sharpening the sword

Today I have well and truly plonked myself in the stretch zone…

What is the stretch zone?

It isn’t some fancy new yoga club… it is a magical place where exciting things happen, a place that is different for each of us, and a place that is REALLY important and here’s why..

In coaching we talk about a comfort zone, a stretch zone and a panic zone, and making goals from your stretch zone… If you have never heard this before, I’ll explain quickly:

Comfort Zone

In this place you are comfy, you know you can achieve the goal you are setting yourself and as a result it doesn’t happen. It’s too comfortable, too easy. A little bit like when you live really near a place and you end up always being late – there is no planning involved, you become complacent, its not EXCITING, so you don’t bother… (Don’t set goals from this place, it’s a waste of time, it’s not an adventure and you’ll not learn anything.)

The (Magic) Stretch Zone

In this place the thing that you want to do is exciting, and you have no idea how you are going to achieve it, but achieving it would be SO cool that you will do whatever it takes. You believe that you can do it, or that you have what it takes, but it will be a stretch, possibly even a MASSIVE stretch. This is a great place to set goals from, because you will be motivated, you will learn something, it gets your heart thumping, there is something to lose and you will be SO VERY annoyed and disappointed if you don’t achieve it. There is something unknown, new, and ‘good’ frightening about a goal that is set here…

Panic Zone

In this place you are fear stricken, paralysed and have probably over shot. In this place the goal is SO big that it terrifies you and therefore setting goals from your panic zone is no good at all. Learning and stretch is great! Panic, not so much…Often adventurous people set goals for themselves here, and while they might achieve them, the journey is a white knuckle ride, done from a place of fight, or flight rather than one of inspiration and growth. The experience is very different.

So, now that we are clear on that…

Today I entered my stretch zone and limbered up to sharpen my sword… Steven Covey’s 7th habit of highly effective people is “Sharpen the Saw”…

“Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle.”

He primarily emphasises exercise for physical renewal, prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. He also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal, and I agree with him, the process of CPD (continuous professional development) is essential. As it is also in your personal life. Especially when you are a freelancer, business owner,  entrepreneur or freedom seeker – these areas overlap, as you are your biggest asset staying sharp is essential….

I refer to this renewal and growth as sharpening the sword instead of the saw as it feels more in keeping with the hero’s journey. The journey that we are all on. With it’s lessons and pit falls and glorious learning! Investing in yourself is a necessary and important part of your growth…

Investing in ourselves and our personal development not only helps us to grow and move forward by teaching us new things, but also in making the commitment, and stretching ourselves in making the payments, or taking a leap of faith that the universe will provide for us, with ease and grace, we prove to ourselves that we believe we are important enough to take risks for!!

SO what kind of a coach would I be if I didn’t do just that, if I didn’t put faith in myself and the universe and take personal risks for the sake of my development?

I  make a lot of time in my schedule for retreats and workshops and I work with as many other people offering personal and professional development as I can. I like to think that I am doing all I can to stay sharp and to be the best version of me I can be. (p.s I love to pass this on all my learning too)

This year I have reached a place where I want to seriously UP MY GAME and to do that I need to take some big steps and a go on a hero’s journey of my own (again)… A few weeks ago I applied for The Daily Love – Enter the Heart – Retreat in Bali…Today, I have just put myself firmly in my ‘stretch zone’ by making my first payment and I am SOOOO excited!!

Firstly I am psyched to be going back in Bali to see all my friends and places I stayed and visited when I lived there back at the end of 2011.

Secondly I am SO very excited to be able to work with Mastin Kipp (!!)

And thirdly I am really really looking forward to learning and growing in the Company of likeminded people, having a mastermind team will be SO powerful!

In the comments below let me know what investment you made in yourself recently? How did it pay off for you?


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