There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for everyone, but when it comes to areas where you KNOW you’re not making progress, chances are, you’re keeping yourself small.
You know you want certain things in life, and you know, for the most part, what it takes to get there. At least, theoretically speaking. You know your job’s holding you back from finding truly fulfilling work, or that you’re tired of being single, or that you’re sick of being overweight and out of shape. Why, then, are you still stuck?
It’s not like you want to keep yourself small, but the truth is, there’s a comfortability in maintaining patterns that are safe and predictable. How many people do you know who stay in jobs that they hate, week after week, year after year? I know tons of people who do. I used to be one of them. I was miserable, stuck in cubicles, doing the most boring work imaginable, but I stayed because these jobs were safe. They provided a steady paycheck and health insurance. I talk to people all the time who are in situations like I was, and I know it takes a lot of energy to break out of powerful cycles like that. But it is possible.
Sometimes you keep yourself small because you want to fit in. It’s hard to go against the grain and forge your own path without guarantee of success. It’s lonely, and chances are, you’re not going to get the support you need right away. In fact, this is such a strong factor in many people’s lives that they don’t even get the idea to do something different than those around them. It doesn’t even cross their minds, that they might like competing in triathalons, or that they may prefer living in a co-op housing situation than a studio apartment, or that they might actually fall in love with someone from a different ethnic background than their own. They keep themselves small because it’s predictable, and they know what to expect, and how to fit in with and belong to those around them. There’s a lot to be said for predictability, but staying small tends to close and lock the door to a lot of potential opportunities.
If you suspect that you’re keeping yourself small, you probably are. The easiest way to start breaking out of self-sabotaging habits and patterns is to recognize them, and then think about where the root of the problem is. Are you holding onto extra weight simply because you’ve become used to it, and you don’t think you have what it takes to transform your body, so why bother trying? Are you staying at your current job because you’re afraid of change? Are you resisting getting back onto the dating scene because you’re worried about being hurt or rejected? Are you letting your fears dictate how you’re living your life?
Once you get to the root of the problem, find the easiest thing you can do now to start making changes. Can you get out more? Should you read new magazines or books, or take new classes so you can expose yourself to new ideas and new thoughts, and make new friends? Do you need to shift your mindset, to change your way of thinking, and to be open to taking more risks? Playing it safe is very practical, but at what point are you going to let being safe shut you off from excitement, joy, life, love, and fun?
It’s good to think things over and let new concepts become more comfortable and familiar before you jump in and take action. Stay in your comfort zone, but extend the boundaries a little bit. The more you start expanding your activities and your consciousness, the easier it becomes to take bigger risks, and then to shift your life by leaps and bounds.