Step Outside your Comfort Zone with Confidence
Some may think this is an oxymoron. In a recent interview with Kookie Muhretti, a fashion stylist based in London, I shared how to do this with more ease.
So what has a stylist and a business coach got in common? A lot more than you think. As fellow business owners, we both spend time pushing our boundaries – stepping outside of comfort zones, and doing things we never thought we would do. As small business owners we both like to collaborate with other professionals outside of our particular fields, we have started making weekly youtube videos, said yes to dying my hair blue/green – Kookie, jumped at the chance to spend time in New York with my business coach – Clare. You name it we’ve said ‘YES’!
Chatting with Kookie about stepping outside of your comfort zone, we both agreed it takes confidence and a lot of faith to step out and try something different. But, which comes first? From the outside it can look easy for people. Here’s the honest truth from Kookie:
…’if you REALLY know me, then you will know when I’m super nervous I don’t clam up, oh no that would be the correct thing to do! Nope, I develop a case of ‘Verbal Diarrhoea’. My mouth opens and a torrent of words fall out, my voice goes up a few octaves and I – can’t -stop – myself! Even the little people in the control centre (brain) can’t shut me down! They try everything, emergency panic button, faint switch, the lot. Nothing works!’
Then there is the other side, too. The dark side. The part that always seems to rear its ugly little head whenever you’re too close to your ‘Comfort Zone’ boundary! That voice that tells you “you’re not good enough”, “you can’t wear that you’re too fat!” “You can’t get that job, you’re not good enough!”
This is called Imposter Syndrome and here’s how to tackle it.
What does it mean to be Confident?
Confidence means to be happy in your own skin! To be able to face your fears and challenges and overcome them. When a difficult situation arises, a large percentage of the population will say: “That’s too hard!” or “I can’t do that!” or “I’m not there yet!”. Whereas, the rest will say, “How can I do this? How can I become that confident person?”and go ahead and overcome those challenges. You have to be willing to push out of your comfort zone and not allow your ego to get in the way!
What is the Ego?
The ego reflects that negative element of our personality. Whether its come from childhood, developed from adulthood or something that has happened to us along the way. But it’s that something, that gets in the way of us feeling good, feeling confident and feeling successful. Whatever that success looks like to you. It likes to keep you comfortable and away from change or venturing into the unknown. It’s that voice that pops up and tells us we shouldn’t, it will tell us negative things to keep us from changing.
Steps to become more confident
Create a strong ‘I am’ affirmation or mantra. It’s what all the olympic champions use to keep their mindset strong. We all have hang up in some way or another, that stems back to a lack in confidence. Focus on one area you want to be confident in. Focus on it and get really specific. Write a list of all the negative thoughts attributed to that particular area. Then write a counter list of positive thoughts from there to create a strong and powerful ‘I am…’ affirmation. It has to be believable to you for it to work. For instance, Kookie mentioned her inability to run consistently, and a voice that tells her she’s not good enough – Say this ‘I am…’ affirmation out loud before and during every run – ‘I am an excellent runner, I am keeping pace and pushing forward!’ It will make a huge difference!
Stop from falling off the “Confidence Wagon”
It doesn’t matter when and if you fall off your confidence wagon. What matters is when you start beating yourself up about it! You’re allowed two days of wallowing, then after the two days, you got to let it go. It’s about recognising those trigger points, recognising when it’s going on for too long and having the right tools to get you back on track.
A vision board, which most people have heard of can work wonders for this to help keep you on track for your goals. To keep on track in my small business I use a wall of success, written on a large piece of flip chart paper. On each brick, I write what I have achieved in both my professional or personal life until it becomes a wall. This helps to surround myself with positive thoughts and recognition of the good things I have achieved, as well as keeping a grateful outlook on life and business.
Clare Whalley will be celebrating 10 years in business this year. She graduated with an International degree in English and Education and went into corporate life to pursue a career outside of teaching. Successfully passing a rigorous graduate scheme into a blue chip company; working in several positions across team management, customer service and sales roles. A working trip to India helped her decide to resign, retrain and set up her own coaching and training business.
Clare now lives in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham with her two young children, Isabelle and James and her husband Rob.
Clare works with fellow business owners to help them create a business they love too. She uses strategies and tools which will help business owners get to the clients they love to work with, with more consistency and ease.