growing your comfort zone

Everything you desire lies one step outside of your comfort zone.

I wrote in Big Ideas… for Small Businesses (, page 146) about my previous battles with low self-confidence, and how one of my mentors helped me overcome this fear with a simple hula hoop.

“He’d get me to imagine a fairly small hula hoop, that would only just fit around me, and got me to (metaphorically) lay it on the ground and stand in the middle of it.

“That represents your comfort zone,” he would say. “You’re completely at ease with doing everything inside of that hula hoop. But anything outside of the hoop scares you. The stuff just outside of the hoop scares you a little, and the stuff that’s further away from you scares you more.

‘The only way to grow your comfort zone is to do stuff that’s JUST outside of the hula hoop – within your grasp, but certainly OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. Stuff that scares you, without a doubt, but don’t even THINK about attempting the really scary stuff at this stage.’

Once I’d done something that was JUST outside my hula hoop, he would give me a slightly bigger metaphorical hula hoop – ‘There you go. Your comfort zone just got bigger. Now if you want to grow it further, just keep doing stuff that’s within your reach, but just outside of your hula hoop.’”

Even now, five years on, I’m still doing stuff to grow my hula hoop. I’m no longer throwing myself out of planes, but I am speaking on stage, doing a 50-minute keynote in front of 250 people next week.

This from a person who, five years ago would have struggled to talk to ONE person he didn’t know, for ONE minute.

What can YOU do today to grow YOUR hula hoop?

Maybe you’ve been lurking in our Facebook group for a while, but never had the nerve to post or comment?

Perhaps you’ve been putting off picking up the phone and talking to a past client?

Is there a networking event that you’re a bit scared to go to?

Do SOMETHING today, right now if you can, that’s *just* outside of your comfort zone. And then watch your hula hoop grow.

Before long, you could land a helicopter on it…