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Busting out of your business comfort zone is one of those buzz words that people use a lot, but that ultimately ends up not meaning very much. It gets diluted by the many lists of tips on how to break free from that comfort zone, but there are very few examples of what it actually looks like.
Well, I can tell you what it looks like from experience: It looks messy.
Video is WAY outside my comfort zone…
I hate being on video, I actively avoid it. I don’t even really like being on camera. I’m not really sure where it comes from but I’ve always felt that way.
But I decided I wanted to create a video training series for my launch. Unfortunately, it was a pretty last minute decision to do these videos, as I had made some changes to my offer that had to be cleared up first.
And (I think) you wouldn’t know it from the finished product, but IT WAS HELL.
I have a tripod and an iPhone and my boyfriend was insistent the lights we had were okay. So I set things up and started trying it out.
First I tried outside – the light was great, but it was too noisy. Then I tried inside where it it was quiet – but the light was awful. I only had a couple of days to do this, and I was working this extra project in among my regular client appointments and everyday work.
But nothing I did turned out well. I spent 6 hours trying different things, and ended up with no useable takes. Zero. Although, there were some no doubt hilarious outtakes. (It may still take me a while to find this funny!)
A whole day: wasted.
The next day my boyfriend dug the lights out from under the house – and they were still unusable. Not to mention, I was starting to wish I hadn’t bought the 16GB iPhone because there was actually no room on the thing to record more than 2 minutes of video! ARGH! I have a camera that records in HD BUT nothing to attach it to the tripod with….
Can you see the frustration?
But I didn’t give up.
DAY THREE of this never ending battle with videos I didn’t even feel comfortable doing, and I resolved to just go out and throw money at the problem – I figured I needed a connector for camera to tripod, proper lights, a microphone…. Not a cheap shopping trip. I was close to driving out the driveway when I decided to try one more take sitting at my computer at my desk – AND IT WORKED!
So now, 3 days behind schedule, filming starts. And all this is before we deal with my real dislike for being on video, working out how to edit etc. etc.
But I prevailed!
Finding the lesson outside the comfort zone.
This is what happens when you just decide to go for it and make it happen. Lots of shit happens but if you are prepared to persevere, shit gets done. So I did my launch, up-levelled my business, got some amazing new clients and no doubt it looked ‘fairly’ smooth from the outside.
Yes I could have done a course on video, but I wanted to make this happen NOW. I didn’t have time to wait for the next round of a course to come up or dig through a lot of information. I needed to just jump in with both feet and make it happen.
A lot of business is really about being willing to work through whatever comes your way. In business you are always pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, because you don’t have a choice: you will always need to learn to do new things.
But forcing yourself to step outside of what’s comfortable and easy will bring you amazing results:
- A lot of what makes people top in their field is a willingness to “swim upstream” and try things that may never have been done before.
- Habitually pushing yourself in this way is a great antidote to perfectionism, because you’re taking risks, you’re failing before you succeed, and you’re realising that nobody is perfect.
- It also teaches you to take (calculated) risks. Could I have done my launch without video? Sure! But I genuinely believe it was a bigger success because I decided to take that risk.
- Breaking out of your comfort zone also, interestingly, brings you closer to your true self. Why? Because often the comfort zone is what everybody else is doing. By breaking free of that, you’ll be defining who you really are.
- You’ll also find that the more you do it, the more in control you actually are. It feels like a huge loss of control the first time, but after a while, you realize that you’re the one making the rules – which is the ultimate control.
Some things you feel resistance to will push more buttons than others – and those are probably the most important to try. For me, making those damned videos was the hardest thing I’ve done for my business so far, but so rewarding! Now I feel like video blogging will be easy and enjoyable! I would not have believed that a month ago.
So don’t beat yourself up that you are finding things hard, that just shows you are normal.
Thank you for your support.
I just want to also say how incredibly grateful I am for this supportive community. I know I sent a LOT of emails recently, but the fact that you’re still here means the world. It affirms that I’m on the right path and that outside my comfort zone is where I’m meant to be.
When have you busted out of your comfort zone? Was it easy for you, or pretty much agony like it was for me?? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!