Friday, 19 October 2018

How I stepped out of my comfort zone

Have you ever put off doing something because you feel afraid of it?  Or it might feel overwhelming or uncomfortable?

Stepping out of our comfort zone to do something new can be all of those things, and just recently I made the leap and tackled something I've been putting off for ages.


Today it seems everywhere you scroll there are videos and livestreams, I'm reading blog posts about how it's the best way to communicate with your customer, and how it's the best way to move your business forward.

And yet, it scared the hell out of me.  So many things to contemplate...first of all, where would I start?  There was so much I didn't know, and so much to learn.  I felt out of my depth watching tutorials on You Tube, and the tech side of it, uploading and editing...well, the sheer volume of knowledge required actually made me shut off my laptop!

So, what did I do?  For a long, long time I shelved it.  I joined Skillshare and watched a couple of good classes and felt the stirrings of excitement and possibility, but when it came to physically getting started, I just couldn't do it!   I wrote notes and ideas down in my biz journal - and they sat there unused for weeks.  That is, until I had a coaching session with Claire Sheehan.

Claire is an artist and coach, and we had a session a couple of weeks ago where she helped me take down some of the blocks I'd created for myself.  She was very helpful in getting me to see the bigger picture.  Instead of launching into an overwhelming, full on video series, Claire encouraged me to make something short and easy, for fun.  Right away the pressure to create something polished and professional disappeared.  And also, I could also see how I'd set this unachievable standard, of making my very first video and it looking like something produced by Universal Studios.  

It's fascinating how we build walls around ourselves to protect us from the unknown.  It feels so comfortable and cosy plodding along in our own predictable way, doing what we know we're good at, yet it doesn't take us any further than our own self made boundaries.

The thing is, we have to learn as we go - it's part of being a human!  We were not put on earth to stagnate and live a dull life.  We have to be able to say to ourselves, you know what?  This is my first attempt and I'm going to give it a go.  I will most certainly make mistakes, but I will learn as I go on, and if I keep on practising I'll get better at it, I'll gain more confidence, develop new skills and my 'thing' will be amazing.  I think back to how I first started with my art work, and it was nothing like what it is now!  I sometimes find old pieces of work that make me cringe, but I also feel proud of myself for deciding to have a go because if I hadn't, I wouldn't be where I am now.

The main stumbling block for me, and I think this applies to all of us when we feel stuck around creating something new, is the fear of looking like an amateur, of people laughing at us or criticising us for our efforts.  Am I right?  Looking like we don't know 'all the stuff', feeling like the new kid on the creates barriers of fear and self doubt and this can be paralysing.  I can see now that I was never going to start making videos with so much emotional baggage!  Claire showed me that choosing to create something small, and for fun, removed the need for it to be perfect.

So, you might be wondering how things are going?  I chose to make a short film about myself and what I do to put on my website.  You are welcome to watch it on my You Tube channel here:
I am planning on doing more videos so you're welcome to subscribe to my channel if you wish to.

The experience of filming out and about, as well as in my studio was a really good experience.  I found out that I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, working out scenes in my mind and scripting it all.  I played around with editing the video in Photoshop, but sadly with the age of my laptop (it is sloooowwww) and so much to figure out, I chose to edit it on my Ipad using IMovie which was so much fun, and so easy.

I am actually now contemplating doing a bit of Vlogging - yes, that's right!  I am so excited by this whole new world that has opened up for me and cannot wait to do more!  This has also made me realise what I might have missed out on by not trying.

Good advice if you're feeling stuck right now:

Make it fun.
If your project or idea feels massive, break it down into small, achievable goals.
Do not worry about looking like a novice, all the best people started somewhere.  Start with what you've got and give it your best shot.
Remember, there's no written rule anywhere that says it has to be perfect.  
Think back to something you have achieved in life, think about something that makes you feel proud.  
Enjoy yourself.


  1. I watch videos on Instagram and they are far from perfect but fun to watch. I tried to do one for fun and deleted it. My 15 year old niece is great at it. To be young again and understand all of this tecky stuff!

  2. You have tapped into my fear! Like you, I have skirted round video and simply have been unable to make myself have a go, eventhough I know how useful it might be. Your blog has given me another little push. I didn't know about Skillshare and will have a look. Thank you and I look foward to see your video adventures!