For those of you who don’t know me very well and wonder why I spend so much abroad, I work as something called a visiting practitioner. Hotels and Wellness resorts worldwide invite me to stay as a kind of guest/employee at their resort and treat the guests. I have a number of skills, including hypnotherapy, massage, acupuncture that I can offer to the guests in addition to their regular spa treatments. With so many people these days suffering from stress and physical ailments, having a specialist to help them whilst they are on holiday can really enhance their stay.
It’s a great job. I get to travel around the world and stay at some of the most exclusive and expensive hotels in the world for free.
However, when there are not many guests, then I have to make my stay at the hotel worthwhile, so I do have to speak and sell myself to the guests.
When I first started this line of work it was something that I absolutely hated doing; approaching guests when they were having breakfast or in the spa and feeling as though I had to sell them something. I have always hated salesman, as I am sure most people do, and having to be one made me cringe.
I used to feel so uncomfortable and could sometimes feel myself going redder and redder, almost panicking as I tried to think of ways to sell myself to the guests without sounding desperate.
That was 8 years ago.
Today, I feel very comfortable at walking up to almost anyone in the resorts and striking up a conversation with them. I don’t even sell myself anymore, I just chat with the guests and usually, they then ask me what I do and I tell them. If they think I can help them, great. If not, that’s absolutely fine.
But the only way I managed to get to this state of feeling comfortable striking up a conversation with complete strangers was through constantly stepping out of my comfort zone so that I eventually became comfortable with doing it.
Now, you may have heard of the expression ‘comfort zone’ before. But have you ever thought about what it is and how it can either entrap you or make you grow as an individual?
The comfort zone is an imagined boundary which we have created around ourselves. When we live in the comfort zone, we do not feel threatened. We feel relaxed, we feel calm and at ease with our environment. This is a great place to be …….. for most of the time.
The only thing about the comfort zone which can be regarded as negative is that after a while, it just gets boring.
In fact, the more we step out of the comfort zone, not only do we learn more, but we also make our comfort zone bigger, so in fact, we feel more confident in doing things that previously made us feel uncomfortable.
The first time we try anything new we feel uncomfortable, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. But it does become an issue when we spend too much time out of comfort zone because then we start to feel overwhelmed with the feeling of being uncomfortable, which then results in stress.
However, the opposite extreme of not stepping out of our comfort zone from time to time also becomes stressful. Why? Because we become bored, we don’t feel challenged, we feel like we are not moving forward or learning anything new. In other words, we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t!
What is important to know is that it is OK to feel uncomfortable at times and that in the long term it is extremely beneficial for us. The more we do it, the more we grow in confidence and the more we feel as though we can take on anything new.
So if you are feeling a little bored with life, or you want to become better at something or there is something that you want out of life, step out of your comfort zone. It may be painful at times, you may feel awkward, but if you want to improve yourself, boost your confidence and move forward in life, there is no other way.
So go for it!