I think it’s ‘safe’ to say, we all like comfort. We all want to be secure, comfort makes us happy, it keeps us at bay, it’s easy. Comfort is our routine. So the thought of this being disrupted in any way is unsettling.
It’s easy to go through life trying to avoid the things that make us uncomfortable, which is why it is important we step out of our comfort zones at times, to allow us to develop.
Throughout aspects of my life I have struggled with self-confidence and held back from moving forward because of this. I have doubted myself, believing I am not good enough. And when these thoughts manifest, you start to believe them as the truth. This is what I believed. I believed I wasn’t good enough. That I couldn’t achieve certain things. I believed I wasn’t good enough to move forward with my hopes and dreams. I feared stepping out of my comfort zone, because of judgement and rejection. I feared promoting myself because I thought I was going to fail.
When I started working as a manager in my career, a lot of my work involved presenting. Believe it or not, I have a crippling fear of presenting in front of people. It makes my stomach turn, makes me feel weak, and gives me major anxiety. And the thought of people watching me whilst I talk made me feel sick.
Every time I had to regularly present, I was challenged to face my fears, and to battle with the inner voices telling me I wasn’t good enough, and once I got over the first hurdle it became easier. Easier because I started to believe in myself more.
Once you start realising that you have a voice, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use it, you start to become less fearful of situations.
Stepping out of your comfort zone involves anything. Perhaps you’re thinking about changing careers and are anxious about what will happen on the other side, or you want to try something different such as a hobby. The first and most challenging part of stepping out of your comfort zone is the thought itself. Once you have gotten over this and actually taken that leap of faith, you are already there. What’s the worst that can happen?
Over the course of the years I have built up the confidence to step out of my comfort zone, allowing myself to face my fears head on. Whether this be through taking up new activities, changing career or dealing with people and situations in different ways and talking about how I feel; I have allowed myself to grow by doing this – and this is vital in life, growth. Even through my sense of fashion, I have been open to different styles and become more daring, all of which has led me to where I am.
We are all still developing and learning everyday, and the most important thing to remember is that we are all in control of this.
What have you done to step outside your comfort zone?