Now, we all love being in our comfort zone, don’t we? We feel at ease, unpressurised and, you guessed it, comfortable. A prime example of our comfort zone is home: we all love coming home after a long day and getting that warm, homely, familiar feeling. But imagine if you never left?
You ate at home, worked at home, only talked to people that are in your home, socialised at home and just never left those 4 walls. Yes, you’d constantly feel comfortable, at ease and safe. But my goodness, you’d get bored. This is the same with life.
Anything that we know how to do and are comfortable doing will become unchallenging and boring. Thats why it’s so important to force ourselves out and into unfamiliar surroundings, even though it’s scary.
I’m going through a comfort zone struggle at the moment with looking for a job. I find interviews extremely nerve racking (don’t we all) but thats because I’m being taken right out my comfort zone: I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know the people, I don’t know where I’m going and I realised, thats what exiting your comfort zone is: the fear of the unknown.
Over time, I’ve picked up ways of dealing with these emotions which I hope help you like they help me:
- Feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. Although I believe that you should always feel comfortable in your outfit, times when you’re exiting your comfort zone is the most important. You don’t want to go into a job interview feeling self conscious about what you look like; this will just add to your uneasiness impacting the way you conduct yourself. If you’re going for a job interview and you’re not sure if the skirt you’re wearing is too short or if you can see your bra through your top – don’t wear it. During the interview that’s all you’ll be thinking about and wishing you had gone with something different.
- Be prepared. When you’re nervous, your brain will find it hard to find information that you thought was there. That’s why you should prepare for any interview you go to, making notes on things you might be asked, on the company itself, the journey you need to take to get there and on the people you’re meeting. Read these notes over and make sure they’re on the front of your brain.
- Try and be yourself. The reason I say try is because I find it very hard to be myself when I’m nervous and around people I don’t know. But a lot of employers hire you for your personality so you just have to find a way to let that shine through the nerves. The way I do that is by asking questions: you can even prepare this before. One thing that everyone likes talking about is themselves, so if you ask lots of questions about them and show you’re interested, they won’t be able to dislike you!
- Smile. A smile goes a long way.
These tips can be applied to any situation, not just a job interview. They really have made a difference for me and I hope they help you to deal with new, unfamiliar situations with more confidence because you know all those exciting things in life? They won’t be found by staying in your comfort zone.
“If you don’t get uncomfortable leaving your comfort zone then you haven’t left it.” Tim Brownson