Comfort Zone Carol & the Elastic Band
I know a woman who never tries anything new, she holds herself back. She is scared of change, has a fear of the unknown and this stops her from attempting things she’d love to have a go at.
She doesn’t like to move out of her comfort zone, this is where she feels safe. She is protecting herself from the nervousness and butterflies you get when you are not quite sure; that sweaty palm, shallow breath, generally apprehensive feeling...I’m going to call her Comfort Zone Carol.
Where's your comfort zone?
We all have our comfort zones. They represent different things for us. It might be keeping you in a job that you don’t really like but it pays the bills and you can do with your eyes closed. It might be only wearing black baggy clothes because you want to blend into the background. It could be not driving in the dark and in turn stopping you from joining all kinds of activities in the evenings. One person’s comfort zone is not the same as the next one.
I once heard someone flip it one it’s head and refer to it as a discomfort zone and it got me thinking...is it really a comfortable place? If you want to try something new but fear is stopping you how is that comfortable? Is the ‘I know what I like, and I like what I know’ attitude actually keeping you stuck?
I meet Comfort Zone Carol quite a lot, she shows up in many different ways. Sometimes she is stuck in a style rut and scared of trying new colours or styles, she’s fed up of always wearing the same stuff but doesn’t know where to start. She worries about her clothes being right for her age. She’s scared of looking like mutton dressed as lamb but nor does she want to look like a grandma. Her kids and husband are not used to her trying anything new and poke fun if she buys something a bit different. So that knocks her confidence, the colourful new dress goes back in the bag and she’s back to her usual baggy black top. She’s in danger of heading towards the ‘frumport’ zone.
In a slightly different way, I’ve been out of my comfort zone this past few months, but it’s been technology wise. Bringing ALL of my business online has meant I’ve needed to really up my game with all things tech – I’m literally learning EVERY day. I set up my first online learning package 5 years ago and remember how scary that was. My problem was that I had a fear of things not being perfect; it was easier to not do it at all for ages. Anyway, I bit the bullet and did it and most recently I launched Super Savvy Style at the end of July. So far, it’s mostly going to plan and I’m not fretting too much about stuff going wrong, keeping my fingers crossed and it’s working on the whole.
Stretch and Challenge
I’m still in the stretch zone. It’s that challenging place where you have the excitement combined with fear. I know that as long as I persevere and work through the frustration of learning how to use new technology, I’ll feel such a sense of achievement afterwards. That feeling of accomplishment when you reach a goal, that’s when the fear disappears, and you’ve grown. I think it does you good to keep pushing in small increments.
Think of it like a balloon or an elastic band– once it’s been stretched as far as possible it can never go back to its original state. You don’t want to overstretch though, that’s when you’ll pop. Being pushed too far out of your comfort zone tends to send you into panic mode and that’s when fear stops all action which is why I’ve created my Super Savvy Style course to provide simple learning in bitesize chunks.
Sometimes my clients admit to being a bit nervous or embarrassed by their lack of knowledge before they bite the bullet and decide to work with me. They soon find themselves in a supportive, safe space though where it’s ok to ask questions and there’s no shaming or being made to feel stupid.
I’m delighted to say that Super Savvy Style is turning out to be everything I’d hoped it would be.
Here’s what one of the course members said this week:
“I’ve been watching the lessons in small doses. Before the course I felt like I had no confidence, was stuck in a rut and no idea what to do. I’m getting more form it than I expected. I’m finding the information very easy to understand and implement. 4 weeks in and I can see the changes I want to make as I have more idea what to look for, what colours to wear and I’m beginning to sort my wardrobe into a more sensible format. If I were to describe the course to a friend I’d say ‘It’s confidence with a smile. Easy to follow steps into discovering the real you.’ I’m loving this course and can really see the benefits.”
So, this week have a think. Which area of your life are you Comfort Zone Carol? Could you stretch yourself a little bit and grow? Try something new... it doesn’t have to be anything big it could be a new lipstick colour, a different style top, wearing a different colour to black. Let me know how it goes.
‘You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.’ Andrew Murphy
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