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Bust Through the OK Zone: Risk-Taking is Our Surest Path to Action

Liz Merritt
February 8, 2017
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As long as I can remember, I’ve been a certainty seeker – safety nets and Plan B’s always at the ready. That is, until I consciously surrounded myself with risk-takers.

Risk-takers, I’ve come to learn, are among the most determined people out there. Unshakable in their beliefs, they crush goals like beer cans, with hellishly unstoppable confidence. I admire their laser-beam focus and ability to light a spark of passion in others.

Let’s wrap our arms around the notion that we can make a difference by doing life less by the book and more by what truly drives us. I tiptoed around this concept for quite some time. But when we venture out to the end of the high dive and jump into unfamiliar and uncomfortable turf we begin to see life from a new perspective.

What’s Your Set Point?

OK Zone

The problem with living in the OK zone is that greatness lies just on the other side.

What I’ve learned from this process, so far, is our internal beliefs truly drive our set point. By that, I’m referring to that OK zone where we comfortably glide along and feel secure.

The problem with living in the OK zone is that greatness lies just on the other side. In fact, we unknowingly and innocently sabotage ourselves by staying there because it just feels good.

What is your OK Zone? The first step to figuring all this out is to write it down. Full-on visual journaling is extremely eye-opening when you define your OK Zone in great detail, including your emotional attachment to this place and why you stay there.

Step 2 is defining what you want. We’ll call this the Great Zone. Write it down next. Describe who you want to be physically, socially, emotionally, financially, intellectually, spiritually, romantically, how you’ll spend your time. Take time to paint a very detailed canvas so your brain can see this place whenever you close your eyes.

Get Out of the Way!

We can only change when we’re being brutally honest with ourselves. We have to call out our own B.S. and learn to self-validate. What I mean is, you don’t need validation from other people about where you want to go and what you want to do with the rest of your life.

If you’re waiting and waiting to “arrive” in the Great Zone, you’ve already given your power to others. Recognize that. Ask yourself the uncomfortable questions first. Then, and only if you want to, ask the opinions of people you trust. But don’t allow them to sway you from your course.

Don’t miss out on opportunities and life because you’re standing in your own way. It’s easy to do when we’re stuck in the OK Zone where getting by is a way of life.

Tell Self-Doubt to Beat It

OK Zone

Second-guessing is the greatest enemy of success.

Second-guessing is the greatest enemy of success. Believe in yourself, and if someone questions how you’re going to get it done, say you’ll figure it out. Believe me, “I’ll figure it out” is my anthem of late as I wade through new turf in a new career. It feels great to be freed from the constraints of a world where I only bet on known outcomes.

Give yourself permission to be great. If it doesn’t go exactly how you envision, so what? Just learn from it. Do not give up, no matter what. Put your head down, shake it off and refocus.

We all try new things and fail. None of us walked the first time we tried. We stumbled and fell, and then we got up and tried again because our human-ness compels us to walk, and then run. To live in the Great Zone, we must be resilient, trust ourselves and keep running.

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