Stepping out of your comfort zone is always hard to do and sometimes it's easier to tell yourself that you don't need to, things are fine just as they are and you're happy and safe without having to put yourself out there.
I recently had to again step out of my comfort zone and although I'm constantly pushing myself and others to step out of the “safe zone” to achieve goals, this time I really felt like I could possibly be out of my depth. I was asked to host my first fashion event, I was so excited and jumped at the opportunity. However, that was six months before the event and I took the “she’ll be right” approach. Funny how fast six months can go by!
I’m used to talking to people about my story, my life and my goals. I try to use my story to motivate and encourage, to spread kindness and support, I try to lift other people up when they are being pushed down and help in any way I can. I'm used to being in front of a camera and speaking to groups of people, I've been involved in live TV, radio shows and phone interviews where you often find yourself thinking on the run. I have never had to speak to a room full of 500 people before and I was terrified that I would ruin the event with a substandard performance.
My mind tried to talk me out of it, I made excuses up in my head as to why I couldn't do it, the naysayers voices were creeping in. I'd made the commitment though and I couldn't back out. Even if I broke my ankle I'd still have to get up there, crutches and all. But the thing is, I was actually really disappointed in myself for thinking these thoughts which I had kept at bay for quite some time now. This was something exciting and a direction I want to keep pursuing with my career. I knew that when I'd finished I would be so proud of myself and wonder what all the fuss was about. My kids were telling me how proud they were of me before I'd even done it, they'd heard me practicing and practicing and knew how hard it was for me to do. It gave me the opportunity to show the kids that public speaking can be fun, as long as you are prepared, which is a good thing with all the talks, presentations and speeches that are becoming a regular thing for them at school.
I then decided to turn my mind around, I didn't want to be afraid, I didn't want this to be something scary, I wanted it to be something liberating and something that would motivate me to keep doing what I'm doing. I wanted my kids to watch me do something that I thought I couldn’t do, I wanted to show them it's okay and that pushing through fear is something they can do too.
And as expected from the start, I found myself up in front of 500 gorgeous fashion savvy people and I was privileged to have hosted an amazing night of fashion. I was so proud of myself and I had so much fun that I didn’t want to give the microphone back at the end of the night. Before the show my husband told me he was so proud that I didn’t back down, that no matter what happened if I fell, if I mucked my words up, if my dress came loose and I flashed my undies to 500 people, he was still so proud of me and that meant so much to me.
I can't wait to keep going, I can't wait to host my next event, I'm excited to learn and grow the art that is public speaking and hosting. It is definitely something I want to pursue further and gain experience in. I'm so grateful that I was given the opportunity and pushed myself to get up there and achieve something I didn't think I would be able to do.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”