The Big Idea
Stop saying I’m sorry.
Questions I Answer
- How can I feel more confident?
- What’s the best way to look confident?
- What can I say instead of I’m sorry?
Key Topics in the Show
The benefits of being uncomfortable & how discomfort leads to action
Using your optimal anxiety as a momentum builder
Shifting your mindset when stepping outside of your comfort zone
Giving yourself permission to be vulnerable
How to transform your “sorry” into “thank you”
Resources and Links
- Watch this week’s Tanya TV episode on how to motivate yourself to achieve your goals.
Welcome to season nine of Productivity Paradox with Tanya Dalton, a podcast focused on using productivity, not just to do more, but to achieve what’s most important to you. Join Tanya has she kicks off the New Year with a special season titled, New Year True You.
Hello. Hello, everyone. Welcome to productivity paradox. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton and this is Episode 117, having the confidence to get what you want. And I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe today is the last episode of season nine where we talked all season long about New Year true you. So, I thought today we would talk about having the confidence in order to bring out that true you, so you can pursue your goals and your dreams.
Remember, it’s not about changing who you are and becoming a totally different person. It’s about shifting your mindset, pushing your limits and, really finding ways to allow your best self to come forward and to shine. So, let’s talk about getting you out of your comfort zone.
Basically, it’s not about being comfortable and complacent, but pushing forward and embracing a little bit of discomfort now and then, especially when you know that end result is going to benefit you. We’re also going to talk about vulnerability and how it’s okay to be human and to be vulnerable sometimes. We all are. And I also want to talk to you about not apologizing all the time. We tend to do this where we say I’m sorry an awful lot.
So we’re going to discuss a way to shift your mindset a tiny bit, and how you can reframe your sorrys and turn them into thank yous. Now, before we get started, I do want to give a quick shout out to today’s sponsor.
Gusto is a great resource that offers easy to run payroll services and HR support for small businesses around the country. Stay tuned because a little later in this episode, I’ll be sharing how you can get three months free. So, keep listening to hear those details in just a little bit.
Okay, so I want to start today’s podcast with a question. Are you too comfortable? I know it seems like a silly question, right? Because, don’t we all want to be comfortable? I know I enjoy having comfort. It’s in our DNA to strive for comfort. We’re always looking towards feeling comfortable and safe in our life.
So we’re cold, and we reach for a sweater or a blanket. We’re hungry, so we grab something to eat. We’re thirsty, we get something to drink. This is all in an effort to minimize our discomfort and really create a sense of satisfaction. But there’s
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actually a lot of benefits to being uncomfortable to being out of balance at times. Discomfort can lead to action.
And let me give you an example. Let’s say you get up in the morning, you head to your closet and you put on your pants, and your jeans are feeling just a little bit tight. So what do we do? Well, we decide, okay, we’re gonna cut out dessert, and we’re going to get to the gym. The uncomfortableness of our pants caused us to take action and resolve the situation. In this case, a little bit of discomfort, lead us to the gym. So that’s a good thing. And here’s the deal.
Being comfortable is not always bad. It’s great to feel a sense of security. In fact, psychologists call this our comfort zone. This is a space where we feel confident, comfortable, stress free. So it doesn’t sound bad, does it? And absolutely, being comfortable is a great thing. But the key to making progress and moving forward towards that life we really want, is that we can’t be too comfortable. So, why is that a bad thing? What’s wrong with being too comfortable?
Well, there I had to use the word lazy because, that’s sometimes what we use as a word or as an excuse to give ourselves permission not to take action at all to be comfortable. For example, I’m not going to work on my novel because oh, it’s raining outside and I’m feeling lazy today. Hmm, I just think you can do better than that.
Being lazy, that’s a choice. It’s choosing not to pursue the life you really want. Not that there’s anything wrong with intentionally having some lay low time in our lives. We definitely need that. We also want to choose how to have that time and when to have that time, and not to rely on the word lazy as an excuse. Be confident in the way that you’re spending your time.
We think that we want to have a balance in our lives, because that sounds comfortable. But the truth is, if we have too much of balance or too much comfort, we can become complacent or a little bit lazy. Meaning, we don’t really have a reason to change direction or to pivot, or to simply move anywhere at all. Where we are feels comfortable, and that in turn can make us feel sluggish and unmotivated to do anything. Or to make progress on something, or to try something new. So in a way, being too comfortable, can make us feel or seem idle.
And if you think about this in terms of how machinery works, idle means inoperable, inactive, unused. I don’t want you to be idle. I don’t think you do either. I want you to get that forward momentum so you can reach those goals you have. Think of it like you’re one of those two wheeled segues that you sometimes see beach cops riding. If they stand on it perfectly balanced and comfortable, they go nowhere. They sit there. They just don’t move. They have to use their weight. They have to lean in a particular direction in order to get things moving. Life is the same way.
If we are 100% balanced, we might find ourselves standing in the same place instead of going somewhere or making progress. So, what I really want is for you to scrutinize the areas of your life where you feel too comfortable. And I want you to get confident that you can push past that comfort zone into your zone of greatness.
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Trust me, I get it. It’s so much easier and so much more appealing to put on some sweat pants and snuggle on the couch and watch a movie with a bowl of popcorn than it is to dress up and go to a networking event, meeting a bunch of people you don’t know or making a small talk in order to push your business forward or advance your career.
But in the end, being comfortable is not going to push you forward. Watching that movie is going to have no real benefit on your dreams at the end of the day. Is it okay to sometimes want to veg out and do nothing? Absolutely. As long as that’s not the norm. As long as it’s not part of your regular routine to just stay in your comfort zone, and as long as it’s not the reason why you aren’t making progress on something you really want.
If it becomes an excuse that’s hindering you from moving forward, that’s what we need to figure out how to push yourself and stretch beyond your comfort zone. We have to feel good in our choices. And knowing that they reflect our true selves, really helps instill that confidence. We can’t let fear or anxiety hold us back.
As we discussed a few weeks ago, we can use our fear as a momentum builder. And this is not a new concept at all. Psychologist Robert York’s and John Dodson did studies way back in the early 1900s, where they concluded that anxiety improve performance up to a certain level. And when that level was passed, when the stress levels were too high, performance declined or deteriorated.
So, when it comes to having the right amount of stress or anxiety to get you moving, you don’t want to have too little stress where you’re in your comfort zone and have absolutely no momentum. But you also don’t want to have too much where it causes debilitating anxiety, or fear, which can cause analysis paralysis. You need it to be, yep, just right, which is actually known as optimal anxiety. We’re going to be revisiting this concept of optimal anxiety throughout the podcast.
So, it’s just that right amount of discomfort to push you out of your comfort zone, but not so much that it causes so much fear that you don’t move forward. Being slightly uncomfortable or out of sorts can push us to reach goals that we never imagined we are capable of. For being too uncomfortable or push too far, that can have the adverse effects as well.
So it’s crucial to remember that, while it’s good to step out of our comfort zone, it’s also good to be able to step back in. That’s when we can actually see and appreciate the value of that optimal anxiety we just talked about.
Being in our comfortable safe zone, that will help us be grateful for the willpower and the courage it took to venture out and try something new. The more we step out of our comfort zone and then safely step back in, the more we build up that confidence we need in ourselves.
Now, we can’t talk about comfort zones without talking about what’s outside of those comfort zones. Many of us perceive what’s outside of our comfort zone as risky or scary, and that’s okay to feel that way. It’s uncharted territory sometimes. After all, it’s outside of our comfort zone. It’s a place where it’s natural to be worried
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or anxious about traveling down this unknown path. So, I want to talk about that in just a minute. But first, I want to give a quick word for our podcast sponsor, Gusto.
For small business owners out there, Gusto is a great tool that helps with your payroll, benefits and your HR needs. I know because, Gusto is a tool that I use myself in my own business, and they make it really simple to sign, store and even organize all your employee documents online. And to me, one of the best parts about Gusto is they provide expert HR support that’s just a phone call away.
They’re happy to help answer any questions you might have as far as HR, or payroll or any of those things that can be a little bit daunting and scary. Plus, Gusto automatically files and pays all state, local and federal payroll taxes. So that’s one less thing for you to worry about. Gusto has generously offered my podcast listeners three months free. Simply go to gusto.com/paradox to get the information on how to get your free trial.
Alright, let’s get back to this idea of what’s outside of our comfort zone, and being okay with a little bit of vulnerability. Because, not everything outside of our comfort zone has to be scary. It’s all in how we frame it in our heads. Again, confidence is all about mindset and how we choose to look at situations. We can look at it as exciting or exhilarating. Maybe think of it as something on your bucket list, or it’s something you want to achieve for your own personal success.
Regardless of whether it’s scary or exhilarating, there’s definitely perceived risk with anything that falls outside of our comfort zone. It’s not in our area of comfort, therefore, it’s a little bit scary. But here’s the truth. If there weren’t some perceived risks, then things wouldn’t be scary and we’d already be doing them. They would be within our comfort zone.
So in order to push ourselves beyond complacency, you’re going to have to use that bravery and courage that we talked about a couple episodes back. You’re going to have to give yourself permission to be vulnerable. To know that you might not do something perfectly or 100% right the first time. You might make some mistakes, you might fall down and all of those things are okay. I get it. Vulnerability is hard. Trust me. I know that myself firsthand.
Brene Brown, the author of Daring Greatly has done a lot of research around comfort zones and vulnerability. She says, anytime we open ourselves up to vulnerability, it’s a very uncomfortable mirror. I have to agree Brene. After all., it’s not comforting to be vulnerable. It makes us feel exposed. Maybe even a little bit naked. Sometimes it makes us feel weak or inadequate. But in the end, we’re all human and we’re not perfect. It’s okay to go out on a limb, it’s okay to embrace our vulnerabilities.
Actually, the key to all of this is to know a little bit about vulnerability, and how people perceive it. Interestingly, psychological research suggests there’s often a mismatch between how people perceive their vulnerabilities. For some reason, there’s a big discrepancy in how we view vulnerability in ourselves compared to how we think others perceive it.
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Studies indicate that we tend to think that, showing our own vulnerability makes us appear inadequate and weak, a mess, so to speak. While others see our vulnerability, even when it’s the exact same vulnerability that we’re criticizing ourselves for, they tend to perceive it as something quite different, even alluring. This phenomenon is called the beautiful mess effect. We’ll criticize ourselves for the very same thing that we sympathize about in somebody else.
Somehow, we’re able to find compassion for another person’s vulnerabilities over our own, and I think that’s really important to note. That when we think about when other people show authenticity when they show parts of themselves that are vulnerable, we think that’s really courageous, right? We applaud people for that.
When we do it ourselves, we think it’s a weakness. We think it’s something shameful. I want us to really realize that there is this discrepancy, that it is a good thing to share those vulnerabilities. Why is it that we can be so forgiving for someone else for showing these vulnerabilities and yet, so self-loathing when it comes to those very same things in ourselves?
We really need to learn to give ourselves permission to expose ourselves, to venture out there and to be brave. In fact, I recently saw an article about the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, and how they had an exhibit called a monument for the anxious and hopeful.
It was basically an enormous catalog of anonymous confessions where people could willingly write down their hopes and their anxieties for other people to read and relate to. So on one side of the paper, they had this vellum sheet of paper, where they would write down their anxieties and on the other side, they wrote out their hopes.
If you can imagine, exhibit patrons found it so comforting to see that they weren’t alone when it came to anxieties, and the aspirations they had, to see their own hopes and fears are shared with other people, that was really comforting. It put them right back into their comfort zone. So, I really believe that knowing that you are not alone with how you feel, I think there’s a lot of power there.
Sometimes seeing your own weaknesses through the lens of someone else, that can help you appreciate and even accept your own vulnerabilities. And to feel confident, you are not alone. So sometimes when we are feeling like that, when we have this anxiety because we are showing a weakness or we feel some discomfort, when we’re not feeling confident, we tend to pour on the, I’m sorrys. I’m sorry, I’m late. Sorry for interrupting you. Sorry, I didn’t send out the email sooner. Sorry, sorry, sorry. Why is it that so many of us find ourselves constantly starting conversations with, I’m sorry?
We have to stop apologizing for anything and everything possible. And I recently read an article that made me pause and think, so I want to share it with you. The writer of the article decided to stop saying sorry and, instead replaced it with thank you. And at first, this idea seems strange. I mean, how can you replace an apology with a sentiment of things, right? But I found it to be a really powerful way
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to reframe things, and I’ve started implementing this strategy whenever I can in my own life. So, let me tell you how it works. I want you to think about it.
Saying sorry tends to have a bit of a sad tone to it. It’s usually because we’ve done something wrong or we’ve made a mistake. So, it takes us into this sorrowful starting point. We’re late to meet someone for lunch so we say, “I’m sorry, I was late, but the traffic was a nightmare.” Or, we pour our heart and soul out to a friend while venting about a fight we had and we say, “I’m sorry, I just dumped my family drama on you.” But why do we always feel like we have to apologize?
Instead, maybe we need to change the tone and rewrite the outcome. Maybe we just need to flip the script, thank the other person and change the mood. Make them feel appreciated for tolerating, what? That you’re human and that you make mistakes just like they do? We’re all human, we all make mistakes, we all have moments. We can’t control all times vulnerability, embrace it, own it and move on.
So instead of saying, “Sorry, I’m late because of traffic.” Maybe you rephrase it and say, “Thank you, for waiting for me. Traffic put me in a bad mood, but I am so happy to see you.” Or instead of, “Sorry for dumping all my troubles on you.” Maybe say, “Thank you, for being such a good friend and listening to me. I always appreciate your willingness to lend an ear.” See the difference and how that makes the receiver feel appreciated, and how it changes the tone and the mood for everyone?
Gratitude is such a powerful thing, and it could be much stronger than constant apologies. It really can help you boost your confidence, and that’s what I want for you. I want you to feel confident in your true you. I want you to let go of the insecurities, and the should haves and the supposed to have dones. Be true to who you really want to be. Ask yourself, what do I really want? What’s the life I want to have?
I want you to do a quick exercise with me. I’m going to read a few sentences, and I want you to fill in the blank. Seriously. Out loud. Yes. Even if you’re at the gym, even if you’re driving your kids to school right now, I want you to fill in the blank. I want you to say it out loud and allow yourself to hear your own thoughts. Are you ready? All right. Sentence one, my biggest fear is that I’ll never … What did you answer there? Think about that.
Sentence two, my greatest wish for myself is to … And sentence number three. Someday, I want to … What is it you want to do someday? What is your greatest wish? What is your biggest fear? Someday is today. Take those dreams. Take that life you really want, grab it by the horns, have the confidence and the belief in yourself that you can and will achieve the greatness you deserve.
All season, we have talked about the new year and true you. Today, is the final episode of the season. My greatest hope is that you will use the tools that we’ve discussed all season long to reveal the true you that’s there deep inside.
We’ve talked about habits, and we’ve talked about uncovering your passions, and even looking at your future self. We’ve found ways to feel more centered through
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organizing our lives, and even our bank accounts so we could stop worrying about those things. And instead focus on the real work of becoming the true you.
We’ve talked about managing fear and risk. We had three amazing women on the show this season who are living their truest selves. You can do that too. That is my greatest wish. It is for you to believe in yourselves and allow the true you to shine. And that’s what I want to leave you with this season.
I want you to think about what you can do. What is the answer to those fill in the blanks? What is it you want to do someday? What is your biggest fear? What is it that is your greatest wish? I want you to hold true to that and know that that is absolutely possible.
I have a Tanya TV episode this week to help build on this momentum as we close out the season. I’m sharing how to motivate yourself to achieve your goals, because goals are simply an extension of the true you that you want to be. You can watch that at inkWELL Press.com/YouTube. In the meantime, can you do me a favor? Can you help me spread the word about this podcast?
One of the best ways to do that is by leaving a rating and a review as that allows others to discover the podcast and the messages that I want to share. You can post on Instagram or Insta story. I really do read every single one of them. So, it means so much to me personally. But it also helps us reach more people with our message of helping them live a more meaningful life.
I truly appreciate every single one of you for listening each week, for spreading the messages, for helping others to see the goodness that is possible in their lives. And next week, we are going to begin season 10 with an entirely new focus. I cannot wait to share it with you. I’ll be giving you details next week, so I hope to see you here. All right. Until next time, have a beautiful and productive week.