Wednesday, October 20, 2010

7 Tips for Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

1. Change something every day. It may be as simple as sitting in a different chair at home, or moving your desk slightly to get a new perspective. It keeps you on your toes and gets you used to change.

2. What is your greatest fear? Write down what is your greatest fear at work e.g. doing a presentation to the Board of Directors, meeting people and then not remembering their names, being made redundant, looking stupid in front of colleagues – then ask yourself – What is the worst that could happen if that situation occurred? – How would I overcome this? If you are able to think through a situation ahead of time and find a potential solution it makes it less scary. That’s what we did prior to our expedition to the North Pole.

3. Accept that fear is in all of us. Once you acknowledge that everyone has fears and it’s a natural part of life, you can look at them differently. Think about how you can make fear a positive thing that works for you. For example, it might cause you to do more prep for that presentation, or create a way of remembering people’s names.

4. Change the word you use from fear to curiosity. Whilst fear may bring on one type of emotion, try using the word curiosity instead. This can open you up to want to gain understanding of something you have no knowledge or experience of, and is often associated with anticipation or enthusiasm.

5. Look for a physical challenge. Many people enjoy pushing their boundaries by embarking on a physical activity such as rock climbing or trekking. Make a commitment to do something new – arrange a great day out and will get your heart racing, e.g. rock climbing or zip wire.

6. Relax, and reflect. Stepping out your comfort zone does not always have to be about activity. For some of you the challenge might be to slow down, relax and take time for yourself. I recommend Joy of Being

7. Don’t be on your own. Find a way to share your fears with others because by doing so shows you are human and vulnerable. This takes courage but also can help build rapport with others. So share what you are going to do to step out of your comfort zone!

Sue Stockdale is a motivational speaker, executive coach and polar adventurer. She was the First British woman to walk to the Magnetic North Pole and represented Scotland in athletics. She is Chapter Chair of Women Presidents Organisation in UK, and Director of WEConnect Europe, the leading supplier diversity initiative. Sue is passionate about helping women achieve their goals in business

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