What is your Comfort Zone and how do you move past the fear of stepping outside it?
According to a poll I recently read, two of the scariest Comfort Zone fears are worrying about what people think about you (which can also be classified as fear of failure, especially in business) and fear of public speaking which, for people usually shy by nature, can be crippling.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about this very subject and expressed that I have historically been a shy person. Not many people believe me when I tell them that because, well, I'm involved in many things (my Graphic Design business, networking, Therapy Dog work, a local volunteer pet microchip clinic, the Special Needs community). But, how did I get to this point and am I always comfortable in public situations?
There have been periods of times in my life when I have been less comfortable pushing past my Comfort Zones than others. There are still times when I have been asked to speak publicly or when I've attended a new networking group and had to walk into a room full of strangers that my stomach still flip-flops and it's hard for me to get my thoughts together so make a good impression and promote my Graphic Design business. But, I try to remember that all I can do is be confident in my skills, knowledge and capabilities and show others how much I love what I do. Hopefully, the rest falls into place and I reach my goal of talking in a way that makes people want to know more about what I do and how I can help them with their own businesses.
Many years ago, at a particularly difficult time in my life, I tried to get out and network but people can usually sense when you're struggling and I could tell that I was not making the type of impression that I wanted so I backed off for a while to regroup. When I was ready and felt more confident, I got back into networking with a bright, shiny new attitude and the difference was noticeable.
Sometimes, taking a step back actually gives you a better view of what's ahead. Spiritual writer and personal development coach Maria Erving said, “Your world will expand for every step you dare to take outside your comfort zone.”