17 Jul Raising Profile Means Leaving Your Comfort Zone
Tips to help you move past your comfort zone and come into the spotlight
Unless you’re born with a huge ego, raising profile always produces a little anxiety. What will they think of me? Can I really do this? How will I keep this up? The truth is that, unless you try, you really won’t know and you’ll end up angsting about it until you finally do get it together to leave the supposed safety of your comfort zone. After all, if you want to be seen as the expert, or go-to person in your niche, how else are you going to do it apart from raising your profile? One of my clients, personal branding consultant Lisa Orban of www.goldennotebook.co.uk has put together these really useful tips on coming out of your comfort zone that I really wanted to share with you.
1. Identify your fears
The first step in facing fears is to put a name to them. Why have you never signed up for that novel writing class you’ve bookmarked? Are you afraid of failing as a writer? Or perhaps you just can’t to face up to the fact that something will have to go to make time? Why haven’t any of your dates recently gone past the first meeting? Are you perhaps scared that you’ll really like someone and have to change your comfortable life around to make room for them? Or maybe you are just anxious about letting someone see the vulnerable you? What’s keeping you stuck?
(In profile raising terms, are you worried because you don’t think you’ve got the knowledge or experience people expect, or perhaps you’re concerned you’re going to get too many enquiries and end up overwhelmed. Paula )
2. Choose an approach
Think about how people get into a chilly swimming pool. Some dive in, eager to get it over with and get swimming whilst others tip-toe in, slowly acclimatising themselves to the temperature. There’s no right way to get into the pool, the important thing is that you choose your approach and manage to in! The same goes for the rest of life. Are you the type that needs to plunge in and get it over with, or do you need to slowly and gently nudge yourself out of your comfort zone?
(If you’re slow toe dipper, get used to being out there by offering to write something for your local newspaper, be a guest on hospital radio, or start following people on Twitter and see how they interact with each other. Take it one step at a time and when you’re feeling comfortable again, move on as quickly as possible. I guarantee that after a while you’ll feel confident enough to forget about the baby steps and really go for it! Paula )
3. Keep moving forward, one baby step at a time
Big picture thinking can be powerful but sometimes you have to put that aside or break things down, dealing with each wobble or issue as it arises. Practise picking yourself up over and over again. If you hit a dead end, try a different way. Entrepreneurs are famous for acknowledging that their failures have contributed to their success. Remind yourself that you are brave enough.
4. Use your values
Take time to identify your core personal values. They not only serve as reminders to represent what you want to stand for and how you wish to act in the face of change, but can also be used like a compass to keep you going in the right direction…for you. If you want to make changes, use your values to inspire you. For instance, if family is an overriding value and you want to get fitter, choosing activities out of your comfort zone that you can do as a family, or at least with a member of your family, will make it easier.
(Think about what’s important to you. If you don’t agree with a makeover and glamorous shoot for a women’s magazine, don’t do it. Paula)
5. Take care of yourself
While it requires some courage to step outside of your comfort zone, you don’t want it to result in a traumatic experience! Do all of this whilst looking after yourself emotionally, practically and spiritually. Support yourself in every way that you can and solicit the support of others as needed. If you’re training for a marathon, make sure you get the proper nutritional advice for instance. Expanding your comfort zones are a time of great growth. Try to be realistic and avoid extremes, be they all night partying or extreme sports, if you aren’t used to them.
(Paying importance to health and nutrition is something I’d really emphasise too. You want to be looking and feeling you’re best if you going to be in the public eye a little more than you’re used to. Paula )
6. Use your outer branding to keep you moving
If you know in what direction you want to go, consider making external changes to help you get there. For instance, one client wanted to move from a straitlaced banking background into fashion. Whilst reframing her existing skills and rewriting her CV was a big part of this process, encouraging her to adopt more colourful clothes and become more playful with her appearance (both in person and online) helped her mentally move into that world even before she physically got there.
(Definitely second this. You need to dress as you want the public and press to perceive you. Paula)
5. Build acceptance around fear and move with it
Ours is not a risk friendly society. After all, as humans we have an aversion to risk within our DNA, but what’s important is to recognise that stems from a time when life was a lot more risky, when real dangers such as sabre-toothed tigers could literally be around the corner. Most of the time, stepping outside of our comfort zones doesn’t carry the same level of danger as a tiger in the room, but we can still respond to risk with the the same “fight or fight” response, a “misfiring” that paralyse us. Practise taking small risks and get used to how this feels while building acceptance around feelings of fear, knowing that it is a completely normal human experience. Keep making steps forward even while feeling the fear. This will slowly but surely help you come out of hibernation and move past that comfort zone!
(I’d say that if it isn’t a little scary then it’s not stretching you enough!)
Bringing together her extensive training, experience and passion in both psychology and branding, Lisa Orban founded Golden Notebook. A chartered clinical psychologist, Lisa trained and practised in New York City for eleven years before relocating to London. Lisa helps clients make a name for themselves by discovering their distinct and authentic personal brand. She takes a unique approach to personal branding that combines psychological assessment and theory with branding strategies to create for powerful and enduring individual change and personal impact.