the inspiration blog

The Power of Being Uncomfortable

Posted on: March 6, 2013

Whenever I try something new, it’s a bit uncomfortable. When I do something really different, it’s really uncomfortable. Who wants that?

Like, speaking in front of large groups. Now, “large” is subjective. You might view large as 10, or 100. (For me, it’s over 1000… see below for my April event!)

However, being uncomfortable is how we grow. When we are too comfortable for too long, we’re not growing. We’re stagnant.

For speakers, learning new skills, like expanding the dynamics of your voice (e.g., pitch, tone, tempo, the resonance of your voice, and even pausing) may feel uncomfortable at first. So many people don’t even realize they can have a more dynamic voice and presence – it’s unfathomable to realize that your voice can be that amazing! And yet, for most people, finding those new dimensions is scary and uncomfortable.

You see, our comfort zone is where you’re safe. When you’re uncomfortable and choosing new actions, it means your growing. So, it’s essential to establish a new relationship with discomfort.

Sure, I talk about this with my clients all the time… and I also love what my own coach says: that in order to grow our businesses, we must expand our capacity to be uncomfortable.

And oh boy, I know what it’s like. When I first held my Authentic Entrepreneur Speaker Series a year ago, I was really uncomfortable. 3000 people tuning in, and partnering with incredible experts in the field with email lists up to 100,000? Yowza! Creating new offerings and implementing new marketing techniques? Scary. At times, I certainly didn’t have confidence, and I procrastinated as much as my time frame allowed. Yet, I still did it. Could it have been better? Certainly. And it is, each time – as I get more comfortable.

And today? Well, I’m a professional speaker, and enjoy new opportunities. And yet, there’s a great opportunity to expand my comfort zone. On April 27th, I’ll be a featured speaker at the National Entrepreneurs and Small Business Expo in Los Angeles. And I’ll be speaking live to at least 2500 people. It’ll be my biggest speaking engagement to date. Wahooooo!

So I encourage you to ask: what are avoiding because it’s uncomfortable? The more you can give yourself permission to make mistakes, and to grow, the better. Whether that’s to become more confident at speaking, to get more clients, or simply to have a difficult conversation with someone, here are some specific tips on how to be okay with being uncomfortable:

1)   Let yourself be in the unknown. Be okay not knowing all the answers.

2)   Take a lot of deep breaths. Stretch. Get in your body, so that you don’t get stuck in your fears.

3)   Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Face it: “perfect” is a utopian fantasy. It’s not reality.

4)   Have fun! Don’t take things so seriously. Incorporate play into your day. Even make the new growth into a game. (Yes, this might be easier when expanding your vocal dynamics, but it can work with other areas too!)

5)   Stop beating yourself up! This is so important: as long as you are self-critical you’re blocking yourself.

Below in the comments section, you have a chance to be lovingly witnessed. Please share your own experiences, or write in what action you’re willing to take to expand your comfort zone – and to step into even more of who you truly are.

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