It’s funny how things can happen and you sense they were meant to happen for a reason, and usually they happen at just the right time! I’m a great believer in things happening for a reason and I’m about to tell you briefly about such an occasion that occurred for me just this week. Without going into all the detail, a few days ago I came into contact with a lovely local woman who told me of a local ‘women in business networking morning tea event’ that was on this morning and invited me to come along.
My first reaction was one of ‘oh no I couldn’t possibly walk into an event on my own where I don’t know anyone and besides – my business isn’t even really up and running yet’ but then my sensible self waved a finger at myself and said “Oh for goodness sake Min! This would be a great opportunity to meet and network with other local women in business and you really need to stretch that comfort zone if you’re to do what you want to do”!! I can be very sensible at times I must say, so I listened to my sensible voice!
You see, since I left my corporate life, my comfort zone bubble has reduced quite a bit. I am at home a lot more than I ever used to be. Where once I was interacting with numerous people on a daily basis, nowadays I interact with my family, friends occasionally, and lots of other people – but from behind a computer screen!
When you allow your comfort bubble to reduce, it requires discomfort to stretch it and to widen that comfort zone bubble again.
What is your comfort zone? Comfort Zone is defined by Wikipedia as a behavioral state with which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. If we stay in our comfort zone, we do not grow as a person or in whatever we do we will only be stagnant. So, it is in my best interest to start stretching out my comfort zone bubble!
This morning I woke feeling anxious. My heart was racing faster than usual and my head ached. It was expected – because to stretch the comfort zone requires some discomfort and there was my discomfort. Ta da! I knew I’d be fine. I don’t have business cards printed yet but I made up some makeshift ones on my computer and printer last night and had them ready to hand out if I needed them (and it turned out that I did!). I was ready and so off I went.
When I first walked in I spotted a lady I know. She sold our house many years ago and also helped us buy our current house. I immediately felt better in seeing a familiar face. I needn’t have worried though because all the women there were so friendly and welcoming. I ended up having a fabulous time. I met some wonderful local women with a diverse range of talents and businesses. We all stood up one at a time to quickly provide a brief overview of what we do. I am not comfortable with public speaking but did my best even though I felt knots in my chest. The funny thing is that almost every women I spoke to said they felt the same when they got up to speak but you would never have known! They said that when I spoke I came across as natural, calm and warm. It was an aha moment for me to realise that we are all human and that we all have similar fears and insecurities and that I shouldn’t always think that it is just me that can be this way. I left with a pocket full of business cards, some new friends, lots of contacts of people who can help me with my business plans and a spring in my step knowing that I am not so alone or isolated with my dreams for the future!
This was the last event for this group for 2014 but I’m really looking forward to 2015 and future events and getting to know my new friends better! Hooray for women’s groups!
What about you – Do you have conversations with yourself like I did? Do you listen to your sensible voice or your silly voice? Have you stretched your comfort zone bubble lately? How did it go?
Ciao for now,
This post is linked up with With Some Grace’s #FYBF