That was a quote used by one of my fellow Mastermind members Gavin Bradbury, and it’s something that’s stuck with me ever since.
My wife is always baffled at the sheer amount of stress and upheaval I seem to cram into my life. As someone who has worked in the Public Sector for nearly 30 years, I can see how she’d make such an observation.
Most people avoid getting out of their comfort zone, but I seem to have that feeling of danger every day in some form or another.
I think as a business owner it starts to become more and more normal. After all, the old saying is, “Every day is a school day”. We are always pushing our boundaries and doing things that make us feel a little edgy. It’s our human nature to resort to fight or flight after all.
It could be a new product launch, a difficult meeting with a member of staff, a curve ball from a long-term customer, all are examples of putting yourself out of your comfort zone.
Why do we do it to ourselves? Simple… Growth!
This is how we grow as individuals, by pushing ourselves beyond our limits and current levels of comfort. It’s in these moments we expand ourselves and our thinking. Once you step out of that comfort zone you are never the same person again. You have moved beyond what you previously were. I personally think that it can be addictive. Or maybe that’s just me being a sadist!!
I don’t know who said, “Do something every day that scares you”, but I subscribe to that. I think it can be misread and lead people into thinking they have to jump out of an aeroplane or dive with sharks as they associate that kind of event as scary. For me it’s the simpler, small things that take courage and scare me. Things like making that first cold call, or engaging a new client, perhaps making that speech or even trying a new gym workout. Anything can be seen as scary if you haven’t done it before.
As I was writing this article I was trying to think about a time when I had taken a bold decision and pushed myself out of that zone, and it hadn’t paid off or I hadn’t got something from it. I couldn’t think of one. Even when the decisions were painful, or a certain course of action hadn’t paid off, I still grew and learned from it. It was never terminal or irretrievable. The thought was far worse than the deed itself and the repercussions were never as severe as I’d allowed myself to believe they would be.
I’m pleased to say that this month I’ll definitely be out of my comfort zone. June see’s the first summit for the Mastermind Group that I’ve been chosen to lead. Seven new members, all business owners, are also putting themselves out of their comfort zones to be in the room.
I remember the feeling of self-doubt and downright fear I had about joining my first group. All those voices in my head saying things like, “What could I offer”, “What are you doing this for”, “This is stupid”, “You haven’t got the time/ experience/money/knowledge/ etc etc infinitum! Those are the voices that are designed to keep you safe and to keep you well and truly in your comfort zone.
Those voices can get pretty loud and be very disruptive if you let them and they always drown out the little voice that keep reminding you, “YES YOU CAN”. I read somewhere that you choose whether you turn the volume up or down on each of those voices based on what you want to hear. I do believe that with a higher level of self-awareness you can quickly dismiss them and tune into the right frequency much quicker.
Thankfully they didn’t stop me, and because I pushed through that fear barrier, I’m not the same person I was before I took the plunge. Thankfully, neither will the seven business owners that were brave enough to close their eyes and just step off and see what happens.
I guess we’ll all be out of our comfort zone together.