Fear, failure, and the avoidance of shame and ridicule. Three of the most powerful dream crushing forces to exist within the human psyche.
In last week’s blog I publicly outed myself for being a slack-arse and wallowing in my own woe for far too long. I called myself on it, stated what I’m going to do to reverse my situation, and got stuck in to getting stuck in. So far so good. But it required of me a pretty big statement. I had to step right outside my comfort zone, and publicly state this.
My greatest personal fear has and always will be my own success. I have plenty of stories bouncing around inside my head as to why I can’t be a success. I have very few as to why I can.
The term comfort zone is not to be waved off like it’s just another buzz-word. There’s some serious truth to it. For instance remember when you were a kid and faced your first real challenge that induced fear? Did you close your eyes and just go for it? And how big was the smile on your dial once you’d succeeded? Ahhh childhood, that magical time where we hadn’t been on the planet long enough to form self-limiting beliefs and fear-induced opinions. Where we’d yet to understand the hidden traps of a comfort zone. But as grownups our comfort zones seem good to have, but tougher to step out of.
I’ve been contemplating what it takes to muster up the courage required to step outside my own comfort zone. I find myself returning to one simple platform from which all things spring. When I look back at what I’ve achieved that involved stepping outside my comfort zone, I can clearly see I believed in what I was doing and backed myself I could do it. Belief not just in myself, but in what it was I wanted to achieve regardless of popular opinion.
If you stop and look around for a minute, there’s plenty of examples of people believing in what they want and backing themselves to achieve it. Paralympians, world record holders, artists and musicians plucked from obscurity. Or what about stereotypical gender role challenges such as successful female executives, women's football teams, or female jockeys. Comfort zones are being stepped out of all over the shop, and people are becoming all the better for it.
Last week I watched a video by Gary Vaynerchuk that stopped me dead in my tracks. He’s a passionate kind of guy and the more I listened to what he was saying in his video, the more I felt empowered to take the risks and step outside my own comfort zone. Just do it he kept saying, never be afraid to fail was his message. Try and learn, test and learn, but above all try. It seemed to be his underlying theme to life. And after watching it only once, within me began some much needed serious contemplation.
At the end of this contemplation I came to what should be an unsurprising conclusion. If I continue to sit in fear of my success, or potential failure, or potential judgement and ridicule, I will receive three parts of stuff-all for my efforts. My comfort zone is a place I have created. All is predictable and familiar. Actions and reactions are known. No growth will occur in there, and nothing new will be enjoyed.
But stepping outside it doesn’t have to be same major all-singing all-dancing event either. A simple challenge to my status quo has the potential to increase my happiness levels no end. So what am I waiting for? Permission? Hell no. I believe that now is the time for me to get back to my past ways and return to stepping outside my comfort zone. Time to stop caring what others think. Time to avoid dwelling upon my perceived judgement by others. It’s time to say “stuff it, I’m just gunna do it”. Yes I have my fears and reservations but I have to stop giving a damn about that which doesn’t matter, and start caring about that which I believe in.
Here’s a link to the video I watched but please know, it contains adult language.
Post originally published here.
P.S Yours free, click here for an e-copy of my biography “Shift Your View”.
Simon Sharky Clark
Helping individuals and businesses create
positive shifts in their mindset and their way of thinking.