Step outside your comfort zone


The catch with comfort zones — they are comfortable. Why would a person choose to move away from comfort? Just as taking risks — well, that’s risky. Why would a person decide to put himself in a position where the outcome is not known?

Many have managed a contented life living within the confines of a comfort zone and by minimizing risk; however, entrepreneurs are not afforded those luxuries.

Making decisions bound to stretch talents and resources available is a way of life. It’s an attitude. It’s an acceptance that in order to turn a vision into a reality one needs to be willing to go the extra mile and take appropriate action to map uncharted territory.

And somehow, an entrepreneur embraces this level of uncertainty because goodness knows worrying about it won’t do any good. Worry halts progress.

The entrepreneurs reading this are thinking, well, yes, of course.

Then there are readers who are thinking how thankful they are for having chosen an already charted path in their professional career. Success minus the risk and the headaches — but is it also minus the excitement?

There is something extremely satisfying about taking an idea and crafting it to reality. The moment when it dawns on you that over time, you have developed a concept, surmounted obstacles and tweaked the progress to the point that now it’s a reality offers the same kind of self-satisfying moment felt by a kid who rides his bicycle on his own for the first time.

It’s not necessarily about creating a company — not everyone is cut out to be a business owner, but how about just taking one step out of your comfort zone to make a positive change in your day-to-day life? Maybe you’ve been passed for promotion. Maybe you aren’t feeling challenged at work and would like to adjust your role. If you don’t take the appropriate action or take a chance and ask the question, you’ll be left to wonder what could have been.

Have you had an out-of-the-box idea and talked yourself out of doing it by rhyming off the reasons why it can’t and won’t happen? When was the last time you went for it, deciding to throw caution (and excuses) to the wind?

I almost didn’t go to my first official non-work networking event in this city. It was a political function, on a Saturday morning and I was too nervous. The night before I came up with every excuse as to why I shouldn’t bother. Thankfully, the fact I was unemployed and needed to make connections to find a job trumped all the excuses that compelled me to stay home.

That morning was pivotal in my career. It was then that I adopted the motto, “When in doubt, talk yourself in, don’t talk yourself out.”

The easy answer is usually the one that supports all the reasons you can’t. Shutting off the self-doubt waterfall and purposely counteracting all the natural excuses, such as “I’m not qualified, not good enough, it’s not the right time or other people can do it better,” is the harder path to choose, but it’s the more rewarding option.

It’s not that entrepreneurs don’t have the self-doubt conversations; it’s just that they refuse to let the conversation end with the excuse having the last word.