Last week I had the opportunity to attend a networking event that was really transformational and inspiring.
I was so excited to attend the event because this was an opportunity for me to get outside of my comfort zone in a social setting.
I’ve mentioned before how I’m socially awkward and don’t thrive in social spaces.
This was a chance to practice “networking while being shy.”
That’s not exactly what happened, but I did learn some valuable lessons.
I walked into the event and immediately walked towards the first familiar face that I saw.
I stayed there most of the evening, aside from the few times I stepped away to wander to the bar and restroom.
I didn’t allow myself the opportunity to explore the room. I stayed within my comfort zone.
When I got home I reflected on the evening and there were so many negative thoughts swarming through my head.
“You are a failure.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “I don’t know why you even bother.”
As this wave of negativity came rushing in, I thought, “Whoa! What is happening right now?”
I took a moment to reflect and the first thing I noticed was that I was thinking about something that already occurred.
I was also able to notice that whatever was happening in my mind wasn’t happening in the present moment.
It didn’t matter that I didn’t allow myself to explore the room or introduce myself to more people, none of that was happening at that moment.
I was obsessing over something that already occurred and that I could not change.
Through reflection, I was able to realize that although I couldn’t change what occurred, I could change my response to it and choose to do something different the next time around.
I made a note to explore at the next networking event I attend.
Not just when I’m by myself and don’t have a choice, but also when there’s a crutch of familiarity for me to hold on to.
I share this to let you know that you are not alone. I, too, am still learning to grow and heal from patterns of the past that are no longer serving me in order to step outside of my comfort zone.
Often times it’s easier to stay connected to what’s familiar instead of exploring the space of discomfort and unknown.
It may offer a temporary sigh of relief, but staying in your comfort zone keeps you where you are.
Too often, we make the same choices and because the circumstances appear different, we believe a change has been made.
We do this in our career choices, relationships, and daily decision-making.
When you don’t receive the desired outcome, it provides an opportunity for a different choice to be made.
Are the choices you are making yielding the outcomes you desire?
This opportunity allowed me the space to reflect on what I could have done differently.
I’ve identified 7 steps to help you move outside of your comfort zone to explore the unknown.
Download your free guide to 7 steps get outside of your comfort zone.