When my children were younger, I was like the mother eagle always nudging them out of their nest…or in other words, their comfort zone.
I now do this same thing with my coaching clients. I encouraged them, even pushing them at times to do things that feel like a risk or challenge to them. I know that as they try things that are hard or uncomfortable, soon those things will become easy.
Hard things, done over and over again, become easy. And as they become easy, then the confidence to do harder things grows.
So we all want to expand our comfort zones right? We all want the ability to act and reach out to people and opportunities when they come our way. But sometimes we just don’t have the confidence to do that.
Know you have the power to do hard things. You are capable of far more than you give yourself credit for. The more you risk and step out of your comfort zone, the more you will see yourself capable of. As you try small things you will build your confidence to try even bigger things.
Here are 4 ways to expand your comfort zone and gain more confidence:
1. Pick one small thing to do each day that feels uncomfortable, or even scares you. For example: make a sales call, share something you are knowledgeable about, ask a question of someone you admire, introduce yourself to someone you want to meet, or even something that is bolder then these.
Just make sure it's a small enough step that you know you will push through and DO IT! You'll find that as you do this day after day, you'll become bolder and more confident to do harder things.
2.Commit yourself to asking for what you really want in life, whatever that is…an appointment, a contract, a sale, a new recruit, or even some simple advice. IF YOU DO NOT ASK THE ANSWER IS AUTOMATICALLY “NO”, so you might as well give it a try.
So many times I hear people say they wished they had asked their friend, a mentor, family, or teacher for something they knew would help them. But they had let the opportunity pass because they felt "uncomfortable" asking.
3. Reach out to people and do the next thing that feels like a risk to you. Start with saying "hi" to everyone you see, whether you know them or not. On the streets, while networking or in a meeting, even while you’re shopping. As this becomes more comfortable start giving people compliments, even to those you don't know. As that gets more comfortable the next step is to start a conversation about “something”.
I tell people I coach to pretend they have a three foot circle around them which is the "Comment Zone." And when anyone comes into that three foot circle they have to say something to them, even just a simple "hi."
If you will do this in a way that is a stretch for you, meeting and talking with new people anywhere you are, this will become very easy for you.
4. Keep track of the risks that you take. Each night keep a journal and write down the one or two things you did that day that were out of your comfort zone. You will begin to realize that the more risks you take the more confidence you feel and the more success you have.
There is magic in this strategy. As you look back at the risks you’ve written down you’ll realize how far you’ve come. Your confidence will grow. And just like I said before, the things that you thought were hard, have now become easy.
When you start making it a habit of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you will see the magic happen. Hard things become easy, boldness becomes a habit, and you will have the confidence to take your business and your life to the next level.