I’ll be honest: there are many different things that this title could refer to. I’m someone with many comfort zones, and I like to stay firmly inside them wherever I can. Despite that, I’ve breached the walls of many of my comfort zones in the last six months: I started posting my writing online, and actively inviting people to read it, which is a new thing for me. I committed to working on and completing one project – I’m still working on it, but I’m further than I’ve ever been before.
And as I discussed in my blog about self-confidence earlier this week, I’ve also been posting pictures of myself on Instagram. If Doctor Who himself had appeared to me a couple of years ago and told me I’d be doing that now, I would have laughed in his face.
While I like my comfort zones, those changes have been all under my own steam for the most part. The reason I’m discussing it today is because I’m going to need to go out of my comfort zone by force, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
My boss’s boss has asked me to organise a small project regarding some content articles. I’m essentially meant to work with some internal stakeholders, find out what’s needed, then research and select an agency to fulfil the needs of the project. For context, I’m just meant to be a content writer, not a manager.
While it doesn’t sound too complicated – and it’s not, at the heart of it – these things are well out of my comfort zone. Speaking to new people isn’t something I’m keen on, and I have to do that both within and outside my company. I’ve never scouted for agencies, so that’s new to me too. I also have to at least appear to know what I’m doing!
Fortunately, my boss’s boss is amazing, and she seems to understand that the task is intimidating for me. I’m welcome to ask for any help I might need as I go along, and she’ll be able to support me.
Of course, going outside of your comfort zone is good thing, as long as it’s not dangerous. It’s like you’re armed with a paintbrush. As you venture outside your painted ring, you can run over and paint a bigger loop around the new task you’ve conquered – and thus your comfort zone expands. The more you perform that task, the more sure and solid the lines become, and it becomes a familiar part of your routine. You become more able to complete that kind of task.
I had an issue with using the telephone before I started my previous job – and by issue, I mean a phobia. Unfortunately, my previous job required me to make contact with customers by telephone fairly often, so I had to push hard through the walls of my comfort zone to make the first call. But once I’d made that call, the rest got easier, and suddenly, it wasn’t such a big deal for me. While I still don’t enjoy using the phone, I’m capable of making a call now.
I’m going out now, so I’ll have to end with a question – what took you out of your comfort zone recently?