We’ve all heard it, “Great things never come from comfort zones” or “If it scares you, you should definitely do it”. While we all may agree with these statements, it can come sometimes be extremely difficult to actually take that step out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your personal or professional life… It’s freaking scary. (Seriously, check out Anna’s blog about networking!) But that’s why you sometimes HAVE to force yourself to do it. Like somehow physically and mentally force yourself to do whatever it is that scares you.
I had a serious realization about two months ago when I decided to try rock climbing for the first time in about 20 years (I can’t believe I’m old enough to actually say that statement! 🙈) and how it translates into both my personal and my professional life.
So here’s the scoop… I’ve been dying to go rock climbing again so when I moved to North Carolina I decided to give it a shot! Not only did I think it would be fun to try but maybe I could meet some new friends while I’m at it. I finally mustered the courage to sign myself up for an intro to climbing class. When I arrived, it was just myself and a family of 3 which, helloooo was a little awkward. If you don’t know, rock climbing is usually done in pairs with one person climbing and the other on the ground basically keeping you from falling to the ground if you slip. This is where my hang up started.. I don’t know these people! How can I trust them to keep me from falling to my death??? (I also realized, I may have some serious trust issues too... )
Long story short, I didn’t make it to the top on any of my climbs (literally I didn’t go to the top on the kiddie wall either!) and I was left wondering if rock climbing was really for me. But as a part of my class, I got a 2 week pass where I could go and climb as much as I wanted during those 2 weeks. They do have a machine called an auto-belay where you can actually climb by yourself so I thought this may be better for me… Trust a machine over a human you don’t know? Sounded better to me.
I decided that Monday I would wake up early and go climb when it would be less busy and see how I felt. When Monday morning rolled around and my alarm when off, I did NOT want to go. I was so nervous. What if there’s a ton of people and I look like silly because I can’t make it to the top of the wall again? I had to give myself a little pep talk and physically remove myself from bed to the gym.
Did I make it to the top on my first climb up? No way. I got halfway and thought, Oh my gosh! What if there’s a malfunction and this doesn’t hold me??? So I decided to let myself down and get comfortable with the auto-belay. That was all I needed. I made it to the top each time after that. I’ve pushed myself to try harder walls and I’ve even slipped a few times trying something I haven’t done before!
So what in the world does this have to do with business you ask? EVERYTHING! Those quotes about great things never coming from comfort zones.. Yeah, they’re 150% true. When you constantly push yourself you learn new things about yourself and you realize the limits you have set for yourself are only in your head. I realized I was scared of going back to try again because I reallyyyy wanted to be good at rock climbing and didn’t want to look ridiculous while I learned. But to learn new things, you have to start somewhere, right? I didn’t know what I was doing when I started my first biz but I started it anyway, made a lot of mistakes with that first one, learned a lot, and now know SO much more than when I first started.
My point is even when something is extremely uncomfortable, if you want it, you have to go after it.. Even if you have to physically remove yourself from bed. Not only will you learn something new and learn more about yourself but I can pretty much guarantee every single time you overcome a fear or step out of that comfort zone, you are going to be pretty damn proud of yourself. And as a business owner, that’s a pretty essential piece to success and happiness if you ask me.
So I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and just TRY this year. It’s time to live outside your comfort zone and make some amazing things happen!