Great things are waiting for you outside of your comfort zone.
You’re an expert decision maker. You make thousands of them in a day.
Some you don’t think about at all, like your decision to pick up your toothbrush in the morning and brush your teeth. (You could decide to skip it, but please don’t.)
Some decisions require more thought, like applying for a new job or sending an email to someone who is far more successful than you.
I’m all for thoughtful decisions, but we tend to overthink and over analyze. No one intends to take a step in the wrong direction, because that would be counterproductive toward success, right?
There’s value in being bold by saying “yes” to opportunities or ideas outside of your comfort zone.
Think back on all the bold moves you’ve made. Can you remember one that contributed to your success so far?
I landed my first job out of college because I put myself in places where I’d bump elbows with decision makers. I forced myself to strike up conversations with well-known people in my industry, even though I was a “nobody.” If I hadn’t made those bold moves, I wouldn’t have landed my first job.
Being able to say “no” often is important, but it’s also safe. “No” is a word that protects our time and energy. However, using “no” too often causes us to get in our own way.
Being bold means asking yourself, “what do you have to lose?” or, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” before making a decision. Then you realize you don’t have that much to lose. If the worst happened, you’d live to tell the tale.
Here are three things that will change in your life when you practice being bold more often.
1. You take life less seriously
Do you put a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself?
The truth is, most career and work decisions aren’t life or death. If you’ve gotten this far, and one decision isn’t going to put you back to square one.
When you make a bold move, you assume the risk that it might not go well. You might make a fool of yourself.
Whether it’s introducing yourself to an intimidating person at an event or conference, trying to sneak backstage at a concert to meet your favorite musician or asking someone on a date, it could go terribly (and hilariously) wrong.
When you can laugh at yourself, you come away from each setback feeling positive instead of feeling like you’ve lost something. When you start to take yourself less seriously, you start to make bolder moves.
2. Your fears will vanish
Whenever I’m scared of something, that means I should probably do it.
In college, I was really interested in the stand up comedy community on campus. Within my first two months of joining one of the comedy organizations, I got on a stage and told jokes in front of living, breathing people.
My comedy career may have ended early, but the confidence I gained will last forever. Almost nothing will be as scary as getting on stage and trying to make people laugh.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but avoid it because it’s out of your comfort zone? That’s a clear sign you should consider going for it, even if it feels crazy.
3. Opportunities appear everywhere
When you put yourself out there, the universe seems to meet you where you are.
Part of being bold is being open and saying “yes” to ideas that come across your plate, but not to everything. We already have enough to do on a day to day basis.
There’s a difference between saying “yes” to everything and being bold is saying “yes” to something that scares you — to something you know would be a risk.
When you keep your mind open, you’re allowing yourself to entertain possibilities and visualize what could happen. That’s powerful.
Being bold supports the development of an abundance mentality. If one opportunity slips through your fingers, having an abundance mentality will help you recover quickly. You know there’s more to come.
This week, I challenge you to do one thing that’s out of your comfort zone just to see what happens. What do you have to lose?
Originally published at medium.com