It was true that I had more expertise than anyone else there, but I felt far from expert. I was way out of my comfort zone.
I had been invited to speak for a job networking group. My business was brand new and I had never spoken in front of a group in my life. As I walked up on stage, I wondered what would happen if I bolted for the exit instead. . . but I didn’t do it.
I found myself up there, thinking “Now what?”
About 50 faces stared back at me and waited for me to say something. Anything.
Eventually, words did come out of my mouth. I had prepared something, and I’m sure my talk was just as captivating as you imagine.
Fortunately, I had somehow found myself in front of the friendliest audience in the universe. They showed interest and asked questions.
Finally, it was over.
I’d love to say that I had conquered my fear and I’ve gone on to blossom into an amazing public speaker. The truth is I only spoke one time after that, and I think it was even worse than the first time.
But actually, what I’ve realized, is that conquering my fear forever and mastering the skill is not the only lesson.
The other lesson is that I know I’m able to step out of my comfort zone and walk straight into the fear even when everything in my body is telling me to turn around and run.
Why It’s Important To Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone
It’s important to break out of your comfort zone because if you don’t pretty soon your life becomes predictable and boring.
You start to be ruled by fear and what you can’t do, rather than what you choose to do and what excites you.
What It Means To Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone
A few years ago in this post about success, I said that your comfort zone is good. But my real point was that breaking out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean pushing yourself to do things that are unnatural to you just because they are uncomfortable.
Breaking out of your comfort zone means pursuing your own excellence and becoming a master at something you love.
It means doing things that you didn’t do yesterday.
It means following your dreams instead of staying stuck where you are.
It does not mean doing things you aren’t good at to improve your weaknesses or do things you dread and never really wanted to do in the first place. No thank you.
Breaking out of your comfort zone isn’t about torturing yourself.
It’s about pursuing yourself in your highest form.
That’s why when you truly break out of your comfort zone, away from the boring, predictable, dreary and into what excites and challenges you, it can save your life.