I have always dreamt of being up on a stage empowering others. There was only one problem…I was petrified of public speaking. I'm talking the pit in your stomach, I’m going to throw up kind of fear! Even giving my 30-second elevator speech made me want to run for the hills!
Standing in front of the room, with dozens eyes looking at me, brought me back to being a kid when the teacher would call on me and I didn’t know the answer.
Once I created an awareness to my subconscious belief, I was able to take baby steps to face my fears.
The more I practiced the more I comfortable I became and eventually public speaking became a part of my comfort zone. It’s not smack dab in the middle, but the more I practice the more comfortable I get and the closer I am to my dream.
To support you in stepping outside of your comfort zone it’s helpful to first understand what your comfort zone is and how it works.
Fears: The main purpose of our comfort zone is to protect us from our fears. Not fears like spiders or snakes, but fears to keep us safe, especially emotionally.
Beliefs: Our fears are typically created from beliefs we have about ourselves, others or the world. Beliefs that we most likely developed at a younger age and are probably stored in our subconscious.
Survival Mechanism: This is the protective shield around our fears. This is where we decided to become a perfectionist, control freak, overachiever, workaholic, caretaker, etc.
Feelings: Our feelings also hang out in our comfort zone… good feelings, bad feelings, and the occasional feelings of joy or life is awesome.
We spend most of our days living inside our comfort zones. Sometimes we are in the middle. Sometimes we are slightly off center. At times we are even on the edge. But very rarely are we outside our comfort zone…and this is where the magic happens and where possibility lives!
Below are 5 things to support you in stepping outside of your comfort zone:
Create an awareness of your fear: Creating awareness is always the first step to making any change. Explore what you fear is and where it is coming from. What is the core belief that created this fear? Be patient, finding these hidden beliefs often requires that we do some hunting.
Get clear on your Future Vision: What do want your life to look like? Get connected with your, “what for,” your “why,” your goals and your big commitment. Be sure to revisit this on a regular basis…this is the fuel for your fire!
Don’t Do It Alone: Partner with someone you trust to hold you accountable. Pick someone that you can be vulnerable with, someone you can share your fears, your plans and what you want to create. Practice asking for support and help.
Avoid Overthinking: Our minds have a habit of building up things to be worse than they are in reality. We overthink things and play out every scenario, which can paralyze you. Take a deep breath, connect with your commitment and rip off that Band-Aid! Don’t let your brain sabotage your goals.
Don’t Expect Change to Happen Over Night: Create milestone and take baby steps to support you. Keep practicing! The goal is to take things on, to build your muscles so that eventually you will expand your comfort zone.
Nicole Comis is a Certified Personal and Professional Coach with The Stiletto Strategy Group. Nicole’s mission is to inspire others to create fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives. She partners with her clients to gain clarity on what they want their life to look like, to face their fears and the things that are holding them back, and create goals and objectives for them to create that life.