There are always things that we know we could try or should be doing for our business, but it’s scary. The making videos, the Facebook Live or Instagram Live, the Vlogging, the blogging, the social media. We all have different things that make us tremble in our boots, things that we know could be huge, but are petrified to take the leap of faith!
As humans we are wired to look for comfort and doing things that come easy to us, hence why stepping outside this is so hard!
We all know that feeling of dread. The what if I’m rubbish, the what if I fail, the what if I am so bad my whole business explodes in a flash!
But, we also know that some of these things could be good, and I mean really good.
Here are a few of the reasons that we should try to step outside of our comfort zone (taken from this Huffington Post article if you’d like to read it all)
Challenging yourself can help you perform at your peak.
Taking risks is what helps us grow.
Trying new things can make you more creative.
Embracing new challenges can help you age better.
This scary as can be moment happened to me recently. I was asked by the lovely Jackie that runs the South Wales BizMums to be a guest speaker. It was marketing month, so this was right up my street. BUT the thought of speaking absolutely terrified me, the thought alone, filled me with an anxiety, my chest gets blotchy, I feel like I’m trembling from within and my voice should I actually speak, I just know will be 5 octaves higher and I speak so fast generally, let alone when I’m in this scary situation, will anybody even be able to understand me?
So I did what any
sane person coward would do and said no.
This was really bugging me. This was speaking about something I’m passionate about, to a room full of pretty much ideal clients- I knew I was foolish for saying no, but I couldn’t bring myself around to say yes. The 2nd time Jackie asked a couple of days later, I said I’d think about it.
Had this been someone else saying to me about this fantastic opportunity, believe me, I’d be telling them they absolutely had to do this and they’d be silly not to. I was just struggling with accepting my own advice!
The turning point!
I spoke to a lovely lady called Emily, who I met in a Facebook group recently. She helps businesses find their ideal client for social media. I told her about the opportunity and she said ‘You really need to do this’ or words to that effect. I so knew she was right, but having someone tell me, someone who understood, just tipped me over the edge just enough…. As soon as we finished on Skype, I quickly emailed Jackie and told her that I would do it. And believe me when I say it was a case of, email before I change my mind!
After I had agreed, every time I thought about it, the familiar anxiety crept in and I felt so so nervous. I kept trying to write prompt notes and I went round in circles, I knew I couldn’t wing it, I’m the type of person who needs a little bit of structure and in this instance I really needed to knuckle down and find a way to write notes to be able to talk about whatever it was I wanted to talk about- but I also needed to be myself!
So, the day before I was due to speak, I scheduled in 2 hours to really focus on what I wanted to talk about. I settled on giving the ladies some tips for using social media for business and the benefits of using social media.
Something that I’m comfortable talking about and could hopefully be myself with!
The big V-day
So, the event itself was Valentines Day! I woke up feeling not as bad as I thought I would, but as the time got closer, I could feel the feeling of anxiety filling my every cell and the usual shakiness was uncontrollable. When the time came to start, I could feel the shakiness in my voice, my hands were trembling- I stayed seated, so my knees wouldn’t buckle but speaking to those 15 ish ladies honestly terrified me. They were supportive, friendly and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer environment and group of ladies, but still!
I felt it went awful. I spoke far too fast- to the extent, I shaved about 4-5 minutes off my practice run! I spoke really high pitched, so I bet people actually failed to understand me. I shook uncontrollably the whole way through and didn’t stop until I had a glass of pink bubbly in the night- it was Valentines Day!
BUT, but, but. Despite all of this, and I wanted to try and explain how utterly terrified I felt, I did it! I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone- like really far outside of my comfort zone. As much as I didn’t enjoy it, I feel a sense of achievement. A sense of pride and I know that I could (at a push) do it again. In actual fact Jackie asked me if I’d like to do it again at the end of the month for another group and I said no (I know, I know, but I’d literally just finished and I was still almost hyperventilating!) I’ve promised myself next time I’m asked (that’s more of an if, than a when!) I’ll graciously accept.
So, my take-home from this was to be brave, step outside your comfort zone and push your boundaries. It’s petrifying, but good things can come of it.
I’d love to know what scary things you have done recently that has made you proud? Or what good has come from something that really scared you? Please share!