Jeff Howell: Awareness & Comfort Zones

Awareness & Comfort Zones

Hey, everybody. How you doing? This is Jeff Howell with another episode of Mindset Monday. And today I want to talk a little bit about presence and comfort zones. So yesterday I spent some quality time with my son and then in the afternoon I worked for a few hours and I really wanted to spend some time in nature, but the day light was dwindling down. So I went out on the back patio to just kind of sit and get away from technology for a few minutes. And in the backyard there are a lot of trees around and whatnot. And so I’m sitting out there and it’s pretty windy. Like the wind here in Texas has been amping up the last few days. It’s been like between 15 and 20 miles an hour, which is not a small amount of wind is huge, but it definitely gets the trees moving and everything. And I’ve always had kind of a resistance to wind. Like I can really put myself into situations where it’s really hot outside and or even even cold to some degree in snow and other elements. But the wind for some reason is just always so annoying. And I immediately felt resistance to that. And when I was sitting out on the patio, I didn’t have a shirt on, I just had a pair of shorts on and it was probably like just in the low seventies. So it’s pretty perfect temperature, but with the wind, it felt a little I felt a little chill and I was just kind of like, man, I just again, I felt that resistance.

It was bringing that up that I thought in my head, like, you know, I don’t like the wind and should I even stay out here? But I really wanted to get that time nature. And so I kind of felt into that and looked up and looked around and I saw the the trees, you know, they have a thing called crown shyness where the tops of the trees, they they blow all around each other, but the branches don’t ever touch. And the way the trees are, I mean, in my backyard, they’re probably 50, some of them maybe 60 feet tall even. And they’re blowing in the wind like this. And it’s just fascinating to see that in real time and just be sitting there looking up into the trees and watching it. And it really made me be a lot more present with the elements that were there, with the wind and the chill in the air and the sound of the trees blowing and the the branches blowing and everything. And it just really got me into that place of awareness of what was happening around me and forgetting all of these things of the day and the technology and all the things that I was wanting to leave behind.

So in thinking about that, I mean, the work that I do in personal development has a lot to do with awareness. And I think awareness is really key to growth because if you once you become aware of like patterns in your emotional states or or other patterns that you run, then you can start to recognize them more often and figure out what kind of tools you might be able to learn or implement to move through those through those patterns that you have and that you’re running in your life. So this is sort of goes to me into like the comfort zone. So my comfort zone was not being in wind. It’s like if I’m out there on the patio and it’s 85 degrees, it’s pretty warm, even 90 degrees. I can sit there and be fine. But if the wind’s blowing and it’s like, Oh, I don’t even want to be here. So I got out of my comfort zone and I just had that awareness. I got that awareness of it. I sat with it, took a deep breath, and I just looked at all the beauty of the of the trees blowing around and all of that and became present in the presence. What was is what allowed me to move through that and through that, because I was aware of it as it was happening, I was able to expand my comfort zone in real time.

And so it makes me think like, where else am I limiting myself with my comfort zones or the patterns of the past, whether that be physically, whether that be mentally, emotionally or even spiritually. Those are the four main categories of my life where I’m striving for growth at all times. So where are these other comfort zones and patterns, for example? Like what decisions do I make from a physical standpoint, whether it has to do with nutrition or exercise, like what comfort foods am I leaning into when I when I feel a little bit of discomfort and I’m like, Oh, I need that that comfort level. What is it? You know, for me, it can be sugar, it could be coffee, it could be something like that. And physically, I could be more like, oh, I don’t I don’t want to go and work out or exert that kind of effort. I’m. It’s easier just to sit here in my comfort zone and sit in the chair or do whatever. Right. And then another thing that comes up for me is what behaviors are common when I’m connecting with people either on a personal level or a professional level. Like, where does that come up? Because that also came up this weekend when I was at an event Saturday night. And I tend to think about have that awareness of, well, how am I showing up in these conversations? Am I? Do I appear to needy? Am I present in the conversation I might distracted? Am I offering the value that I want to create for myself and for the people around me? Or am I getting annoyed with different conversations? We can have a lot of conversations every day, whether that be through different messaging platforms or in person or on Zoom or whatever.

I’m having a ton of different conversations and it’s like sometimes if I’m trying to focus and then I get sucked into a conversation, it’s like, am I coming across as annoyed? Like, how do I expand my comfort or not my comfort zone? How do I expand my comfort zone? But also how do I how do I implement the tools, the communication tools that I know that I have so that I can show up in in a better way and not just run these patterns of like, oh, why am I annoyed right now? Again, that awareness of like, why am I annoyed? Is it just because I was doing something else? Well, maybe I should have blocked that time off and not allowed any of these other messages to come into my field to distract me. And then what? As far as like when I’m wanting to when I’m wanting to do things in the professional realm and I want to execute different plans and strategies to build my Legion portfolio, for example, there’s things that I need to do with my websites.

I need to backlink and I need to do I need to set things up on Web host Python. I have some new domain names I’m working on and all of these things and the GBS and like. So I know that I have those things down, have them written into my weekly plan and I clear my path of all these other things that I’m supposed to be doing and then I have responsibility for. And then I’m ready to focus. And then what do I do? Do I lean into that and start executing, or do I distract myself with something else? Like, what do I do? Do I immediately like think, Oh man, I have to take this step so I’m going to open my phone and go to Instagram. Or my pattern would be, Oh, who else needs me? Like somebody else? Oh, I haven’t connected with that person in a while, and I really have a lot of love and respect for this person. Like, I want to check in on them. So I put other people’s needs before my own, or I find some other justification to procrastinate what I’m supposed to be doing to bring those things to fruition in my own life. So these are just some examples of the patterns. And again, it’s like for me it’s all about awareness. Once I have that awareness and I’m like, Yeah, I don’t want this to happen.

I don’t want this to limit me. And here’s the ways that I can prevent it from limiting me. And then when that thing comes up again, I’m either going to make that the right decision that’s going to be in my best interest for the long term, or I’m going to make that short term decision that’s inside my comfort zone, and that’s going to maybe make me feel safer in the short term, but I’m not going to reach my goals in the long term. So I’m working on a lot of things like that and it all just boils down to mindset. But again, the awareness of mindset is so super crucial for me and has made such a massive difference in my life and being able to move forward. So I’m curious if any of you are that aware of the patterns that you run, if you have any examples of things that you have found that are maybe limiting you or what, maybe hopefully you have patterns that you’ve created that that move you forward. I mean, I have some of those too. I have a practice in the morning where I get up and without without exception, I do my morning ritual and I get an ice bath and I meditate and I do all these things and those are all positive rituals there.

They become a comfort zone, which is very a discomforting zone from which what most of those things would be a discomfort zone for most people are now my comfort zone. So those are ways that I’ve moved forward. But I’m curious if any of you have any of those either limiting or expansive practices and awarenesses around your patterns. So I hope you get something out of this and you can look at your life and the patterns that you’re running in a new way and maybe strive for more awareness in the things that you’re doing every day so that you can recognize ways to level up. Because these are the the things that the more that I recognize these patterns, the more I’m capable and. Able to to level up. And it’s a practice. It’s definitely not something that was just like, Oh yeah, snap your fingers and it’s done. It’s like, I work on this stuff constantly. It’s always another perspective. And every time I do a workshop or I’m in a conversation with somebody and and I do default to some kind of a thought process around it. I always learn something new and I figure out some other way to optimize what I’m doing. So anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. Take care. Have a great week and I look forward to hearing some of your thoughts in the comments from this Mindset Monday. Take care. Have a good one.

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