The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels teaches us how to transcend our comfort zones by changing behavior and not just attitude. A main aspect of this book emphasizes the need to interact with the world outside your periphery by transcending traditional comfort zones. That means foregoing analysis paralysis and the fight/flight phenomena in favor of action orientation.
Our safe space is the psychological crutch or comfort zone. Each of us tends to organize life around the avoidance of undermining the comfort zone in favor of perfect predictability, a static existence, and resistance to change.
Stutz and Michels teach that the only real way to move forward is to venture out of the classic comfort zone to experience new possibilities, people, and ways of doing things. Sometimes this means forcing yourself to eat right, exercise, organize your life, or even change careers.
The authors advise that we should turn fear into empowerment, the courage to overcome phobias, and the fear of leading or talking to people face to face. All of these proactive skills require a long term commitment to change behavior to a higher level of learning based upon venturing out into the unknown.
The authors employ a technique known as “the reversal of desire” when action is contemplated on an issue which has been avoided for a long period of time. In practice, each of us has to do something uncomfortable in order to proceed to a higher level of conquering a specific unfounded fear. The authors provide a specific example: Fear of audiences can be conquered by talking to an intermediary or your shadow in preparation to addressing a real audience.
The Tools is an excellent book which teaches contrary to traditional psychiatry which emphasizes probing past history to cure ills. The authors basically toss previous history and get to the root of the problem of avoidance right away. In essence, they advise to just do it!