Familiar. Expected. Routine. By default, we all gravitate towards doing things we’re most comfortable with and what we know the outcome will be. It just feels easier and safer, am I right?
But, in order to advance, learn and grow, we must intentionally push beyond our comfort zone and take steps forward – even when we don’t always feel ready to do it.
Pushing Myself in My Business
I’ve recently experienced this in my own career and business – pushing myself to move forward before I thought I was ready.
I was planning to spend the summer organizing my thoughts around the services I would offer as an entrepreneur for my new business when my friend told me this was something I couldn’t wait on. She said I needed to start clarifying and promoting my services today.
Even though I didn’t feel ready, I wrote down the services I could offer today. Then, I made a list of 100 people to share these with and contacted each one personally, asking them to keep me in mind should a need for my speaking and consulting services arise.
What I accomplished in one weekend may have taken me the entire summer to do if I hadn’t pushed myself in that moment. I not only got several new opportunities as a result, I got a new perspective on what I’m capable of achieving.
Tips to Act Now
Feel like you’re one of those constantly saying, “I’m going to do it, I’m just not quite ready yet,” or “I’m waiting to do it until…” Here are some tips to, as the Nike saying goes, just do it:
- Realize no one’s fully ready. Take a guess at how many people feel completely ready to move forward on something new when they do it. Not many – and you don’t have to be either! When I worked in corporate, I always thought I would be more knowledgeable and confident the more senior I got. This turned out to not be true for me or my peer executives. The truth is, most people are figuring it out as they go along. Don’t wait to take action until you feel 100% ready because most people are taking action anyway.
- Don’t underestimate a “fresh eyes” perspective. Don’t feel like you can move forward because you’re not an expert? Sometimes not being one is extremely helpful to others because you see things with fresh eyes and identify opportunities that someone too deep in the trenches can’t see. Embrace your point of view and know that it matters!
- Be brave like a kid. Success is continuing to fail with enthusiasm. As adults, we’re so much more self-conscious and afraid to try new things for fear that we’ll fail. To be brave, we need to embrace the kid within us, and look at failure as a natural step in the process of learning and growing. Read more about this in my blog post, Want More Courage? Act Like a Kid!
- Reflect on big and small wins to give you confidence. Being brave means doing something despite being afraid. I was scared to death to leave my corporate job to be an entrepreneur, but I reflected on how I went to Japan after college without speaking any Japanese. I was terrified, but did it and came back fluent in the language. Reflecting on that big win gives me the courage I need to take steps before I feel ready today.
- Phone a friend. Struggling to push yourself beyond your comfort zone? Get a coach, friend or confidant who can help you move forward on your goals.
Is there something you’ve wanted to move on but keep holding back, waiting until you’re “ready” – maybe today’s the day to move forward!