I have my good moments and I have my bad ones too. Over the last year, I have really started to push myself out of my comfort zone, and I could not be more thankful for it! Due to my inability to do well in social settings (anxiety goes through the roof…any of you with me?!), I chose a job that required little interaction with new people-accounting. The best part was that I was a financial accountant, not a tax accountant which meant I rarely had to deal with “new” people. I loved being able to stay in my shell (for the most part), which helped me feel more comfortable.
After much-unwanted stress, I decided to leave my comfort zone and go after a job that was completely different for me. I decided to join a local logistics company, and this time I was more on the “social” side of things. My days consisted of calling people…like on the phone. Now, for some people, this is not a big deal, but holy cow, it was for me. Side note-I hate talking on the phone…if I had to order a pizza on the phone, I was going to just make supper instead. Anyways, now I had to call drivers, customers and sometimes I had to ask for their business. Every time my boss would ask me to call someone I was petrified.
After a year of doing logistics, I am happy I decided to step out of my comfort zone.
These are some of the benefits that have come from stepping out of my comfort zone:
- It has helped give me the courage to battle through my fears
- I am much more optimistic when it comes to doing something I am scared to do. If I have been able to do a job where the job description screams “SCARY and OUT OF COMFORT ZONE!” it only helps me gain the strength to not be afraid in the future. That strength = less stress!!
- I have built a more diverse resume
- This was not my goal with taking this job, but rather an unknown benefit. I now have several drivers that I am managing, as well as working with planning their routes to make them(and us) the most money.
- Allows me to be a good role model for my kids
- You know how they say that we should practice things that we want our kids to do? Now when my daughter complains something is too hard or scary, I can help coach her through it since I have been there too.
- I feel like I have conquered something huge…even if it is only minor to other people
- It is important to do something that makes you feel more fulfilled, right? Even if it is almost embarrassing to tell other people…
So, how can this help you?
Running out and changing career paths may be a little edgy for most people, but there are simple things you can do to help you overcome those fears, no matter how small they are!
- Start Small!
- Like I said, I hated something as much as making a phone call to someone I didn’t know. Now that I have done it several hundred times, I am not so afraid of it! (Why, hello there pizza…)
- Nothing is “too small” or “too dumb” to overcome.
- Something that makes you uncomfortable may not be uncomfortable for the next person. We are all different for a reason, but if something bothers you enough, change it!!
Make a list of things you would like to overcome in regards to “stepping out of your comfort zone.”
- Write the list down and put it somewhere where you will see it frequently. If you are like me, write it somewhere where you will see it frequently, but no one else will. But, if you are not like that, write it somewhere where your family can see it and cheer you on!!
Pick something off of your list and go for it, but don’t forget, pick something small to conquer!
- Let’s say you have a hard time saying no, but it is becoming too stressful to keep saying yes. Start out small by saying no to one thing a week whether it is a friend, a play date or that piece of chocolate(yes, I said it). There are several different kinds of things that can be on your list, but I am going to use “saying no” as an example through these steps.
After you have picked something, think of small ways you can get yourself into a situation where you will be uncomfortable!
- Your friend calls and really wants to grab a coffee Saturday morning, but you haven’t had a Saturday morning to yourself in ages. Tell your friend that this week will not work, and maybe find a different time that will work if need be.
Keep putting yourself in the situation until you get more comfortable with it.
- Obviously, you do not want to be telling friends “no” all the time, but maybe set a number of times you are going to say no. Maybe for every five times you get asked, you are going to say no the sixth time. You will need to find a compromise you feel comfortable with, but remember, start small!
Step it up! Start challenging yourself with it a little more!
- As you start feeling more comfortable saying no to things you really do not have time for, move on to other spots of your life that you want more freedom with. This may or may not be telling people no, but find things that make you step out of that comfort zone, and make them a new comfort zone!
After doing a few small things on your list, it will help give you a sense of accomplishment and the drive to check off some of the larger items.
What is something you would love to conquer that really push you out of your comfort zone?
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