I can’t help but reference baseball when I hear the words “comfort zone”.
You see, off the field, we’re always being told to step outside of our comfort zone but in baseball when a batter steps up to the plate, they love the comfort zone! There is an imaginary box that represents the strike zone and the pitcher is always looking to expand that strike zone to trip up the batter and strike them out. However, for the hitter, that strike zone is their sweet spot. When a perfectly timed swing meets a fastball inside that strike zone, it’s magic to the eyes and ears for any baseball fan.
Solid contact = base hit or even better, a home run!
Life’s not typically like that outside of baseball. It would be easier if it was but it just simply isn’t. In order to find that sweet spot, we have to get a little uncomfortable. Although I guess some would argue that standing in front a person throwing a fastball 99 miles per hour in their direction isn’t exactly the definition of comfortable…but I digress…
When it comes to growth in business, in order to get solid contact or get that home run we all want, we need to step out of that comfort zone. So how do we do that? For some, it’s crippling. For others, it’s confusing. For me, it’s sometimes both!
The task I try to give myself on a daily basis is to do or try something, even if I fail, that I’ve never done before. It doesn’t always have to do with business. Sometimes, it’s something silly like trying to cook a new recipe or try to learn a new song on my guitar. It doesn’t really matter what it is, so much as I just do something.
Yesterday, I made a video for a training spot in CTP. That is tremendously outside of my comfort zone. It’s actually ridiculous how scared I get when I’m in front of a camera and someday, if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll share my blooper reel with you and you will laugh!
I suffer with anxiety on a daily basis so for me, this is probably the hardest task I’ve been given. When you have anxiety (clinically diagnosed) you know that staying in your comfort zone limits the amount of anxious moments and panic attacks that will appear. They definitely still find you but the odds are lower then when you step into the unknown. It’s been a challenge but a necessary one because I was getting nowhere with my online business and realized that I needed to move.
Since I’ve started doing this, believe it or not, my anxiety has gotten a little better with taking that first step. For me, the worst fear I have is not the fear that I’m going to fail or look silly, it’s that I’m going to have an anxiety attack! So it stops me, a LOT! However, since I’ve pushed through that fear, I’ve taken some control of it. The video I mentioned that I made literally has 22 takes. Kind of ridiculous, right? But I wouldn’t let myself quit. I thought of stopping and doing it the next day but I knew that the odds of my fear taking control and preventing me from completing this task were so high that I had to finish.
To my baseball brain, I’m only able to get solid contact when I’m able to control the at bat! That means, I’m the batter and the pitcher is throwing a whole lot of anxiety fast balls, change ups and sliders my way but I refuse to let that pitcher expand my strike zone because if I stay in control, eventually, I’ll hit the ball so hard and so sweet that I’ll be running out of that comfort zone (around the bases all the way home!).
PS. Tom Hanks lied, there is definitely crying in baseball!