Are You A Comfort Zoner?…John Page Burton

Recently, Diana and I spent the afternoon free climbing on some rather large rocks. The views were amazing and the drop offs were breathtaking. As we made our way up one particular rock  formation, we stopped and began to analyze our decision to climb any further. (We had just re-entered our comfort zone) First, we began to make excuses why we would not be able to climb this specific rock. Next, we accessed our justification program, the sole purpose of which is to grant us permission to validate our excuses.  After several minutes of  this disjointed mind chatter, we made the decision to face our fear, leave our comfort zone and continue climbing.  We made it to the top and we were also able to experience the additional euphoria of having successfully conquered our fears!

“Comfort Zoners” live safe, fear based lives. Here are several of the characteristics common to someone who operates within their comfort zone.

*”Comfort Zoners” are often hesitant to seek out new, personal relationships. They tend to have strong emotional attachments regarding how they are viewed by others. As a rule they will shy away from random conversations with people they do not know. They spend the majority of their time with people they deem to be “safe” . They are not comfortable being vulnerable. THE CHALLENGE… I encourage you to introduce yourself to a total stranger and engage in a conversation with this person. This exercise will allow you to experience firsthand, the non-threatening nature of a human interaction.

*”Comfort Zoners” are routine oriented. Exploring  new opportunities, going on spontaneous adventures or trying a new type of food can be a tremendous stretch for someone who is routine dependent. When encouraged to try something new or different, the routine oriented “Comfort Zoner”  will often make excuses, justifications or even become angry and demeaning towards the person who invited them to take part in the “new” activity. THE CHALLENGE…I encourage you to invite someone (that you have a relationship/friendship with) to participate in an activity that you have resisted in the past. This will help you build your muscles of confidence. *FYI… it may come as a shock to them if you have turned them down in the past.

*”Comfort Zoners” project their fears onto others. “Comfort Zoners” engage in a great deal of negative self talk. They are normally insecure and they frequently offer other people unsolicited advice and criticism. They are masterful at deflection. “Comfort Zoners”  can harbor a great deal of anger and jealousy towards friends and family members who they perceive “have it all.” THE CHALLENGE…Identify a friend or family member who has just had a significant “life victory.” Call or personally visit them to congratulate them on their “win”. Genuinely express how proud you are of their accomplishment. Remember, it does not always have to be about you!

We will ALL experience fear! How we address fear when it comes up will ultimately determine the quality of our life experience. Remember that FEAR stands for FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. Each time you face and conquer your fear you have removed another brick from the wall surrounding your comfort zone.

I look forward to your feedback!

3 Tips For Re-Creating Your Life…John Page Burton

Change is inevitable. How we respond to major life changes can have a profound impact on the overall quality of our lives. Every time we experience  a major life change, we are provided with an opportunity to evaluate our current situation and determine how we will proceed from there. I commonly refer to this process as re-creation. A major life change will often thrust us directly into the re-creation process.

Some of the most common examples of major life changes include…

Job/career change.

Relationship/marriage change.

Geographical change.

Health/illness change.

Family/children change.

Major life changes are usually accompanied by a tremendous amount of tension, uncertainty and stress. Our ability to remain flexible and adaptable during any major life change is critical to our physical and mental well being. In order to rise above our challenges and truly re-create ourselves, we must get COMFORTABLE  BEING UNCOMFORTABLE. Here are 3 tips that will help us stay focused during any major life change.

1. Don’t pass judgment on the experience. Every situation or condition that happens in our lives is a teachable moment. These experiences are necessary for our growth. Life often happens when we are making other plans. We must strive to find the positive and express gratitude for every life changing event.

2. Join a mastermind group. A mastermind group is different from a support group. A mastermind group is solution oriented and is designed to hold its members accountable for their own results. I understand the importance of early stage support groups but I truly believe that a mastermind group is better structured to provide the strategies and tools needed to effectively begin our re-creation process.

3. Establish a new set of objectives. We are closing a major chapter in our lives. Our personal re-creation will require powerful new goals and a well defined game plan. (This is also where the mastermind group can be of tremendous value) In many cases our confidence has been rattled and we are experiencing  self doubt. It’s time to leave our comfort zone and set new goals that will cause us to stretch and grow. Reaching these goals will get us back in the game and boost our confidence.

Re-creation means that we are choosing to be proactive in our life. This is a very empowering way to live!

As always I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

5 Traits Found In Effective Leaders…John Page Burton

I believe that in order for us to become truly effective leaders we must first become “leaders of self.”  Seasoned leaders know that leadership is a life long learning process. Over the past twenty five years, I have interviewed hundreds of leaders who all share specific traits that can be directly attributed to their success. Here are the 5 most common.

*Responsibility. Leaders must be willing to take full responsibility in every area of their life. Effective leaders do not let emotions skew their vision. They shy away from making excuses or placing blame on others. They accept full responsibility for  every decision they make.  Most of us are far more likely to follow a leader who is willing to take responsibility for their actions, as opposed to a person who routinely looks for someone else to blame when things don’t work out as they had planned.

*Clarity Of Purpose. Effective leaders possess laser vision and clarity. They set large goals for themselves and for the teams they lead. Effective leaders are able to present and sell their vision in a manner that creates a true spirit of cooperation. Their mantra is “better to aim high and miss, than aim low and hit.”

*Personal Development. Effective leaders understand the power of ongoing personal development.  They hire personal coaches, consultants and enroll in mastermind groups that assist them in further educating, evaluating and motivating themselves. They know that when they become the smartest person in the room, it is time to change rooms!

*Master Relationship Builders. Effective leadership requires the ability to build and maintain relationships. Leaders who regularly volunteer in their communities also have an opportunity to build important “goodwill” relationships. Effective leaders are always expanding their contact data base as well as exploring networking opportunities both inside and outside of their industry. A primary objective for any effective leader is to create a wide circle of influence.

*Continuing Education. Effective leaders never stop learning. They remain on the cutting edge because they know that it will give them a competitive advantage. They value and learn from every life lesson. They APPLY this knowledge in future endeavors.

Being recognized as an effective leader is something that is EARNED over time. In order to effectively lead others we must first become a true leader of self.

As always we welcome your feedback.

The 3 Levels Of Conviction…John Page Burton

As a peak performance coach, I have the opportunity to work with a very diverse group of clients. Each of my client interactions leaves me with valuable insights into  how each of us choose to play the game of life. Recently I was asked what I thought distinguished the people who society considers “high achievers” from the people who always seem to struggle. Was it their family of origin, educational background, race, religion or some other determining factor? I pondered this question for a few days and came to the conclusion that more than any other factor, it comes down to a persons level of CONVICTION.  There are three primary levels of conviction.

TOTAL CONVICTION. People who live their life from a place of total conviction truly believe that they deserve success, abundance, happiness and all of the good things that life has to offer. They instinctively know that there will be a price to pay for success and they are willing to pay it time and again. They don’t waste energy feeling offended, rejected, jealous or envious.  They have no ego attachment to what others may or may not think of them. They know where they are going and they firmly believe that nothing will deny them their dreams. *These individuals fall into the top 3% of our society.

MODERATE CONVICTION. People with moderate conviction usually invest a tremendous amount of time trying to convince themselves that they deserve success. The majority of their life decisions are based on what is most comfortable for them. They routinely compare themselves to others and  can become jealous and envious toward people they perceive have “more” than they do. They often go into significant debt, purchasing material possessions to create an illusion that they are better off than they are. They will undoubtedly experience tremendous stress in their personal lives due to their propensity to live above their means.

CONVENIENT CONVICTION. People with convenient conviction make the majority of their life decisions based on their current emotional state. When things are going their way life is great , when things are not going their way they become miserable and blame others for their unhappiness. They are thin skinned and are easily offended. They tend to gossip, hold grudges and share their “sad stories” with anyone who will listen. They invest a considerable amount of energy ensuring that they are the “king of their hill”. They feel threatened by anyone who is willing to step our of their comfort zone to improve their life.  People with convenient conviction often attract health and financial challenges.

Where are you on the conviction scale? The key word is CURRENTLY.  Each of us has the ability to make a different decision. If you are living your life from a place of total conviction, congratulations, you have arrived! If you are like the majority of us you are living somewhere between moderate and total conviction. If you find yourself living in the convenient zone you would be well served to take a closer look at yourself and your current associations. Convenient conviction is not growth oriented. I would recommend hiring a coach to help you design a life strategy and hold you accountable for your results. You are well worth the investment!

Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome and appreciated!

10 Steps To Guarantee Failure…John Page Burton

During any given week, the vast majority of us are exposed to hundreds of “motivational” messages. If you are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, overweight, spiritually lost or your relationship has lost it’s zeal, someone has the answer for you. All a person has to do is log onto their Facebook stream where they will find a plethora of motivational messages that are provided free of charge, courtesy of a diverse group of individuals who are more than likely just as ” screwed up” as we are. I like to call it mirroring. One must ask, what messages are freely given to the person who doesn’t desire to be “fixed” or “uplifted”, the person who simply wants to live a “low exertion lifestyle”?   This message is for YOU!!! I have compiled a “fool proof” check list that is guaranteed to help you remain a  chronic underachiever. These tips will serve you well as you continue down your path of least resistance.

Ten Steps To Guaranteed Failure…

1.Establish several extremely vague goals. Use phrases like “I think I want a new car” or “It would be cool to go on a nice vacation somewhere”. The vaguer your  goal is, the greater the odds are that you will never achieve it!

2. Try hard not to visualize your goals. Remember, when we stay focused on anything long enough it may just come to fruition. Be careful what you focus on!

3.When you verbalize your goals make sure to use negative language. THIS IS CRITICAL!!! Using words like CAN’T and TRY will help you kill your goals before they have a chance to gain traction.  “I Can’t ever lose weight” or I’ll give it a TRY” are very effective goal killers!

4. Do not set up any type of measurement system. Your objective is to remain as inactive as possible. Having a plan or measurement system is going to complicate this process. There is no need to feel like you must stretch and grow.

5.Take minimal or no action at all.  Feel free to talk about your goals but under no circumstances should you move towards them. Action can be a fatal mistake for  an underachiever.

6.Make sure that the timing is never right. By implementing this strategy you are ensuring that you will always have an “out”. For example, “I will start dieting after the holidays” or “I’ll wait until after the kids go back to school”  are excellent excuses for anyone who is wavering on starting a diet and exercise program. The key is to leave yourself some wiggle room.

7.Don’t hire a coach or recruit a work out partner. Accountability is the underachievers worst nightmare. The last thing you need is a success strategy and a partner that will hold you accountable for your results!

8.Make sure that you have plenty of distractions. The more distractions you are able to create the less time you will have to address or focus on your objectives. Be creative, distractions should be fun!

9. Think small. The smaller you think the less you have to worry about. Owning a larger home, a nicer car or saving money for a family dream vacation is just going to heap more responsibility on you. Your little box is warm and cozy, DON”T ROCK THE BOAT!!!

10. AVOID personal growth! It is imperative that you shy away from motivational books, tapes, speakers or blogs. The messages they put forth are only going to confuse you. Remember, YOU are an underachiever, the world needs you. Don’t fall for the hype!

Hopefully you have found this message to be uplifting and helpful.  I know that with just a TINY bit of effort, you can continue to live within the confines of mediocrity.

As always we love to hear your feedback!