Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to “put yourself out there?”

 

Stepping outside our comfort zone can feel daunting—especially if we’re used to polishing and perfecting. Most people feel at least some discomfort when facing the unknown. It forces us to face fears around what if I fail, what if I can’t do it well enough, what will other people think? It feels vulnerable to put ourselves out there when we can’t guarantee meeting a certain standard. 

 

From a brain training perspective, we’re hardwired as a social species. Our brain is always calibrating acceptance, validation and belonging. Those needs are powerful drivers of our behaviour, even if we aren’t aware of it. 

 

This is why so many of us become perfectionists. It’s the “perfect” way to control and guarantee our security (aka acceptance). If we meet all the standards because we are always responsible, consistent, detail-oriented, organized, conscientious and thorough then we never have to face the loss of reputation that we feel would come from making a mistake, appearing foolish or incompetent. 

 

A mindset shift I find helpful when it comes to “putting myself out there” is bringing awareness that avoidance is a choice. While it feels safer and easier in the short term I know where it leads. I know that if I’m not growing and evolving then eventually I will end up feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. 

 

The comfort zone is costly and less attractive because it keeps us small.

 

– Coach Liane

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