I came across a quote a while back that really “spoke” to me about the importance of expanding your comfort zone. I have no idea who actually said it, but the phrase was: “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”.
Like most people, I find it hard to push myself out of my comfort zone sometimes because it’s just so…well… comfortable. It’s just so much easier to stay where I am than it is to do something scary and push the edges.
The problem with comfort zones
The problem with setting up camp where you’re comfy, however, is that you stop growing and start stagnating. And this is particularly problematic when you’re trying to build a big dream, as I am.The problem w/ staying where you’re comfy is that you stop growing & start stagnating. Click To Tweet
When you keep yourself in idle mode for too long, you start to rust in place, and you tend not to even recognize the new opportunities that come your way; opportunities that could propel you even closer to where you really want to be, rather than just opting for what’s convenient (and comfortable) right now.
So last month, in the spirit of trying to expand my own horizons a bit, I did my very first livestream broadcast on Periscope. I have a YouTube channel, but there have been tumbleweeds blowing through it for over a year. One of the reasons for this is that video is not a medium that I am particularly comfortable with.
I also always think I look weird in photographs, so there aren’t a lot of pictures of me around. (That one I use on my site, for example? I’s about ten years old.) In other words, anything that captures “me” in images is not something I enjoy at all, and this includes even basic stuff like updating my driver’s license.
Part of the problem is that I’m awful with makeup and almost never wear it unless I’m going to a Toastmasters meeting or a wedding, funeral, or speaking event. I just never bothered learning how to apply it properly and I’m never quite sure what to do with it.
Also, I can never seem to manage putting mascara on without poking myself in the eye with the miserable brush.
So I don’t wear makeup often but, at the same time, I’m very self-conscious about being on video or in pictures without it because I’m naturally pale and I think I look washed-out, so I avoid such experiences whenever I can.
Curiosity and caution
Now, when this whole Periscope thing started becoming the latest social media “it” trend for reaching your audience I was curious (one of the things that I really want to do is increase the interactive element of what I do here with Vibe Shifting, and Periscope, by its very nature is supposed to be interactive), but I was also cautious.
With Periscope, there was a new potential for being able to reach out to my readers and podcast listeners through video, in a way that could allow me to actually interact with them easily. But I would actually have to be on camera to do it. Not just on camera, but LIVE on camera… <GULP>.
The thought was scary. What would I actually do with it? What kind of ‘scope would I want to do? What would people actually want to see/hear on such a platform? What the heck were other people doing with this thing? Was I going to have to start wearing makeup every day if I did this???
It was all so overwhelming.
The toe-dipping approach
So I went with a “toe-dipping” approach. I created an account and starting checking out other people’s broadcasts. Interesting; there was all sorts of stuff going on. I started to get some ideas about how I could use the medium to help get across the dream-building stuff that I do around here.Expanding your #ComfortZone doesn't have to be all-out; you can start with a toe-dipping approach! Click To Tweet
So last month I decided: what the heck – just go for it – just do it! It can’t hurt and – who knows – maybe it might even be fun. So I did a few broadcasts just to get my feet wet and see what all the fuss was about. And I decided to be even bolder; to hell with the makeup I said to myself, I was just going to do this as a casual, informal kind of thing. The “real” me, if you will.
It was unscripted, off-the-cuff, makeup-free, motivational stuff. I thought the results were a little rough, but it was an interesting experience. It wasn’t a “comfortable” experience, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
And it had the result of making me less afraid of doing video, so I am now thinking of doing more of it once my latest book is finally published and I have more time to do it, for both YouTube and Periscope.
Expanding your comfort zone
So now I have a question for you: is there anything that could help you with your big dream or goal that you’re putting off doing because of insecurity or fear? If so, then consider giving it a go, just to see what happens.
Every time you conquer a fear – big or little – it expands your capabilities, it pushes the boundaries of your safe little comfort zone and makes it a little bigger, which opens you up to new avenues of possibility. Take the chance and give it a go!
Where it might lead…
I’m currently brainstorming ways to make future ‘scopes more useful and may start doing some mini webinar-type things. I’d love to get your feedback on this – if you’re a Periscope fan, let me know what kind of stuff you’d like to see! And don’t forget to follow me there (@VibeShifting) so you get notified of any future broadcasts.
And if you’d like to see my first couple of attempts, I did save them and have posted them to my YouTube channel for all the world to see. (Please take the vertical orientation with a grain of salt – at the time, Periscope did not allow for HD-friendly landscape broadcasts, but that is now allowed, so future livestreams will be widescreen format.)
photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo