Entrepreneurial-spirited woman, these three things may be keeping you from stepping out of your comfort zone and transitioning into the God-centered business you want:
Have you been stuck in a season in your business and aren’t sure how to move ahead? Or nervous about taking that step of faith God is pushing you to take? Do you get mad at yourself because you are stuck in the swirl of your ideas?
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Get out of your comfort zone
One thing that can get you out of your comfort zone is creating habits. Why? Because when you make a habit, you create the freedom in your brain needed to help you move.
We will look at these three things that keep you in your comfort zone (which is frustrating) and give you a method to create Habits that will break you out of your comfort zone and open you up to all the possibilities that await you.
What is your comfort zone?
Let’s start with a definition of the comfort zone: It is doing things that protect you from pain. The walls you put up around yourself (and the behaviors that go with them) help you escape embarrassment, rejection, awkwardness, and shame.
We organize our businesses and lives to avoid this pain. We’ll do anything to keep the peace, feel good, and not try.
Indecision and your comfort zone
That leads us to the first thing that keeps you from stepping out of your comfort zone – indecision. You won’t take risks when you want to ‘save face’ and not feel negative feelings.
Being an entrepreneur is already risky enough, and you are now comfortable doing what you are doing and don’t want to ‘rock the boat.’ You are COMFORTABLE with where you are in your business.
But you know there is more.
Get out of the swirl in your head
You see many opportunities out there, and you know they could be good, but you aren’t sure which is ‘right.’ Everything seems to be swirling in your head, and with all the choices, how do you know which one will advance your business without causing too much pain?
Do you hear yourself saying, “What if I choose wrong? What if I fail or look bad? All the what ifs . .”
When something seems risky, when it’s something you have not tried before, your brain starts to ‘circle the wagons.’ What does that mean? It means your brain wants to protect you from the pain. It’s like your brain says, “Hey, this is something new! This is something I haven’t done before. I don’t like new.”
But, when you can create habits, you calm your brain down. You grow pathways in your brain that tell it; this is not something novel but is something you do all the time.
Habits help you practice
I did this with public speaking. Talking into a camera is easy for me, but talking in front of a large crowd (with a memorized speech) is terrifying. What did I do? Since our brains don’t know the difference between what is imagined and what is real, I began to imagine giving a speech in front of an audience.
I practiced while imagining I was already in the room. Then, when I got to the actual event, my butterflies flew in excited formation instead of flitting all over the place. This simple practice told my brain that I was an ‘old pro’ at speaking and allowed me to move out of my comfort zone into all the possibilities waiting for me as a speaker.
Do you want to do something new in your business? Are you keeping yourself from making the decision you know would propel you forward?
Practice and imagine
Create a habit that takes away the What-ifs. Imagine yourself doing the thing it is you want to do. Try on a few of those opportunities in your mind first. Then, work out all the possibilities: the worst thing that could happen, the best thing that could happen, and if nothing happens.
Repeat the scenario you want to happen. Come at it from all angles. Imagine what people will say, how you will respond, what you look like, and how you will hold yourself. Get as many details as possible in your mind. Then, act as if you are there doing what you have decided to do well.
Your brain will become accustomed to this set of stimuli, and when you are in the ‘real’ world, it will come easy to you.
This not only works for public speaking, but you can apply this habit to getting on sales calls, networking, doing your financials, and even having a challenging conversation with someone.
When you practice it over and over in your mind, with the image of being in the situation, you can make the best decision for you.
Anxiety and your comfort zone
The second thing keeping you from stepping out of your comfort zone is anxiety. This anxiety stems from the distractions and doubts the enemy is putting in your head or front of you.
Are these some of the things that go through your head? I don’t have enough knowledge & charisma, or maybe you think you need to be more extroverted, more personable.
The enemy makes you think. . . “if people saw me, the real me, they wouldn’t like me.” So we allow the flaws we see- body image, emotional problems, insecurities, not living up to expectations, and disappointing others- to keep us from stepping into what God has for us through His power.
Let God transform you
Here’s the difference, we think we are doing this alone. We are not. God wants each of us to depend on Him. That’s the power to do what He is asking and to get you out of your comfort zone.
The comfort zone keeps you small. And, if you feel God is calling you to do something bigger, something that will have more impact on those you serve, then getting out of your comfort zone is crucial.
What habit helps you accomplish this? Daily time with God, the CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of your business and life. Only when you spend time with God will you be transformed by God.
What does Romans 12:2 say?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Talk about taking away anxiety! The tension dissolves when you see things through God’s eyes and His perspective.
What does your daily habit of Bible study and prayer look like? Is it in your daily planner? Do you have an appointment with God?
1 Peter 5:6-8 tells us. . .
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
The enemy only wants to keep you in your comfort zone, so you won’t do what God asks you to do. Don’t let him.
Anger and your comfort zone
This leads us to the third thing keeping you from stepping out of your comfort zone, anger. It may be anger at yourself, anger at others, or even anger at God.
Do you feel a sort of conviction from the Holy Spirit to do something? Have you had this idea in your mind and heart for a while? And you keep pushing it down, trying to ignore it, but it just won’t leave you alone?
Experience may have taught you some things keeping you inside your comfort zone. But, on the other hand, maybe you have tried to get out of your comfort zone, and you have acted on a conviction only to have it slam you in the face.
It could have been ridicule received by a family member that you were trying something new. A critique from a friend about what you were doing couched in ‘feedback.’ It defeated you, and you got angry at yourself for even thinking you could do it, at your family member or friend because they didn’t believe in you, or maybe you even got angry at God. After all, you were sure this move was from Him.
Look through God’s lens
For me, this happened just recently. God has prompted me to be more vulnerable, so I shared a business disappointment with a group I trust. Instead of getting support and encouragement, I was told by one person that I needed to be positive and look at all the good that had happened, and focus on that no matter how small. I expected sympathy but got a dose of ‘positivity’ that made me feel like I was wrong to express disappointment (and I’ll admit, I was a little angry).
But I can’t let that stop me from opening up to others and showing my true self. So, how can I keep myself from feeling all the negative pain and reframe it to be something that will help me not stay locked in my comfort zone?
By using God’s Word to filter everything. I love this one verse, Philippians 4:8. It says,
“. . . Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
With this verse, I can take any situation and look for the ‘good’ inside. No matter what someone says to me, what results happen, or how much I feel offended, I can use this verse to look at the situation now or in the past through God’s lens.
Download the Philippians 4:8 filter
I have this resource for you, the Philippians 4:8 filter. It takes you through the depth of its simple words to get to the heart of what God wants to teach you.
This has become my go-to when I feel the stress of entrepreneurship. This filter has allowed me to work through emotions, see things from a different angle, and go to God in surrender instead of anger.
It gives you a way to put into practice the things God is teaching you. It gets you to step out of your comfort zone. That’s the only way you can grow.
Get out of your comfort zone with obedience
Are you stuck in indecision, not sure how to move ahead? Create the habit of imagining working out every scenario that keeps you in your comfort zone.
Is your anxiety keeping you from taking that step of faith? Create the habit of daily time with God to learn more about Him and who He has created you to be and have the confidence to get out of your comfort zone.
Are you holding onto anger that is keeping you passive with your convictions? Create a habit of using the Bible to filter your thoughts, actions, and reactions to know God is doing all this for your good. He is getting you out of your comfort zone so you can move into all the possibilities He has for you.
It comes down to obedience. Trust God, and do what He is asking you to do. Get out of your comfort zone.
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