Habits govern our days. Routinely we execute daily tasks that eventually define the way we handle basic to complex life events.
In his book "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business", Charles Duhigg explores the fact that habits are created from recurring decisions that once performed and reinforced positively are then recorded and reused when triggered. The brain validated the action/decision to be a "good way" to handle the situation. This is important to us because it highlights something that is crucial, that our choice defines whom we are.
I can't tell you exactly how many times I've been told disqualifying one liner like: "but J.-F. it doesn't count for you", "I don't travel as much as you", "I'm not like you" or "I'm not fit enough". What I really hear in those circumstances sounds like "I'm scared", " I have excuses" and "I don't believe in me". It makes my skin creep every time. Not because I can't handle it, it's because it's false. It has nothing to do with me. It genuinely comes down to the choices you make multiple times a day every day.
ARE YOU MAKING A CHOICE OF COURAGE OR A CHOICE OR FEAR?
When facing options often times its binary, either you like it or you don't. It's really that simple. When I talk about facing your fears in How to Build James Bond's Unshakable Confidence what I'd like to precise is that its not just the obvious fears, such as the fear of spiders or fear of death, it's also about taking a path that is not coded in your habit's decision tree. To use already made excuses to justify your choice of fear instead of courage is not helping you building any confidence.
THE CHOICE OF FEAR
The choice of fear is the decision you take and believe that will justify your inaction. That voice in your head justifying not getting out of your comfort zone and tackling that challenge or simply deviating from your usual ways.
- This hot girl you chose not to talk to because you have this great conversation with your friends.
- That job you dreamed about you're not applying because you don't want to move away from your family
- That trip you let go because whatever
When facing choices and you justify yourself by taking the choice of fear I can guaranty you are missing out big. Being serious and having standards is perfectly fine as you would expect it if you have an exam, an interview or a presentation the following day is totally normal to skip the night out that one time. However if you always chose to stay put at home to watch your TV show, is a choice of fear. It's staying in your comfort zone for the sake of staying in your comfort zone. It bring nothing to your life.
Side note: My brother sent me a joke advertising last year. It had a bright yellow Lamborghini on it and said do you know why you never see TV ads for this car? And down below it said because people who can afford it are not watching TV.
THE CHOICE OF COURAGE
It take just a tiny bit of courage to deviate your regular program to try something else. Every day from the time you wake up until you go back to bed you go through an amazing amount of tasks all of which are programmed in your habits, your daily routine. Take conscious note of what you are doing and for a day ask yourself why you doing it like that. Is it automated to the point that you don't even remember the steps you go through every day?
If the first thing you do when you wake up is to log on Facebook with your head still on the pillow what do you think this is? Are you always eating the same breakfast? This is all material for self-analysis. When you go through your day take a mental note of what your doing and why. Stuff like; how often do you go get a coffee? What triggers the need for coffee?
The slight little change towards making a choice of courage instead of one of comfort and fear ripples further more than you can imagine. Switching on to courage mode will see your confidence rising to the roof. Every choice of courage enables more courage to surface.
Both choices have a pull effect. The more choices you make for comfort the more you'll find yourself avoiding challenges. The more challenges you take the more you'll find your comfort zone expanding.
By consciously taking the route of courage you'll be more and more confident, you'll believe in yourself and you'll grow to live a meaningful life rich of experiences.