Gaining the Courage to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
"You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will."
— Stephen King
Since I’ve started this blog, lots of girls have asked me questions about how I got started and many have said to me that they’d like to start their own blogs or similar ventures, but they’re afraid to put themselves out there or that they’re not sure where to start.
And I will admit, I felt the same way (and still do sometimes) before I started. In fact, before I started this blog, I had been thinking about it for a few years!
I think that generally, stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new, or embarking on a new project can be down-right frightening for anyone.
It’s hard to do something that you’ve never done before and it can be very intimidating. You may not know what to expect, and it always entails a little bit of risk.
I feel like I have stepped out of my comfort zone countless times in my career and personal life and also in beginning this blog. And every time I do it, I feel the same way. Unsure, stressed, with feelings of doubt, etc.
I remember when I first started traveling overseas by myself to visit my boyfriend. I had only traveled outside the U.S. a couple times before that…once with friends, and once with my parents. The first time I went to visit Matt by myself I was so nervous to fly all that way to a foreign country where I didn’t even speak the language!
But I did it! And every time after that travelling got a little bit easier. And now I’m so used to flying overseas by myself and navigating airports, customs, etc., that I don’t even think twice about it anymore.
3 Things to Keep in Mind:
While it’s never easy to step outside your comfort zone, I do think there are a few things that can make starting something new a bit less intimidating.
Here are three things to keep in mind when stepping out of your comfort zone:
1. Embrace Uncertainty
When you step outside your comfort zone, you will never have all the answers.
And you don’t have to have all the answers. In fact, if you did, then you wouldn’t be stepping out of your comfort zone in the first place and it wouldn’t be a challenge.
But know this: Once you start, the answers will come. Not all at once, but they will eventually come. You’ll learn, you’ll gain experience, and the things you do will build upon each other.
Experience is the antidote to uncertainty.
Remember the old adage, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It takes time, focus, perseverance and effort to create, do or learn something worthwhile.
2. Let go of what other people think.
People might give you quizzical looks or ask you awkward questions. (I’ve certainly received my fair share of both after starting this blog!) They may not “get” what you’re doing. But don’t let what other people think sway you into changing your course.
You do not need everyone’s approval to move forward on an idea you have.
You have the vision, stick to it. Let people think what they may.
3. Don’t Fear Failure, Learn From It!
I don’t believe in failure. I think of setback in terms of gaining experience and as a necessary stepping stone to future success.
In order to allow yourself to start something new you need to believe that no matter what you are going to learn new things that will be useful to you in the future. Do not let fear of failure hold you back. Have faith in yourself that you will figure it out, even if you feel like you have no clue what you’re doing.
Let failure be a compass of sorts. Failure, when properly analyzed will actually guide you to success. Harness your resourcefulness, your passion, your ingenuity and use it as a shield when times get tough or you’re faced with disappointment and setbacks.
Remember, in the end, as you fear failure less, it only makes tackling bigger challenges easier!
It’s never easy to start something new and step outside your comfort zone, but, I hope that, armed with these three insights, you find the courage to start that new project you’ve been thinking about, pursue your dream job, learn a new skill or embark on a new hobby.
You have it within yourself to accomplish what you set out to do. All you have to do, is start!