Great leaders exude confidence in all situations and are able to face anything that is thrown at them, so what is the secret to achieving this high level of self confidence? How do you prepare yourself for those inevitable situations that will require you to be strong? The answer is to expand your comfort zone by getting afraid often!
As we get older its not unusual for us to do less things that make us uncomfortable, we don’t go on scary rides, we avoid having to speak in public and we stop trying to learn new skills. We crave our comfort and can end up in a familiar routine day in day out doing all the things we know how to do.
Before we know it we have forgotten how it feels to be truly outside our comfort zones. I don’t mean that slightly awkward feeling I mean down right scarred, like you used to feel lining up to go on the biggest roller coaster or the sweaty palm anxiety of having to talk out loud at the school assembly.
When you become an adult you are much more in control of your environment so can usually avoid facing anything you don’t like doing. The challenge is that the things in life which make us feel scarred are often the things which have the potential to grow us the most. But we are often the ones going out of our way to avoid these situations.
Think back to when the last time was when you felt truly outside your comfort zone. What did you do? Did you find a way to avoid the situation or did you dig deep and go though it? If you took the avoidance route there is a good chance you missed a huge opportunity to grow. I believe passionately that in order to become a better leader you must get comfortable at being uncomfortable, being scared needs to become a habit as that feeling is a signal that you are facing something you don’t know how to do.
The butterflies in your stomach are the best alert for you to acknowledge an opportunity to grow. So the next time you have that feeling resist the temptation to turn back into your own area of comfort but take a deep breath and move into that feeling. The great thing about comfort zones is that they only move outwards, every time you conquer a fear it grows until eventually it is so large you can pretty much face any situation with confidence.
At Jetts Fitness we like to challenge our teams to practice this feeling uncomfortable by providing them the opportunity to participate in activities such as board breaks, fire walks and glass walks. We also encourage them to do public speaking as often as they can and to share with us their personal goals that they are afraid to do so we can hold them accountable.
On the last day of our Club Managers training the teams take part in a day dedicated to self development where they learn how to goal set and have the opportunity to participate in a board break. For many of our team this is the first time they have ever had to do something which really challenged them. When they are faced with the 1 inch thick pine board many of them start looking concerned, you can see the doubt in their eyes and they become worried about failing in front of the group.
But once they receive their training and with the overwhelming support of their colleagues they manage to smash through the board with just their hand. The enormous feeling of elation and self belief is almost tangible in the room and they leave training feeling like they can conquer the world!
Being put outside your comfort zone is very much part of the Jetts culture and our teams are better because of it, they learn to feel their fears but to go and do it anyway. Every day they face challenging situations taking care of thousands of members in our clubs. They must be able to display excellent leadership skills and be confident in their roles. At training it is our job to prepare them the best we can and their personal development is a important part of that.
So when was the last time you felt uncomfortable? Do you lean into fear or shy away? I would love to hear about your own experiences of facing fear in the workplace.
For information on board breaks, fire walks or arrow breaks for your teams send Ben a message here https://www.facebook.com/Way2GoByBenJobson/