As we approach the end of the year where is your comfort zone? If I asked you to compare your comfort zone today with where it was a year ago what would the answer be?
You’ve heard the saying, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got’. Well as far as I’m concerned that’s the best you can hope for, in reality you may well find that you get less as other people overtake you. Are you guilty of sticking with the status quo, of doing what you’ve always done because it feels safe? Is your comfort zone in the same place as it was a year ago because you have been too timid to push at its boundaries?
How scared have you felt this year?
I’m not talking about watching a scary movie here I’m talking about pushing at your comfort zone. Have you pushed at physical boundaries? Did you run further than you’ve ever run before? Have you climbed higher than you’ve managed previously? Have you dived from a higher board or swum a longer distance?
Have you pushed yourself to speak in public where you have been too timid before? Have you sung a solo or played a new instrument? Have you walked up to a stranger and started a conversation? Have you stood up to someone who has previously intimidated you?
Have you done something that made your palms sweaty and your mouth dry? Have you found yourself shaking in trepidation? Have you felt the fear but done it anyway? If so congratulations, your comfort zone will now be a bit bigger than it was a year ago.
The importance of risk taking
I freely admit that I’m not the biggest risk taker in the world. I’m quite a scaredy cat when it comes to physical challenges especially. I know I sometimes prevaricate when I should be taking action. I know this holds me back and I know I need to take calculated risks.
I see the same with clients. The clients who want to do one more piece of research, who want to do one more training course or read one more book. The clients who are too afraid of failure to start up their businesses or try something new.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Think about an occasion when you pushed yourself to do something you were frightened of, what happened? You’re still alive or you wouldn’t be reading this! I suspect that you actually felt better for taking the action. The feeling of succeeding when we have felt the fear can be exhilarating. Can you recapture that feeling from an earlier experience? Can you imagine what it would be like to feel it again?
My challenge to you…
Don’t let 2013 be a year of regret or non achievement. You have a couple of months left to turn it into a triumph. What challenge do you need to accept to finish your year with a bigger comfort zone than you started it with? What is stopping you from giving it a go?
So if you have been putting off starting that business put it off no longer. Go and look for that first customer. Learn as you go. Get yourself a mentor to hold your hand and support you until you find your feet. What’s the worst that can happen?
If you have been putting off growing your business because you were too scared of the commitment of recruiting new staff take on a part timer or an intern on a fixed term contract. Set them some goals which will secure their job for the long term, if they fail then you can let them go at the end of the contract. At least you will have tried. What’s the worst that can happen?
Try that new service on a small scale or for a fixed period. Negotiate sale or return to try out that new product. Test that innovative marketing campaign on a small scale possibly in a split test with a safe campaign used previously. What’s the worst that can happen?
Why not make that commitment to pushing out your comfort zone by sharing your challenge here in the comments box? You’ll be that little bit closer to achieving your goal and we are a very supportive community. We’ll hold your hand (virtually) and cheer you on from the sidelines. Good luck. Go for it.