This week someone I know and respect gently accused me of backing down from a project because they suspected I felt 'out of my comfort zone'.
I seized on the phrase like a drowning person would cling to a raft: "You're exactly right, I am out of my comfort zone!" Then I waited to be let off the hook.
That's where things took an interesting turn. They had no intention of letting me off the hook. Quite the contrary. At the end of our 'phone call, I was still very much on that particular hook.
Even more surprising is this: I'm not ecstatic about it but I'm OK. This is NOT my average response to doing things I'm less than 100 per cent sure of.
What gives? Well, on turning forty I made myself a promise. My new catchphrase would be - cringes inwardly - 'Forty and fearless!'. I'm only three months in but so far I've stuck to my guns.
So how does a cowardly control freak like me climb out of her comfort zone? The as-yet-unpatented three-step plan goes as follows:
Research Spot the marketing girl (again). It might be new to you but chances are that someone, somewhere has done it before you. And they'll have generously shared their experience online. Get googling and get to grips with your challenge. The more you discover, the better prepared you'll be.
Supporters Your supporters don't need to have particular knowledge of what you're trying to do. They just need to be people who believe in you. And who'll help you to believe in yourself. Surround yourself with them.
Worst case scenario Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all? I still have issues with this one, to be honest. I've a real fear of failure. But I do force myself to think through the repercussions of not achieving my goal. Letting your mind go there is painful but liberating.
Of course the flip side of the worst case scenario is thinking through how good you'll feel if you achieve what you've set out to do...
Regardless of your plans for 2015 - fitness challenges, career goals, lifestyle changes - I wish you the very best of luck. Let's all enjoy the view from beyond our personal comfort zones.
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