4 Handy Hacks to Push You Out of Your (Un)comfort Zone
Last week I asked an online community of entrepreneurial women what their biggest challenges in business were, and their responses surprised me. I was expecting to hear things like fighting for equality or balancing work and family. Instead, overwhelmingly the answer to my question was confidence. Or lack of confidence to be exact. Feelings of being a fraud. Of not being good enough. Terrified of letting people down.
And considering my own entrepreneurial journey and the battle I have with these very issues, I couldn’t help but ask myself why I was so surprised … Maybe it’s because we’re all so good at putting on a mask and ‘getting on with it’ that we simply don’t realise we’re not alone.
Up until a few years ago I’d seen myself as a confident person. I was happy to walk into a room full of strangers or be called upon to speak in a group. Then I got married and started my family, and things began to shift. For me, getting pregnant, being pregnant and finally becoming a Mother wasn’t without its challenges. And it changed me in some really profound ways. My priorities changed. Who I saw in the mirror changed.
Suddenly I wasn’t that confident person anymore. I didn’t know who I was and that was scary. My husband and I co-ran a business, it was our livelihood so I kept going. I’d get dressed, make phone calls, send emails. But I was fading fast. My own goals and career started slowing down and I had manoeuvred myself into behind the scenes roles that essentially had me existing in a bubble.
Despite the smile I’d plaster a smile on my face, this bubble was making me desperately unhappy. And now with my daughter watching me, and the only thing worse than living in that bubble was the thought of her walking in my footsteps and doing the very same thing.
So mid-way through last year I made a decision. I decided I’d had enough of the bubble and that I was going to be happy and successful. I was going to get my confidence back. And I did!
But to do it, I had to make some rules that pushed me out of my (un)comfort zone;
Rule 1. You’re Different, And That’s a Good Thing!
I’ve had experiences that changed me and I’m never going to be who I was. So instead of looking back, I looked forward. And when I did that, I realised the Me that I’d become, was capable of some pretty incredible things.
Rule 2. Do Something That Scares You … Every Single Day
This is a rule that I still have in place. Fear is a good thing. If it challenges you, it will change you! Writing this article scares me!
Rule 3. Surround Yourself with Likeminded and Positive Influences – Build Your Tribe
This was the most difficult rule for me to follow. I started out trying to find my tribe, but I quickly realised that you need to build it. You can’t just slip in unnoticed, it takes effort.
Turning up to networking events or even joining online forums and groups isn’t enough, you need to make yourself available. Initiate a conversation or invite someone for a coffee.
Rule 4. Stop Dreaming, Start Doing
Nothing is harder than taking that first step. Publishing that first blog or starting that new business. But all you have to do is start and once you do, everything else will fall into place.
The world of business can be scary business, which in itself is not for the faint hearted. Add in the pressures of being a Mum, a wife, a daughter… once I started pushing myself out of my comfort zone, some incredible things happened to my confidence and to me.
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