6 ways to increase your comfort zone

Comfortzone

A comfort zone is a place of safety, and as the word suggests, a place of comfort. We all hang out there from time to time. However, what you need to realise is that nothing grows in a comfort zone. That means you are not growing there. The longer you stay there, the harder it is to leave. But if you want to do more or be more, then you have to increase or step out of your comfort zone. You can’t see it, but you can feel when you are at the edge of it. There is a physical reaction in your body as you prepare to increase your comfort  zone. That feeling can be fear, or your version of that. It can also be anticipation and excitement. So stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be scary.

If you’re one of those people who does the same thing, daily, weekly, annually, this list is for you.

Here are 6 ways that you can increase your comfort zone, and the result is that you will create a new comfort zone, and then you do something else, you will increase it again!

  1. Say YES to new opportunities and new experiences. Sometimes you know that you want to do something different, but something holds you back? That is you hanging onto your comfort zone. Say yes and see what happens.
  2. Go to the cinema or theatre on your own. Pick a show and book a ticket, release whatever fears you may have about sitting in the dark on your own for a couple of hours, and enjoy the experience.
  3. Do something different at work. If you never speak in a meeting, find something to say. If you tend to hide out at the back in a workshop, sit at the front. If someone asks for a volunteer, put yourself forward. All the thoughts you’re having right now about this suggestion are just your fears, most of which are not true. See yourself doing this new action and then go with it.
  4. Go to a different holiday destination. Get on a plane if you don’t normally.  Explore a different part of the country or the city on a bus or on foot. Go on your own. Maybe leave your life behind for a day or weekend, and go to a retreat or a spa.
  5. Make a request. If you are not used to getting your needs met because you don’t ask for something. Try making small requests of friends and family. Are there things you tolerate because you don’t want to make a fuss? Could you ask someone to stop or start doing something? Could you ask for a new job or more responsibility?
  6. Change your appearance. If you’ve had the same hairstyle/spectacles/makeup/level of fitness/fashion sense for a few years. It’s time to update it.

Finally, take risks. Not life threatening types of risks, just the ones that you know, if you do them, will have an impact on your life. It doesn’t matter where you begin or what you decide to do, there is no going back once you start. You can’t shrink your comfort zone so easily, but you can increase it way beyond your wildest dreams and then some.

Now is the time, it is your time. Go. Be. Do.

If you would like to find out how you can increase your comfort zone and your power and influence. Join women in London at Increase Your Power & Influence workshops. More details are here.

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She believed she could..so she did

she believed she could so she did_0‘She believed she could..so she did’ This is my theme for the year.

It is a variation on the ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ but I know sometimes women feel the fear and run away, because they are overwhelmed by the feeling. It is too much. What is the fear? Fear of success or failure? Fear of getting it wrong or maybe getting it right? Fear of what people might think? The list is endless, and you can put a name to the fear.

However, I know I can embrace my fear, once I get out of my own way. Then the next step is to BELIEVE! So if I believe that I could do something, it feels easier and less stressful somehow and then I act.

So I ask myself the question ‘do you believe you could do this?’. I don’t start thinking about how I’ll do it or what it will mean. If it is a yes or a no, I know what to do next. Sometimes I pause so I am calm and then ask the question. It has been liberating.

I can’t tell you why you might want to try it, I just know that when you do this, it works!

One of the results of my ‘She believed she could’ exercises was deciding to become a workshop facilitator for Her Invitation. Her Invitation was created by Lynette Allen. ‘We remind women just how powerful and influential we really are, positively influencing their careers, families, sons and daughters. It’s who we are, not what we do.’

There are 2 workshops ‘Power & Influence’ run in two parts. For more information and to book a place visit http://tinyurl.com/pnetpyh

Tell me in the box below what you believe you could do… and you’re going to do it.

 

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Happy new year because it’s what you want!

London NYE 2015Happy new year, but is it just the previous year with a different number attached to it? There is nothing new about it.

We went back to work a week ago and hopefully you got to the end of week without too much struggle? Whose idea is it to take two weeks off to spend at home, with family and friends?

Once the eating, drinking and online shopping is over and you’re lying on the sofa on New Year’s Day, thoughts turn to resolutions.

Lose weight, stop smoking, get a life, become a better you. All reasonable things to resolve to do, but the reality is something else.

Eleven days, on how is that resolution going? Or has it gone? You fell off the wagon, the wagon you had only just resolved to get on!

Well here’s your get out of jail card. It’s not your fault. Well not entirely.

We make resolutions because we think we SHOULD. You know the internal banter. I should cut down. I should stop doing this. There is a lot of SHOULDING-(this isn’t a real word).

Giving up smoking or losing weight, or whatever your resolution is? Do it because you WANT to.

So first thing, DECIDE what you WANT, then identify WHY you WANT to stop doing to start doing something in the new year. WHY do you want to quit cigarettes, WHY do you want to lose 3 stone? Once you identify that, you will have the start of your motivation to keep going. Assuming of course, you aren’t kidding yourself you want something.

A woman I know WANTED to quit smoking because she wanted to be around to see her children marry. So whenever she was tempted to reach for a cigarette, that picture of her daughter getting married and her missing it, ensured she put it down. She did the patches etc to wean her off the cravings, but that picture is what made her a former smoker.

So what is your WHY for your resolution. Be honest with yourself about what you WANT and WHY you want to do it, and see how you get on.

Comment in the box below and tell me about your progress.

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Returning to work after a career break

I’ve been writing about women who have pressed PAUSE on their careers and are now ready to restart it. I’m not talking lack of confidence, I’m talking about getting caught up at work, but not making plans for the future. All of a sudden, you’ve run out challenges and the job feels stale.

Mother & BabyHowever, you’re not that woman. You took maternity leave or an extended career break to stay at home with your children. It’s been a year or 18 months, maybe longer and you’re ready to return to work.

The job is still open and Human Resources and your manager have been fab, but you’re not sure about you. You used to be confident and highly self-motivated and whilst you haven’t completely lost your edge, you know it may take some time to get back into the swing of things.

First of all have lunch with a trusted colleague to find out what has changed at work, if you haven’t kept in touch with work. Technology, processes and staff movement.

Identify what do you want to be, do and have at work? Have you changed, are your priorities the same? What are your expectations?

Next take a big dose of kindness and give it to your self regularly. Don’t start being hard on yourself or setting the bar so high, you set yourself up to fail.

Finally, get some support. A coach or mentor is a good place to start.

I work with women who have pressed PAUSE or are returning to work after a career break and are ready to restart their career.

If you want to find out more. Contact me to book a free coaching call.

 

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It’s time to go for the next promotion? Don’t wait-do it now!

If you read the newspapers at all, you may have noticed that companies are embracing diversity and appointing women into senior roles. Currently, there are 4 females CEOs at FTSE companies and it was reported in July that PwC had promoted a record number of new partners. Numbers show that 40% of new partners are women and 20% are from a culturally diverse background.

What’s the point here?

Companies are recognising that having women in senior positions is advantageous to business. Mervyn Davies, former Trade Minister, and leader of a government initiative since 2011, said that Britain was leading the way at driving corporate change on a voluntary basis, rather than through quotas, which has been discussed.

Woman with crowdYou’re a woman manager, director, leader in your organisation and you have achieved some career success, but you have paused or stopped. You’re confident and you have the right skills. You’ve just returned from the summer holiday or staycation and you’ve been thinking about THAT promotion again, and you’re wondering, should I, could I?

The time is now, don’t wait for the RIGHT conditions and occasion, do it NOW. There has never been a better time. If ALL the confident, talented women decided to take ACTION and go for that JOB, what an impact that would have and a difference it would make. However, as long as we continue to be patient and wait for the right time and conditions, then change takes place slowly. It’s time to step up and go for that job.

You’re AMBITIOUS, but you don’t admit that to everyone, and you know Single black womanyou’re ready. Join WOMEN INDUSTRY EXPERTS at the #EmbraceYourAmbition tele summit as they share strategies and insider information on creating career SUCCESS. The time is now to #embraceyourambition. Sheryl Sandberg says ‘until women are as ambitious as men, they will never be as successful’. This is your call to action. Don’t wait-do it now!

REGISTER here http://embraceyourambition.uk

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Nice dress, nice hair. You can have the job!

David Cameron reshuffled his Cabinet membership this week, ahead of the final year of activities before the next General Election.  There were 10 women who were promoted. This move has been prompted by the defection of many Conservative voters to UKIP and a need and great desire to show that the Conservative party embraces the usefulness of women in higher office.

However, it is noted that with less than a year before the election, there may not be enough time for these women to make a lasting impression or achieve noticeable victories. That aside, it was a good day to see more women being recognised and promoted to higher office.

Cabinet reshuffle

(Picture above Education secretary Nicky Morgan and Environment secretary Liz Truss)

Therefore, why the did the Daily Mail choose to focus on what the women wore and their general appearance? Haven’t we made more progress than that? Or, is this a subtle way of demonstrating the women in key roles are still not taken as seriously as their male counterparts?

Now is the time for women to seek out promotion and embrace their ambition. Especially as we are now seeing more women in boardrooms and leading major corporations, this is a slap in the face. The Daily Mail reduced their promotion to whether they looked good in a dress, not what they may have had to overcome to be noticed and promoted. This superficial view of women does nothing to support women in the workplace.

So, if you are aiming for promotion, whether it is in the House of Commons or Easyjet, embrace your ambition and go for it. Don’t get caught up in the silly gender discussions about your dress size. You are worth so much more than that!

More information: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10969774/Conservative-cabinet-reshuffle-David-Cameron-targets-women-and-Ukip.html

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Closing the Ambition Gap-Ambition is not a dirty word

I read this quote by Sheryl Sandberg Sheryl Sandbergrecently ‘Until women are as ambitious as men, they’re not going to achieve as much’. I have read it many times since then, not because it is a difficult concept to grasp, but because I have thought this for a long time, that women hold themselves back and deny themselves the success they deserve.

I meet a lot of fantastic women, who are doing great things at work or in business, but they have a lot of untapped potential. Maybe they already know it, and choose to do nothing about it, but I’m not sure. I think they realise and they hesitate, maybe out of fear of success, or because they don’t want to be perceived as ambitious. Ambition is not a bad thing, and there are no prizes for settling for less.

How many men do you think would do the same, faced with an opportunity?

I am striving to achieve my true potential, but I also hesitate sometimes, because of my fear of success and what impact it will have on my life and those surrounding me. So, none of us are immune to these feelings.

I realise now, I can create the outcome I choose! If I want to stand on the edge and hesitate or be fearful, the impact I will create will be limited and if I want to take those steps and find out what I am actually capable of, the impact may be unlimited. That feels scary and exciting all at once! Marianne Williamson reminds me ‘Your playing small does not serve the world. You were meant to shine’.

What about you? Are you hesitating because of fear, or are you ready to embrace ambition and shine?

Comment in the box below and let me know what you think about being ambitious.

Finally, here is Sheryl Sandberg talking about closing the ambition gap.

Closing the Ambition Gap via @MAKERSwomen. WATCH here: www.aol.it/yZyYnR

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