We have all heard the adage that we learn best when taken out of our comfort zone but being honest I’ve never been too bad at pushing myself and trying new things and stepping out of that comfort zone. However, recently I realised that my comfort zone and the area directly outside it was perhaps all a little limited. I do things I’m not entirely comfortable with regularly and come through them but without feeling any huge sense of achievement even though I may have learned something new in the process.
While considering this I realised as someone who is self employed I spend pretty much 80% of my time out of my comfort zone as the business will simply not flourish inside that insular circle of comfort and security. As a result it often doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to be there. Other people tell me I am far to hard on myself and can’t see what I have achieved but I think perhaps this is a common feeling for many start-ups. Despite these achievements and positive feedback from others I just had this feeling that there was something missing… yes I was learning and yes I was developing both myself and the business but the growth part was slower than I would have liked and I couldn’t quite pin point the cause. My methodology is sound, my expertise is certain, my skill set is perfect for what I do and there is a market for my services and products – so what was holding me back then? Well, after a rather emotional conversation with a business mentor I came to realise that not only was I perhaps a little too hard on myself but also I was practically crippled with fear, particularly fear of failure. Now, I knew in my personal life I had far too healthy a dose of fear but never imagined or realised that this could and had transferred over into my business career.
So acknowledging this I decided to make a few changes – firstly to acknowledge and accept my fears in all aspects of my life and thereafter to challenge myself to grow through facing these fears and stepping further beyond the comfort zone. I realised quickly that this was not a short journey, in fact I’ve resolved myself to accept that it is a journey I will be on for the rest of my life! However, even in a short period of time I have seen a huge difference in my attitude and approach. I have overcome personal fears which have in turn motivated me to face business ones. I have already seen a positive flow in business as a result too.
So I’ve decided as this is such an important topic that rather than write one blog article on this that I want to turn it into a blog series. I am hoping to interview others who are also on the journey and to share their stories. I shall also be posting updates of my own journey and progress!
If you feel you have a relevant story to tell please do share it with me either in the comments below or get in touch via my Facebook or Twitter accounts and I can arrange an interview or guest blog. The aim is to build up a database of encouragement, positivity and tips for each other.