Those were the words that spilled out of the mouth of Daniel Flynn, co-founder of Thank You Water. He was addressing a business gathering recently and was referring to getting out of your comfort zone. That’s a place I was today – completely out of my comfort zone.
I’m a business woman who has quietly built up my business over the last 5 years after leaving the corporate world to fuel my creative passions and seek flexibility. I’m also a mother, a wife, a daughter, an in-law, a friend and confidante.
As a self-confessed introvert, I loathe being the centre of attention. I’ve always been behind the scenes, a quiet achiever, never a ra ra type of person. That’s just me. In the corporate world I was completely comfortable with where I was – supporting the sales team, the marketing team, senior managers. But being a business owner requires a little more. You need to get yourself out there so people get to know you. You need to build relationships with people. You need to tell people what you do.
The Truth is I’ve Been Hiding.
Today I had an experience that changed me. I had a photoshoot with Che Bella by Amarcord Photography. It’s not something I sought, in fact I won the Che Bella experience as a prize at the launch event of this beautiful brand. Sometimes things are handed to us for a reason.
As the session began and I had my hair and make up done by a professional. I felt anxious and nervous, amidst a little excitement. I stepped into the light and in front of the camera. I felt awkward and self conscious, I didn’t know whether to laugh or just smile, should I be serious or just have a little fun?
After a couple of hours, nearing the end of the photoshoot and in my last outfit – in something I have never worn before, something sparkly – something happened. Andrea showed me a photo she’d just taken.
I didn’t recognise her. This woman appeared to be a self assured, confident and happy woman. Someone who is successful in her own right, someone with no boundaries, with whole hearted energy, passion and determination. I didn’t realise that’s what people see on the outside.
I had a moment. Tears streamed. I finally realised that was me. It’s what others see, they tell me. I just don’t see it in myself.
Over the years in my professional and personal life, I’ve always been told that I appear confidant, successful, having my shit together. The reality is that I don’t feel that way. Sometimes what people see on the outside is not the reality for the person on the inside.
But I was given a glimpse of all that and more.
So this year, I’m going to emerge from the warmth of my comfortable cocoon. It’s time to throw away hesitation, uncertainty, indecision and most of all self doubt.
Be Seen. Be Heard.
Don’t be afraid of being judged. Don’t be afraid of failure, because that’s where we find the biggest successes. I’m going to challenging myself and get out of my comfort zone and I encourage you to challenge yourself too. Get out of your comfort zone. Do something totally different, something that totally scares you, something out of the ordinary. Don’t wait for things to be perfect. Just get out and stay out!