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August 2, 2010
Volume IIII Issue 8.1
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Memo of the Week
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Note From Sonya

Dear ,

If one person is asking the question, a few others are probably asking the same thing. My subscriber in the UK wanted clarification, and he asks such good questions, I wanted to post it here.

He asks:

"I remember from some of your memos how you almost seem to force yourself to do things you wouldn't normally do or even like the thought of just to overcome the fear or prove to yourself that you can, and my genuine admiration for that has grown. I remember reading part of a book once called "Being Happy" and one of the biggest things in there was about how subconscious thoughts are materialized in the real world by attracting the things you think about eg. if you always think you will fail at something, then it will attract failure! I think this is similar to what you alluded to in your memo about how expansion is inevitable. If this is so, then is it always necessary to put yourself out of your comfort zone, or is it sometimes more wise to go with the flow..? I did however, feel quite empowered when you told me I should take the lead and allow my feelings and thoughts to follow. No doubt there must be some kind of balance between these things and we must use our discretion."

This week's memo, I respond.

Memo of the Week
Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold. ~ Herbert Spencer

I'm actually much more of a proponent of "going with the flow" then going against it. And sometimes forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do can be considered going against the flow.

But I do that for a different reason. And not everyone would agree.

I have two schools of thought. On one hand expansion is inevitable. We are always called to become more than we are. It's the nature of who we are. On the other hand, there is something called "homeostasis". Like a thermostat that is set to a certain temperature, it will always self-regulate. If it gets too hot, the air will kick in to bring it to a cooler temperature. If it gets too cold, it will start flowing hot air. Whatever the gauge is set to, the thermostat will regulate.

Similarly, there is an unconscious process within us that self-regulates. We have relationship set points, money set points, weight set points. We have comfort zones, sometimes, that we are completely unaware of.  That's why people who win the lottery can go back to being at the same level of income or bankrupt in less than 6 years. Their unconscious financial set point didn't change because they won a million dollars. Like the thermostat programmed to monitor the gauge, their unconscious thermostat (homeostasis) brought them back to where they were comfortable. They can win millions and within years, they are back to where they started.
If you redistributed the wealth in the country and equalized it among all people, it would re-distribute exactly the same way within 3 years, according to people's set points. And you can look at Donald Trump as an example. He can lose it all, but go back to being a billionaire in no time, because that's where his set point is.

I say all of that to say this: Yes, expansion is our nature, but we also come up against our own homeostasis. Our own comfort zone. We don't want to move out of what we know.

So, when I force myself to try something new, or get out of my comfort zone, it is my attempt at moving the gauge manually (if we are going with the thermostat analogy).

I want to be comfortable playing in a bigger sand box.

So, I may be uncomfortable placing myself there for the first time, but if that's where I want to be, I want to know what it feels like there, so I can make that my new comfort zone.

Make sense?
Last week I went to a business conference in Las Vegas. I didn't know what to expect. It cost a bit of money but I wanted to step up my game, so I went. Not only did I go, but I bought a whole new wardrobe to take with me just to play the part. I work from home so I don't wear business attire. I live in clogs. But I would be amongst a group of business owners so I bought a few new suits.
I donned a new hat. That of CEO. And stepped into a role. After the first day, I'm thinking "why am I here?" I don't know anyone. I don't actually need any business.

My first bit of resistance kicked in.

I thought it was a good idea, which is why I went. But I'm uncomfortable. I don't want to eat meal after meal with strangers, and network. People here are raising capital, millions of dollars, forming advisory committees, structuring strategic alliances.

Who am I?  What am I doing here? Next layer of resistance.
I am out of my comfort zone. Out of my league.
By about the 3rd day, I had a little breakdown in my room, called my neighbor to check on my cat, sniveled to him. Got over it.

I put on my big girl pants and went back down to schmooze some more.
Who can I help? I needed to get out of myself.
I stuck it out.
By the fifth day, I am not so uncomfortable anymore. I made a friend, a possible business alliance. I am having dinner with people that do millions of dollars in revenue a year. I am listening to executives pitch to investors to raise capital for their companies.
I am in a different league.
Nothing changed. I changed. And I ended up having a really good time.
I'm using myself as an example only to answer the subscriber's question.

I step out and do things I'm uncomfortable doing because I only have to do it once.

I will never, in that setting, be uncomfortable again. I will not have to play in that environment if I don't want to, but I will no longer be intimidated by it, either. The choice will be mine.

We have set points, comfort zones that most of us, for our whole lives, don't leave. And I'm not a proponent of doing stuff just to be uncomfortable.
If there is a flow that is already happening, I'm all for "going with the flow". Follow it.
But if you are "here", and you want to be "there", you do have to wade through what keeps you "here". It's going to tell you that you need to stay "here" because it's safe, and you're comfortable, and "why change?". But at some point, if you want something more, or at the very least different, you're going to need to step out to discover what is on the other side.
IF you want something different.
Not everyone does.
But freedom has always been my quest. Every fear I overcome is a freedom gained.
I liken life to living in a huge mansion with many rooms. Why occupy only two rooms, when you have the whole house? The whole property? I want to be free to roam, to know that everywhere is home.
So in answer to this subscribers question,
If this is so, then is it always necessary to put yourself out of your comfort zone, or is it sometimes more wise to go with the flow..?
I would say, go with the flow as it flows and then when you come up against your own resistance, take the leap.
The friend I met in Vegas sent me a copy of his book when he got home. I knew we would do business together by the title of his opening chapter, which says it all:
Be Bold, Be Bold, and Everywhere Be Bold.
Until next time,
Om Freely
If you want more on the concept of homeostasis explained, and how the subconscious works, listen to the free 2 hour lecture on The Mental Bank Program at this site :

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