Do you feel like all the excitement has been drained out of your life?
Perhaps you feel that you are not as confident as you once were?
Then consider this ….
We all have a comfort zone. And our comfort zone defines the boundary of the life we live now. It is defined by things such as the job we hold, the routines we have established, the friends we spend most of our time with, the things we do in our spare time, the holidays we go on, the coffee shop or restaurants we frequent.
Our comfort zone represents all the things in our life that make “us” feel like ourselves. In a way, it’s our safety net.
But do you ever stretch your comfort zone? I mean, I get that it feels safe there, but it’s not really a space from which you can develop and grow, is it? Maybe secretly you know that you are getting in the way of your personal growth because you are too scared to stretch those comfortable boundaries?
I’ve been pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone recently.
Since I launched my own business, I have been very reluctant to step out from behind my computer screen and to ‘be seen’, to be visible.
I’ve experienced soooo much discomfort around this particular area. And if I’m honest – a great deal of fear.
But recently I was at an Event – an event that I made the decision to attend specifically in the hope that it might help me to gain confidence and therefore diminish some of the fear that I associate with public speaking.
About an hour into the Event, the host asked… before I go on – I need to check…. is there anyone in the audience who definitely does not want me to pick on them today? Anyone who doesn’t want to come up on to the stage? My hand shot straight up in the air.
And then she said … fantastic, if you can just come to join me now on the stage, that would be great.
Say what? I was horrified. Mortified. Terrified.
All of the above and so much more.
I actually felt physically sick and I had absolutely NO intention of joining her on stage. She could have been Oprah Winfrey for all I cared – I was not getting up there!
But somehow (and don’t ask me to explain how it happened), I found myself on the stage. And do you know…. Once I was over the initial shock … it didn’t feel so bad. I didn’t collapse. I didn’t freeze. I didn’t feel judged or ridiculed. When I was finally able to settle into the conversation – it felt ok. I may even go so far as to say, it felt pretty good.
And so just a few days later, I was here at home (hiding behind my computer screen), and I decided it was time. Time to introduce myself to my followers. And, with my new-found confidence, I mustered up the courage to make a 3- minute video and post it to social media in order to finally introduce myself.
The feedback has been only positive.
And yes – sure, it took me a few ‘takes’ to get a version I was happy with – but it was my first time. I’m sure that the more I do, the better I will get at them.
And so that is what I mean when I say – try new things. Stretch yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. When was the last time you did something that challenged you, even scared you? The more you do to push yourself, the more you will grow and most likely, the greater will be your experience of life.
And though in this scenario, it really WAS difficult for me, stretching your comfort zone doesn’t have to be challenging. It can be doing anything from taking that next step in your career and going for a promotion or giving yourself the chance to do something you previously considered impossible (ahem – like posting a video). It could mean going somewhere completely different for a holiday, learning a new language or developing a new skill by taking up a new hobby.
The feeling of actually doing something that others just talk about is truly amazing. You will grow in stature, you will develop into a stronger human being, and you will develop a sense of confidence in yourself that you previously envied in others. Also, if you have stopped growing, you could be preventing yourself from living a life that completely fulfils your dreams. You could be missing out on so many opportunities, people to meet, or even the chance to change your whole life.
So, what are you waiting for?
Do something today that pushes you outside of your comfort zone.
The more you do it… the easier it gets.
xxx Love and courage xxx