Get Uncomfortable to Find Improvement
I’d be willing to bet if I asked you- am I an introvert or an extrovert? I think you’d pick extrovert. Am I right?
If we were to sit next to each other on the bus or a plane, you probably wouldn’t hear a word out of me unless you started the conversation.
Wanna talk during a round of golf? You better start talking first.
Ever see me at a networking event standing by myself? More than I should…
Do I ever have second thoughts about making a sales call? My stomach dreads it most of the time.
It may be hard to believe but I was one of the most shy kids in my high school. Even today, I need my time to not talk and just be by myself. I get plenty of joy talking to the voices in my head 😉 In fact I’m so uncomfortable meeting new people I stumble and stutter during my own introduction at business functions. Social situations where I’m forced to talk, I can handle it.
Luckily though, put me in front of a large group of people to do a speech on a topic I know and understand, no problem. Put me with people I’m already comfortable with, I will talk for hours!
So who cares? What does this have to do with anything? My biggest point is everything positive comes when you step outside your comfort zone. If you want to get better in business, fitness, with you family, running and anything else you want to improve on, you MUST step outside your comfort zone.
Here’s how I did/do it.
1. Become an interesting person by asking questions about others. When in doubt, people love to talk about themselves. This has been one of the most important tips I was given in sales. Ask questions and get the other person talking. It doesn’t matter how different you are, you will eventually find something you have in common. A smile and an easy question is the best way to break the ice.
2. When you don’t “feel like it” do it anyway. The best way to get over a fear is to move toward what you fear the most. The uncomfortable feeling of not working out or calling on the CEO that intimidates you means you need to take action, right NOW!
3. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid. Will you ever embarrass yourself? Of course! Will most people remember the next time you talk to them? Probably not. IF they do, who cares. We have all done something we wish we could take back, but it’s in the past and we can’t do anything about it anymore.
4. Repeat as necessary. It takes a lot of practice and hard work for me to cover up my introvertness. What helps me is being more open with myself about my flaws and learning everything I possibly can about myself and others around me. The more I learn about my surroundings, the more comfortable I feel going into a situation.
Start today. Go out and meet new people, try new things, and be a little “out there”. One of my big goals for 2016 was to become a more social runner. A chance meeting with a fellow cross-fitter (who loves to run) has tipped my world upside down and I have discovered a whole new part of myself and running. Stepping outside my comfort zone has given me a chance at brand new friendships, it’s helped me find people who help me work toward my goals and I get to be a part of their goal achievement too. To me, I have accomplished my goal already and now I get to help my friends accomplish theirs. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us. And to think, it all started with a simple question about her marathon jacket… Run Epic my friends!
“Once the limits of the mind have been stretched, they cannot return to their original dimensions.” Unknown