Reach more success by applying the lessons found in the new book, Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence by Andy Molinksky, Ph.D. Professor Molinsky teaches psychology and organizational behavior at Brandeis University.
He starts out by asking how many of us have avoided opportunities that could have potentially led to real growth and development? I would say all of us have shied away from doing something because we felt it was outside of our comfort zone.
So what makes us hesitate to do things? We have a tendency to avoid what makes us uncomfortable. Molinsky lists five challenges to overcome in order to step outside your comfort zone, rise to the challenge, and build your confidence:
- Authenticity challenge: it may feel unnatural to you do this, but the more you do it the easier it will be
- Likeability challenge: you fear that others won't like you; don't let what others think of you prevent you from doing something that will lead to your own improvement
- Competence challenge: you fear you don't have the skills or that you won't be good at it; remember we are our own worst critic!
- Resentment challenge: you are annoyed that you have to adapt your behavior; focus on what you are trying to accomplish and the annoyances will fade away
- Morality challenge: you may feel unethical (the example the author gives is that of a pediatrician who regrets seeing babies cry when he/she is injecting them with necessary vaccines to protect their long term health)
Molinsky details the following solutions:
- Conviction: have a deep sense of purpose that it is necessary to make these changes; focus on how this behavior is actually helping
- Customization: change the way you do it so that it is more comfortable for you
- Clarity: take an honest account of your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses
- Take the leap: when you willingly take the leap, you will discover that this isn't so bad and this will reduce your anxiety and make you more likely to take leaps in the future; the more you do it, the more your anxiety diminishes
Possible examples of how these solutions can be applied to the bed and breakfast inn-keeping world:
- Conviction: you may decide to focus on how your excluding guests under 12 is helping you cater to your adult guests who visit for a romantic getaway
- Customization: you may decide the best way to prepare for the next morning's breakfast is to have your guests check or circle a designated # of items from a list of food choices (ex: French toast or pancakes or waffles) when they check in
- Clarity: you may realize that it is worth the extra money to employ a housekeeper so you can focus on what you like and do best
- Take the leap: when you speak to potential guests over the phone, the more often you talk about your inn's custom packages, the easier and more natural it will become to regularly mention them in future phone calls (and more revenue should come as a result)
While innkeepers are known for being warm, gracious, and outgoing, there are always more things that require stepping outside of the comfort zone.
Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography