If only we knew how great it feels on the other side of our comfort zone before we get there, we would be wondering what all the fuss was about!
Let me share a story with you.
We’ve recently had a new car. We had our previous car for 15 years, it was basic, it did us proud but it really was on its last legs. So we spent quite a lot of time choosing a new one, looking at different models, trying to curb the list of ever growing optional extras that I am sure would have turned the car into something out of Back to Future (if it wasn’t that way already!), weighing up a ‘new car’ over a ‘new to us car’. So much to think about. It was a big purchase and we wanted to make the right decision.
We finally decided on a white VW Golf with black and red trim and it is gorgeous. It is definitely one of our 2019 upgrades and I’m so proud of it! We picked it up…… and then the penny dropped.
I need to learn to drive it.
That thought struck me as I sat in the passenger seat on the drive home, watching the iPad sized computer screen in the centre console tell us all sorts of data, sync with our phones and try and decide the best route for us to get home. I watched the dashboard tell us what gear we should be in, the speed was just numbers increasing and decreasing, and there was even a compass telling us what direction we were going in.
Where were the old-fashioned dials? The fuel gauge? The temperature gauge? The normal basics that I had only needed to drive since I passed my test 21 years ago. Now I needed to learn all this?
In the space of about 10 minutes I had convinced myself I wouldn’t know what I was doing. All my experience suddenly counted for very little.
It was new. It was different. Could I do it? My experience vanished.
I drove it over the weekend, but I was nervous, I felt like a fish out of water and part of me just wanted my old car back. I was worrying about getting in and out the drive, whether I would stall at lights, all the things that I could do in a car I was convinced I would do.
Then, when it was quiet, and it was just me, I got in and drove it. Drove out of our driveway (which is awkward, very tight and not easy) like I had been doing it forever. I drove around the town like I had been driving that car for years. I knew I needed to push myself to get over the blocks or they would just get worse.
I’m now the other side of my comfort zone, and the other side of fear and it feels great. I’m not saying I won’t ever stall at lights, or there might not be the tiniest scratch on the way out of the drive, but now my confidence is soaring I believe in myself.
This fear of the new and unknown also happens in business all the time. When we’re faced with the prospect of something new, of growth or different opportunities, we are often apprehensive, looking for ways to stay small, and all our business experience seems to vanish into then air!
Our default settings can be so hard wired that it takes so much energy and determination to push on to what’s new, different, but so much better. If we can just take the first step and keep going.
The irony is we often want what we are afraid of.
I didn’t have to drive that day. I work from home and I didn’t have a need to go out. But I knew that if I didn’t my roots would get stronger in the old, and comfortable.
What do you need to push yourself to do for you or your business that will boost your confidence levels and set you on a new direction? Or set you up to make progress towards that goal you have in mind for 2019?
If I can drive a car that knows my name when I get in it (yes, really!), then there is no stopping us now!
I challenge you today to do something that you don’t HAVE to do but you know if you DID it would have such a positive impact.