All growth happens on the other side of fear. Yet we are encouraged to focus on our strengths and do what we love. So how can you make stepping out of your comfort zone worthwhile? What are the scary things worth pursuing when you are looking for personal growth and reaching your goals?
For me the key word has always been excitement.
When nine years ago after having left my successful corporate career in branding I stayed at home with my twin babies I started searching for a new path. I could have set up goals based on what used to mean success for me: a bigger bonus, bigger clients and a bigger team. But that didn’t excite me any more.
I had started to yearn for goals with more meaning and purpose. I wanted to create something that would not only mean material success but would also have a positive impact in the world.
For many years I had built brands for others. I helped companies to express their values, personality and purpose through design and branding. (And I had loved every minute of it.) But now I wanted to do something for me. What if I’d create something that was based on who I was and what I believed in? I wanted to know what I’d be capable off.
How far would I get if I’d keep learning and expanding?
I kept researching and exploring until, together with my friend Jennifer, we landed an idea about women’s network that would not only empower but help women become proactive with their life goals.
I had no experience of running networking events, or women’s groups or anything like such. So how did I know this was a path worth pursuing? It felt like a massive leap for me and super scary. I had to step outside of my comfort zone.
Fear and excitement are the best guides to finding your purpose.
The idea of DrivenWoman made me excited beyond anything I had ever experienced before. Yet the fear almost paralyzed me. Starting something based on what I was passionate about and putting everything that I believed in onto the display for the whole world to see was scary.
Yet, I had no choice. To follow my excitement I had to overcome my fear. Somewhere deep I knew I had landed the path I was meant to be on. I had found my truth, and pursuing my new goals would mean I could not care what other people would say.
It was not fear of failure I was feeling. I was afraid of exposing my true self to the world.
We feel our greatest fear in the face of our own light and power so we start steering our life towards something quite mediocre because failing at something we don’t love sounds much safer than taking a chance on something that is 100% our truth.
To step out of your comfort zone is to follow your excitement through a door of fear.
It’s a fear of surrendering to the flow of life, surrendering to the endless possibilities and the uncertainty of the outcome but knowing that you are on the path that brings you joy beyond anything you’ve known before.
It is at the same time exhilarating and scary.
I had to step out of the comfort of my own little world of insecurities to create something larger than me that empowers others.
But in fact, I wasn’t creating anything new, I already had it all inside me!
Finally I was tapping into my full potential. I started basing everything I do on my core strengths and proudly celebrating my talents with the world.
And I think this is the key lesson. When we talk about stepping out of our comfort zone it sounds like we are supposed to start doing something completely different for the sake of it. No. It’s about daring to move towards things that excite you more and daring to show more of who you are to the world.
You can do a little test:
What are your current goals? Do they excite you? Do you feel a little tingling in your stomach? (Or do you feel sick in the stomach? … That’s a bad sign, by the way.) Do you feel fear?
Let excitement and fear be your guides to a bigger life. By stepping out of my comfort zone I created an empowering women’s network and achieved my goal.