Imagine going to a party or social gathering and feeling completely comfortable walking up to a group of people you don’t know, chatting to them and creating new friendships effortlessly. Imagine going about your daily life, seeing a stunning girl/guy and feeling completely at ease starting a conversation, getting to know them and arranging a date. Imagine moving to a new city and within a day or two having a bunch of cool, interesting people to hang out and explore with.
How would that make you feel?
What possibilities would that open up for you in your life?
What would that do for your confidence and self esteem?
This is the end goal that my blog wants to help you acheive if you’re not already.
The interesting thing is, it’s really NOT THAT HARD and once you’re having these experiences consistently, you’ll wonder why you ever found this difficult.
BUT…. as I mentioned in my last post, it will take a commitment from you. That commitment is the willingness to GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
If the mere thought of walking up to someone you don’t know at a party, at uni or in a supermarket and starting a conversation sends shivers down your spine then it is out of your comfort zone. You might have thoughts running through your mind like “They’ll think I’m weird” or “What if it comes across as creepy” or “It looks too keen/needy” or worse “They’ll think I’m a serial killer”. I want to tell you that it’s absolutely normal to have those thoughts. I had them. We all have them. And actually, those feelings and thoughts aren’t without merit. You could very well come across as weird, creepy or needy IF you don’t approach situations in the right way. However if you approach it with the right mindset, social intelligence and calibration, the other person will be keen and excited to get to know you rather than thinking you’re a wierdo. You will, however, have to accept the fact that when you’re starting out, you will make mistakes. And that’s ok. Don’t worry. Each mistake you make will give you a little lesson to take with you, so the more mistakes you make, the better you’ll get.
The first mindset you have to adopt to start seeing change is to be willing to….
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
I want you to realise that any improvement you make will come from stepping outside your comfort zone. Everything you’re afraid of right now…all of those fears you have about chatting to people are there because you aren’t used to taking these actions or because you’re afraid of what people will think of you. I understand it’s scary. I understand you’re probably already thinking “screw this”. But the magic really happens when you step out of your comfort zone to try new things, only to realise that your fears were false, all those imaginary, negative things that people would think about you existed only in your head and that actually, in reality, people are really happy to chat to you and excited to meet you. They’re glad to meet someone who was confident and friendly enough to just approach them and start a conversation. Amazingly, once you try things outside of your comfort zone and realise that there was never anything to worry about, that fear disappears and your comfort zone expands to include those actions you just took so you’ll be less anxious the next time around. This is known in the medical/psychological world as ‘exposure therapy’ or ‘pavlovian extinction’. In a nutshell, this is the phenomenon that repeatedly exposing yourself to situations that create anxiety, will, with repeated exposures, decrease the amount of discomfort you feel.
Think about it….weren’t you scared the first time you did a roundabout in your driving lesson, or the first time you stood at the top of the ski slope, or went parasailing, or kite surfing, or abseiling, or sky diving or even the time you had your first child?
Does that same thing still scare you as much as it did now you’ve done it? No right? It’s now within your comfort zone. You overcame your fear and now find that very thing that provoked such visceral anxiety in your tummy the first time round, now fills you with excitement at the thought of doing it again.
It’s the same with social pursuits. You will realise that chatting to people you don’t know will often make their day and they’ll tell you just how glad they were that you came up to speak to them.
If you stay cocooned inside your comfort zone, you deny yourself the opportunity to grow and develop your personality. You’ll deny yourself the ability to get over your social fears. Nothing good comes from staying at home. So if you don’t take anything else away from my entire blog, my main message to you is to GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
I know things will be scary to begin with. That’s fine, don’t fight it. I want you to embrace that fear and take action DESPITE it. As one of my favourite sayings goes, I want you to FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY.
In my next post I’ll be talking about how to start talking to anyone. This is where things really start to get interesting. I’ll be talking about practicable, actionable steps to help you get out of your comfort zone and help you go from being terrified of chatting to people to a naturally friendly, talkative and charismatic person.
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