I thought about writing about growth, since it’s spring, and growth is something that happens when you stretch outside your comfort zone. (I did write about growth for the 4/16 issue of the newsletter in case you missed that one!) But the flip side of the positive growth that comes when you stretch outside your comfort zone is the discomfort, even fear, that often comes with that stretch. Professionally, the stretch might look like this reader question about the discomfort around networking with executives two to three levels above and outside your area. Personally, I’m dealing with a stretch of my own as I’ll be starting a performance residency at Broadway Comedy Club this week and guesting in eight pro shows over the next three weeks (Yikes, this was supposed to be a fun hobby!).
Having to take my own coaching advice and work through the fear reminded me that when you stretch outside your comfort zone, even if you’ve done it with other situations, doesn’t make this particular time any easier. I didn’t just try to motivate myself out of the discomfort (after all, when you’re paralyzed by fear, motivation goes out the window!). Instead I relied on techniques that have worked for me before, and hopefully they’ll work for you too:
Schedule your worry
This was a game-changer tip for me from my friend and amazing coaching colleague, Renita Kalhorn of Step Up Your Game. The tip is exactly as it sounds — Renita recommends putting a date and time on the calendar for a worry session. When that date and time comes, you do all the freaking out you want. But till that date and time comes, when you find anxiety or worry coming over you, you table it for the appointed slot. It’s a simple mental trick but I have found it really lets me move on when the fear creeps up.
Get ideas from how others have coped
I am a big fan of non-fiction reading – business, finance, personal development, etc. Many books provide anecdotes of people overcoming challenges or turning around a bad situation, and along the way, I have collected strategies and even just inspiration from these stories. There are also specific books on overcoming fear. Most recently, the book Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence by Brandeis professor Andy Molinsky specifically offers some great advice on how to stretch outside your comfort zone.
Read 3 more coping strategies on my SixFigureStart blog:
Originally published on May 10, 2017 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau