It is normal to feel nervous when you do something that takes you out of your comfort zone.
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Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Leading management thinker, Judith Bardwick, coined the phrase ‘comfort zone’ in her book, Danger in the Comfort Zone:
“The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.”
Being in the comfort zone can lead to complacency, reducing performance.
In a sense, there is a risk in not taking risk.
Everyone gets nervous when they are being assessed or watched, or when doing something for the first time.
If you have set challenging goals for yourself, it is inevitable that this will happen at some point, because you will be taken out of your comfort zone.
The way to deal with this is to learn how to relax before you are in the situation, so that you can do so when you are under pressure.
You can do this by making dealing with nerves one of the Gateways to your goals.
Keeping Cool Under Pressure
A way you can keep cool and focused under pressure is by practising, practising, practising.
If you are in a real performance situation, you probably need to worry more if you do not feel nervous than if you do!
The fight and flight response that adrenaline gives us is useful in bringing out our best performance, because it speeds up our mind and reactions.
Knowledge Helps Reduce Worry
The psychologist, Abraham Maslow, said that education reduces risks and dangers.
You can reduce your level of worry by learning more about the thing that worries you.
As an example, fear of flying is a common worry.
The feeling can vary from a mild anxiety to full-blown phobia.
Learning about the process and noises involved in flying can help ease the worry.
Also learning some of the statistics behind flying and how it is the safest form of travel can also reduce anxiety.
Knowledge in such a situation can be powerful.
Let It Go
Letting go of control can also help.
Most of us believe (or hope!) we are in control of our lives, and yet the extent of our influence is smaller than we think.
You live in a society governed by rules which you are penalised for breaking.
You have relationships that work based on certain norms, which you can be penalised for challenging.
The only true domain that we can control is our minds, and yet many of us spend a lot of time picking over the past rather than just being.
Accepting that you have less control than you imagine can be liberating rather than constraining.
A fear of flying is understandable because you are trusting your life to someone you do not know and may never know.
Accepting this loss of control can help you to let go for the fear.
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