Are you Hiding in your Comfort Zone this Summer?
It’s summertime. That means it’s time for us to do some unusual things; things that we don’t normally do. But lately I have realised how much of my life I’ve spent hiding. Hiding in the familiar places, routines, tasks and patterns. Hiding deep within my comfort zone. Hiding in the dark. It’s just so damn easy to stick to the familiar and comfortable; to say Yes to the easy jobs, to kick back on the weekend and do as little as possible, to hang with the easy people, to binge on Netflix, salsa, chips & craft beers. This is all just fine, but I’ve also come to realise that the only way I will grow is to step into the uncomfortable. Deep into it. I’ve come to realise that real change will only begin at the end of my comfort zone.
I teach Pitching and Public Speaking to entrepreneur and executives. I’m frequently called on to lead from the front of the room. But there was a time when I was terrified of getting up before an audience. The terror came from the fact that I was afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough; that I would say something wrong, that the audience would not like me. And my fear of rejection and incompetence made me quake with nervousness. But somehow, I found a way to push through. I improved simply because I practiced. I decided that being perfect would never be part of my gig so I let it go. I stepped into the uncomfortable and spoke up anyways. I said yes to jobs that required me to speak. I actively volunteered for speaking and teaching assignments. I learned how to relax and even laugh at myself whenever I made mistakes. It just got easier and easier.
A few months ago while I was speaking to a big audience. I got so carried away in telling a story that I completely forgot what my point. My mind went blank and I had no idea what to say next. The old me would have frozen in terror like a deer caught in the headlights. But I stopped, laughed, and told the audience that I’d lost my way. They laughed too and then they helped me to remember what I was saying before getting lost. No problem. I’ve learned.
If you are like so many other entrepreneurs and executives, then perhaps you fear public speaking. But the only way to overcome this fear is to dive in; to push past your fear and get on with practicing your speaking and pitching skills. They will improve quickly. You will master this. But only if you get out of your Comfort Zone. I look forward to hearing you speak someday. The world needs your voice.
– Rick 🙂
p.s., I turned 63 this week. Here is what I am doing today to challenge myself:
- Doing more Yoga (stretching my old muscles back into suppleness)
- Practicing the amazing Wim Hof Breathing methods (complete with ice cold showers)
- Fasting to cleanse my body of toxins (nothing but water for the last 3 days)
- Deeper Meditation (exercising the discipline to focus for longer and longer periods)
- More Mindfullness (practicing moving slowly and being much more deliberate with every action)
Believe it or not, I’m having a blast. 😉
Challenge yourself to step outside your own comfort zone and have a great summer.