resources around you to help complete the job rather than tackling the entire thing yourself.
The next time you’re faced with the chance to try something new, take a deep breath, think about the benefits you could experience from this, and learn how to prepare yourself for success.
The Automatic ‘I can’t‘ Response
When challenges or roadblocks get in our way, as they inevitably will, the automatic response for those who are weak in their resolve to succeed is “I can’t.” Rather than taking the time to explore how to overcome a specific hurdle, many people prefer to say “I can’t.”
After all, it’s much easier and less stressful to just not try something rather than to put forth the effort and still possibly fail. However, think about all that you could be missing!
- Did you pass on the single’s club event because you were nervous? Maybe you would have met a new friend.
- Did you pass up the chance to make a presentation to your local Chamber of Commerce simply because you’re afraid of public speaking? You might have developed some new business contacts.
- Have you thought about owning your own company but talked yourself out of it because you don’t have enough experience? Maybe you would have increased your income enough to get your family out of debt.
- Do you want to lose weight but get frustrated at all the calorie counting and need for exercise? You might miss out on being heart-healthy and medication free.
- All of these scenarios are conscious decisions we make regarding our work, social life, or health. Every day we’re faced with decisions from the moment we wake up to the second our head hits the pillow at night.
- Do you really want to live with regrets about any of your decisions, all because you were too scared to try something? That “I can’t” attitude can be very harmful to your psyche.
- Even when others try to encourage and boost you while you’re still in that doubting phase, the automatic “I can’t” is a ready and willing response designed to shut down their attempts.
The people who care and support you the most can’t force you to take action. They can offer advice and provide the steps you need to take but it’s up to YOU to take action.
Without action, your thoughts remain daydreams and never come to fruition.
Beware of the Media’s Mind Trap
Every day we spend at least a dozen hours in front of some form of media: television, internet, radio, magazines, and newspapers. We live in the land of instant information and it’s enough to make your brain go into overload.
Have you ever thought about how all these media messages play a role in our negative attitudes?
It stands to reason that, with so many media images hitting our senses every day, we’d be influenced to some extent.
After all, why would companies spend millions of dollars each year on advertising if we weren’t influenced?
For example, let’s take a look at the health and beauty market. Airbrushed super models grace the covers of magazines in skimpy bathing suits or dresses.
Multiple television shows showcase plastic surgery. The paparazzi torment the celebrity crowd because we’re obsessed with the “beautiful people” and their lifestyles.
Then, every year cosmetic companies unveil the latest and greatest concoctions that promise to be the fountain of youth.
What does all this ogling do to our minds? It causes us to revisit those negative “I can’t” thoughts every day:
- “I can’t” get that supermodel body because “I can’t” afford the personal trainer.
- “I can’t” get my picture-perfect body without surgery.
- “I can’t” be happy without millions of dollars and expensive cars and toys.
- “I can’t” get old so I’ll fight the natural signs of aging, no matter what the cost.
- “I can’t” afford this trendy gadget, but my favorite celeb is wearing it, so I’ll just add it to my insurmountable credit card debt.
What happens when people try to achieve those unrealistic expectations put into their minds by the media?
Sure enough, when they realize they can never achieve those results, they decide that they aren’t good enough. It’s a vicious cycle.
What can You do to Change Your Mind?
Now the mind games begin. You’ve told yourself and anyone that will listen that you can’t do the activity needed for your success. Yet in the back of your mind, you still want success. You’re just afraid to go after your dream.
- Maybe you’ve had one too many disappointments and you aren’t ready to experience another.
- Maybe you’re just physically tired of trying.
- Maybe you think the competition is just too great and you’d rather stop now than be embarrassed later on.
Whatever the reason for your latest “I can’t” attitude, the reasons why “You can” still remain strong.