We’ve all seen the graphic that shows a circle that represents your comfort zone and outside of that is another circle that represents where the magic happens. The question then becomes, how do we get there? How do we jump into the magical bubble?
Not every person who works in the events industry is an outgoing extrovert who has a seemingly wide comfort zone circle. This may come as a surprise considering the events industry thrives on bringing people together and collaborating with teams of people. For those of us who are introverts, working in this kind of world can be somewhat intimidating. That’s why it is important for people working on events to prioritize professional development that focuses on escaping your comfort zone.
Networking, public speaking, delivering bad news, and even initiating small talk are common anxieties in many workplaces. What if I’m no good? What if I embarrass myself? What if people won’t like me? These questions are asked by our fear. If you want to eliminate fear, if you want to grow outside of your comfort zone, there are a couple of things you can try:
- Remind yourself other people feel the same way you do
- You are not alone in your anxious feelings. Everyone is on their own journey towards growing out of their comfort zones. The work people put into their growth is not always visible. It may appear that your colleague is the most confident person in the room, but you may not be aware of the work they are putting in to come across that way.
- Find a source of conviction
- What are the values that are driving you to grow outside your comfort zone? Do you seek respect from your colleagues? Do you want to enhance your skills and develop professionally? Allow those values to motivate you to take the first step out of your comfort zone.
- Customize your behavior
- As mentioned above, everyone is on their own journey towards growing out of their comfort zones and this experience of escaping your comfort zone is not one size fits all. So find what works for you. For some, it may be wearing an empowering outfit or carrying a good luck token. For others, it may be writing a script of talking points that can be rehearsed beforehand. Personalize your growth so it can be more meaningful and impactful for you.
- Aim for clarity
- Dealing with anxiety may cause you to focus in on the extremes. Experts call this “catastrophizing” which is where you dwell on the worst case scenario. On the other extreme, some people won’t do anything if they think it won’t be absolutely perfect. Either extreme debilitates you from achieving growth. Seeking clarity, or a physiological middle ground, is a good way to get a more realistic perspective.
As we all grow out of our comfort zones and expand into the place where the magic happens, it is important to also practice forgiveness. This journey will likely not be linear. But what matters is the time and effort that you are putting in on enhancing yourself.
Information provided by:
Green, Sarah, host. “Escape Your Comfort Zone.” HBR Ideacast, Harvard Business Review, 9 February 2017. https://pca.st/hHtd