If you’ve been following the past few posts on the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and personal branding, then you know that we’ve been busy offering strategies to help you develop the various components of EQ shared by top performers, our “rising stars”.
My last post offered several strategies to help enhance the very essential component of emotional regulation. As a follow-up to this post, I wanted to offer one more practice that’s so important, it deserves it’s own spotlight.
STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
A friend of mine once shared that her main goal in life is to get to age 90 with the least number of “I wish I would have’s” possible. It’s a fantastic goal, but our fear of stepping out of our comfort zone can limit us in life, and prevent us from reaching our fullest potential. We often default to what feels comfortable in life and play it safe when it comes to decisions, however rising stars with high EQ are willing to take risks and adapt to change. A simple rule applies here: the more psychologically flexible we are, the more emotionally regulated we will be.
The first step in getting more comfortable with risks and change is to learn how to handle your fears – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid, etc., etc. – and move with them. In other words, don’t wait for your fears to go away before you take action (otherwise you may be waiting a long time!), but rather confront challenges head on and move forward while feeling fear. There are some great resources out there to help you get started, including Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers and The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris to name a few.
Remember that you can always take small steps if needed to shift you outside of your comfort zone. For example, try to do something spontaneous or make a decision without seeking reassurance from others. Identify what you can learn from taking a risk that doesn’t work out. Try to make lots of room for any discomfort or anxiety you may feel about the fear of making a mistake (after all, mistakes imply that you were courageous enough to step outside of your comfort zone in the first place!).
Most importantly, remember what they say: a comfort zone may be a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there!