Comfortable in your comfort zone

June 1, 2017

I went on a leadership retreat in October last year. One conversation really stuck with me, which made me make a huge life change. They asked us, “what have you been putting off because you’re scared, or nervous, or think you’re not ready for?”

I’d like to think I’m a go-getter, that I constantly challenge and push myself. So I was surprised when I started writing a list of things that I had been putting off because I thought that I wasn’t ready, that I needed to get more experience, that I wasn’t good enough etc. 

The top of the list was corporate speaking. I didn’t think I was worthy of sharing my story with business people, because I was younger than them and less experienced. To which my mentor replied, “but you’ve been to the Olympics and they haven’t!!” This was a game changer for me. That night, I sent an email that I had literally been putting off sending for 8 months! It was to a mentor who had offered to listen and critique my speech once I was ready. (I was never ready)! The next week, I met with her, let her pick apart my speech, and now, I can confidently deliver a 45 minute speech with no notes, and I did so in front of 2000 people. 

We often put things off because we aren’t ready, we are scared what people will think, or it’s just plain hard! Let me tell you: the magic happens outside your comfort zone, not inside it. Don’t expect great things to happen if you don’t put yourself out there. 

Is there an email you’ve been waiting to send? A call you’ve been meaning to make? An item on your to do list that has been there for an entire week, because instead, you chose to clean your room, watch an episode of home and away, go to the supermarket and catch up with a friend for coffee and scroll through Facebook for 2 hours? I know I have sure been there! 

If there are some limiting beliefs that are stopping you from getting outside of your comfort zone, write them down on a piece of paper. When you confront what they are, they lose their grip and their power. Acknowledge your fears, and then screw up the paper and throw it away! 

If you’ve got some critics, then here’s a great quote that puts them in their place. There will always be critics who judge from the comfort of their arm chair.  “You go ahead. You go ahead and you sit there in your comfortable chair and you be the critic, you be the observer, while the brave one gets in the ring and engages and gets bloody and gets dirty and falls over and over again, but yet isn’t afraid and isn’t timid and lives life in a bold way”. - Teddy Roosevelt 

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