How to get out of your comfort zone and find joy
Find out how I overcame my fear of riding a scooter with the help of a great coach, and the learnings that help you experience the magic on the other side of fear.
People often tell me how courageous I am. I suppose it’s because I do things that a small percentage of the population does, like making the leap into entrepreneurship, moving countries and getting up in front of groups.
But of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t have fear and I’m not your big risk-taking type. There are lots of die-hard, bold entrepreneurs out there who love adventure sports and how they are in their business is an extension of that. Then there are scaredy cats like me who talk themselves out of taking risks until one day something clicks and they go for it.
You make a change when the pain of staying in your comfort zone is greater than the perceived consequences of changing and the pull of a bigger purpose is so strong that there is just no other option.
This happened to me on my trip to Bali this week. My first day was amazing – I was so inspired! My second day was super frustrating. I was faced with all sorts of practical and personal difficulties, including the pain of getting around in the sweltering heat.
The easiest way to travel is by scooter without a doubt. I am someone who has only even ridden on the back of a scooter and even then to begin with I was clinging to the person riding pretty tightly in fear!
I was too scared to do it because I had never done it and just the thought of it freaked me out. What if I fall? What if I have no clue what I’m doing? These are valid fears – plenty of people have accidents. But my fear was stopping me from doing something that could be fun and make my life easier.
Enter Nik, my new friend from Canada, who offers to give me a lesson in a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle. Now that I was open to. Nik’s business is all about how to take the principles of sport into life so he happens to be a master coach.
Nik spends half an hour with me breaking down what to do and moving on to the next learning when he can see I’m ready for it. By the end I am speeding around and bubbling with joy! To finish he shares the common pitfalls and we do final preparation to take on the real road.
There are so many parallels between my experience of riding a scooter and starting a business and quitting my job. Here are some of the learnings that you can apply to any area where you want to get out of your comfort zone and experience the joy and fulfilment on the other side:
Getting a coach you can trust: Just having someone who had been through it before or has mastered a skill can help you to find the confidence within yourself to get started.
I didn’t know how awesome a coach Nik was before we started, but I had a good feeling that he could help me. The same thing happened when I first spoke to my coach and made the decision to create my business and my exit strategy.
Be coachable: In a way I was lucky that I was humble enough to admit that I needed help (at least once he offered!) and I was willing to follow Nik’s guidance and take it slowly.
Sometimes in making big decisions people see that if they admit that they don’t know what they’re doing that is a sign of weakness, when in fact it is a sign of strength. The more open you are to new approaches and perspectives when getting out of your comfort zone, the more you will gain.
Take it one step at a time: As a leader or a new entrepreneur, you can get impatient for results and being the best from the get go. This can lead to frustration and giving up altogether if it doesn’t go to plan. Break the task down into chunks and celebrate your success as you move to the next step.
Daring and caution: This was a key teaching point from Nik for riding on a scooter and is very much part of my philosophy when making a career change. Be aware of the risks, pull back when you need to and then balance that with courageous steps that will help you move you forward.
Relax and enjoy the ride: Remember the very purpose of getting out of our comfort zone is to experience the joy on the other side. Once you have overcome your fears and are starting to gain confidence, let yourself celebrate and have fun with it!
What are you afraid of that you would like to challenge yourself to do this week? What support will you get or how will you support yourself to make it happen?
Please share in the comments!
Nik Wood is Founder of Life Athletics (www.lifeathletics.com). Through his new podcast and video blogs he assists people to change their thinking and habits to achieve their goals.
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