Stepping out of your comfort zone is always tough. Your brain starts screaming at you, “Don’t do it. You might fail – or worse, make a fool of yourself.”
Then it releases a good dose of cortisol, a stress hormone that makes you want to escape from this awkward, fear-inducing situation.
The truth is, that’s how our body is wired. But, if we want to get better at our jobs, it’s a continual battle to fight this natural tendency of ours.
And, on the positive side, things do get easier over time. It’s like we have a sales grit muscle – and the more we use it, the stronger it gets.
I’ll never forget one of my first acts of sales bravado. In cold calling, I’d uncovered a really good prospect for a new copier. I’d analyzed their needs, given a demo and finally came in with my proposal.
Dan, the store manager – and also my prospect -- said it all looked good, but he still didn’t have corporate approval. So I left, feeling really dejected.
Taking After sitting in my car for a few minutes, I decided I couldn’t leave without the order. So I marched back into the building and told the receptionist that I needed to see Dan again. When he came out, I said, “Dan. I’ve been thinking. You know you want to go ahead with this. How about we get the contract signed right now – and I’ll hold it till you get the big okay.
“That way, I can expedite the order as soon as it comes in. And, if I doesn’t, I’ll tear it up.”
Inside, I was shaking as I said it. Outside, I looked calm, cool and collected.
You know how he responded? He said, “Sure. Great idea.”
I was shocked. I thought I’d get kicked out. I never, in my wildest imagination thought that it would work. But it did. And I learned a lot.
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know how things might turn out. Also, how you ask makes a difference. I wasn’t tentative. I appeared confident and competent.
So here’s my challenge to you – what can you be braver at today? What can you try that you haven’t done before?
Do something! Get out of that comfort zone — and grow!