Recently I participated in something I thought I would never do.  I did a podcast….an not your regular voice-only audio podcast.  It was a live broadcast – video and all – which meant I had to look somewhat presentable.  I am most comfortable behind a screen where my thoughts can be laid out before me, edited, and re-written.  Doing a live broadcast was a massive leap out of my comfort zone.

Having never ever done a podcast before I was quite excited but when the day arrived, I could feel my heart thumping hard in my chest.  I was questioning if I should do it.  FEAR was setting in.  Why was I scared?  It is awesome project but I was scared I’d sound like a fool.  I knew initially it would not be going out to a massive audience but once it is out on the internet – it’s out there.  I am not the most eloquent speaker and sometimes can have a hard time explaining things clearly – but this is an area I would like to work on.  Having it be a live video broadcast meant no edits.  What you say is what you say.  How you look is how you look.  At the end of the day, this was an amazing opportunity to do something I had never done before and it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone – a chance to grow.

I participated in The Expat’s Roundtable discussion created by James Thomas, host of 4Seas1Family Podcast.  The Expat’s Roundtable is a forum where Expats come together to discuss different topics about life abroad. It is an amazing project with representatives from all over the world participating. In the first episode there were four of us that could meet up.  As it was just the first episode, we shared our experiences of life in the various countries we live in.  We kept it general but the discussions will get juicier with each episode.

The first episode took an hour.  We had an idea of what we were going to talk about but didn’t have a long list of questions that we were going to answer.  The conversation just flowed based on whatever we were talking about. During the session, I realised that this was fun and I was immediately grateful I hopped on board.

WATCHING THE PLAYBACK.

My ever supportive husband watched the entire playback with me as we tackled our weekly laundry pile of ironing and folding.  Can I just say that thought of watching it truly made me feel sick?  Like physically sick.  I thought I was going to puke.  I was just cringing as we went through whenever I knew a part I would be speaking.  Why?  Well I wish I could naturally be confident and sound smooth, knowledgeable and professional but it always doesn’t come off that way for me.  I found that when I was answering the questions, I was thinking way too much where several answers would pop in my head.  Whilst I was talking I was also scanning my brain to decide which example best suited the situation all while hoping I didn’t just blabber on.

Why did I listen to the playback?  I didn’t want to do it but I knew that I had to – or how would I improve?  It would be nice to do podcasts again for my coaching mastery skills or making my first million but I will never get there by just thinking about it. I need to actually go and do it.  Learn as I go.  Isn’t that the best way? This opportunity came my way so I took it and I thank James for allowing me to participate. It is exciting to be part of a project from the beginning. What a great chance to expand my knowledge on a different social platform!

WHAT DID I LEARN?

Looking back the whole experience was incredible.  It was a lot of fun.  The guys on the panel were supportive, funny and cool.  I got to learn a bit about how things are done in other parts of the world.  What has made the most impact though for me is that it forced me to step outside my comfort zone.  Stepping out of my comfort zone removes that initial fear and replaces it with excitement, and a bit of confidence.  Next time there will be a sense of familiarity which will make it a bit easier.

This got me thinking about how important it is to keep stepping out of your comfort zone.  For me, this past year has just been a series of opportunities to do that over and over.  Whilst I haven’t always liked it, sometimes fought it, sometimes welcomed it – I do feel like this past year has been an incredible year of personal growth.  As I keep having these experiences, it inspires and motivates me to keep moving forward.  It doesn’t have to be big leaps and bounds.  Baby steps works too.

WHAT NOW?

Continuing on, I will keep venturing outside of my comfort zone.  I need to do it gradually otherwise I will probably put myself in major overwhelm. Each time I step out I take what I can from the experience and build on that.  I usually ask myself these four questions:

  1. What did I learn?
  2. What went well?
  3. What didn’t go well?
  4. How can I improve for next time?

This doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process.  Just a quick reflection to get you more comfortable in that space you previously were not comfortable in.  The great thing about life is that the boundaries are always changing as you change.  What may have once been an area you were not comfortable in (whether it is public speaking, meeting new people, going to the gym, ordering kale salad) becomes a little more familiar to you each time you go there. Before you know it, it is no longer a place outside your comfort zone. You’ll have new areas out of your comfort zone. Growth. It’s amazing!

Do you have areas in your life that you feel stuck?  When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and how?  Comment below.  I want to hear from you.

 

Are you living the Expat Life? If you are currently a blogger or podcaster and would like to learn more about The Expat’s Roundtable click here. 

 

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