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How to Break Out of the Comfort Zone

This fear of failure is the single biggest "affliction" in society. The comfort zone and a fear of failure paralyze people from making the steps they need to in order to improve their situation. If you look at anyone in a low paying, dead-end job or who stays in an unhealthy relationship you are seeing a person who is in a comfort zone.   Incessant planning and contemplation as opposed to action are a means of maintaining ones place in the comfort zone and can be your own worse enemy.   With the Fire, Ready, Aim strategy, you take your big goals and break them down into smaller, more accessible goals. That's why we use the belt system in the martial arts. The goal for all of my students is black belt. While I have accelerated courses that can get you to black belt in as little as six-months, it takes most students 3-5 years of classes. That is a long time, so we break that time frame with short-term goals represented by belt colors.   In most schools, the darker the belt, the closer to black belt you get. So in my school, you would start with white belt. The white represented that you didn't know anything about martial arts or very little. Within six-weeks, you would earn your gold belt and then in eight to twelve week increments, you would go to orange, green, blue, red, 4th degree brown, 3rd degree brown, 2nd degree brown, 1st degree brown and then black.   Each belt was earned through an examination process. With each belt earned the students felt a sense of progress. These acted as mini-victories that motivated them to continue classes. It was important for student retention that the every eligible student take their exams. We knew from tracking our statistics that students who did not take exams were our highest drop out risks. Progress creates motivation. Fire-Ready-Aim creates progress which creates momentum and motivation.   To be clear, Fire-Ready-Aim can create some challenges and set-backs that could have been avoided with more preparation, but in my experience, and this book is only my perspective on this things, the results far outweigh the risks.   Despite what all of the business books say, I've never written a business plan nor have I ever used on. I've never written a marketing plan either. For small businesses like mine, I don't see the need to outline and prepare for every contingency. For large businesses, I can see how having plans can help keep everyone's ladder on the same wall. But for small business with just a few employees, I think that's less necessary. I would rather spend that time attacking my next project.   Fire-Ready-Aim can create some problems of its own that you may avoid with more planning but the key word is "may." You may encounter the same problem with planning, who knows? Who cares, just get on with it. I believe that if you pull the trigger you will get the feedback you need to adjust from the market rather than a theory. I guess another way of looking at this to "Make the mess and clean it up later."