Can you grow beyond your comfort zone?
Have you ever been in a rut? Do you wish you had more confidence to try new things, expand your horizon, or just do something that you have always wanted to but were too afraid to try? If so, you know that overthinking it can cause you to doubt yourself. You need a shortcut to grow beyond your comfort zone.
Sometimes, in order to grow, it’s better just to put ourselves out there. You know, on the line.
I have a habit of saying ‘yes’ before I think of the consequences.
Now I know what you are thinking, everyone else is telling you to say no. ‘No’ can be a powerful word when you are trying to set boundaries and find your balance, but in order to grow beyond your comfort zone, you must say yes.
Say yes to grow beyond your comfort zone
So how do we get ourselves to say yes more often?
The best way for me is to just do it. Say yes and then figure out how to make it happen. Or do like I do and implement the excuse clause. In a nutshell, the excuse clause is a system of listing all the reasons you shouldn’t be doing something and then trying it anyway.
An example of the excuse clause
I know I want to do more public speaking on the topic of leadership. But, like many others, public speaking scares the wits out of me. Using the excuse clause and keeping the “yes is more” mantra in my head, I signed up for 3 public speaking venues this month.
I am starting to freak out. But no matter how bad I may want to back out, I won’t. Partly because my integrity is on the line, but also because I can use the excuse clause. It goes something like this in my head.
- I’ve only spoken at small events before.
- I’m not even sure my topic will resonate.
- I’m a newbie at speaking.
- I haven’t had feedback to see if I’m any good.
- I may totally bomb.
As you can see, I just lay all the excuses out on the line. I found that I use this practice quite regularly. The first time I noticed it was when I went to play golf at an outing with people I didn’t know. One of the ladies said, “Well, you are just getting all of your excuses out there, aren’t you?” After a minute, I replied “Why yes, yes I am.”
Get your excuses out there
Getting them out there means you can knock them down one by one. Or you can simply stand up strong and brave and say, “This may be true, but I am going to try anyway.”
After reading much work about naming the voices in our heads, I realized that my inner critic was just trying to protect me by telling me all the reasons it wouldn’t work. The problem is that if I listened to that scared little person all of the time, I would never try new things, never expand my horizons, never grow.
For me that is not an option. If it isn’t an option for you either, try the excuse clause the next time you are scared to try something you really want to do. Lay it all out there on the line and then hike up your boots and do it anyway.