Comfort zones are, you know, comfortable. And comfort is good. I wouldn’t want anyone doing something that made them feel icky or truly scared. You should obey those uncomfortable signals. But stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new, something that gives you butterflies in your tummy, that can be exhilarating.
Participating in CreativeLive classes online is very comfortable for me, obviously there’s zero risk except that I probably won’t get much work done if I watch them. Joining the chat is just at the edge of my comfort zone, because it’s basically talking to strangers, in fact it’s even scarier because there is no delete. If you say something dumb, it is there for everyone to see. I try not to say dumb stuff, but a lot can get lost in the translation from spoken words to written words. Hard to convey sarcasm in print, and I don’t want my hilarious jokes to come across as jerky so I try to keep my comments concise and on topic. Or if I can’t help joking around, I will at least add a winkey face.
Going on the equivalent of live TV to be in the front row at CreativeLive is way outside my comfort zone. Way. I had my first experience in May 2014. I was in April Bowles-Olin‘s class and it was terrifying. But not the kind of terror that could kill me so I took a giant step outside of the zone and did it. And I feel that I am a better person for going through with it. I met so many wonderful, supportive people. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I met my accountability buddy Jane at CreativeLive. That wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t willing to be a little uncomfortable. If you don’t read this blog regularly you really should. It’s pretty good. ;)
Last week I was delighted to be back at CreativeLive for a second time, sitting in the front row for Tara Swiger‘s class “Marketing for Crafters“. I was a little bit nervous, but not nearly as much as I was the first time. Everyone at CreativeLive is so nice and so supportive, and they did a great job of making us feel welcome. I had built cyber-relationships with some of the ladies watching the class, and a few of them were in the chat room giving me their support. Of course, having Jane in the front row with me was extremely comforting. I was a lot more talkative this time and contributed much more. I had expanded my comfort zone to include CreativeLive and it felt great.
Saturday, the last day of taping, I felt very comfortable. I wasn’t nervous at all. The class was just fantastic, Tara was amazing and the other students were wonderful. I had arrived at the studio a little early and was going over my workbook, waiting for my fellow classmates to arrive when I was approached by the host, Chris. He asked if I was game to take part in the pre-show interview. He would ask me some questions about the class and the workbook, and I would talk about my experience at CreativeLive. Sure. No problem. Inside, I was completely freaking out, but there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity.
When it was time for places (that’s show-biz talk you guys) I took my seat and hoped that I wouldn’t faint while I sat there and waited for Chris to call me up in front of the camera. Chris gave a run down of what to expect in that day’s class, and then called me up to the “stage” (really just a lovely rug in the center of the studio). Somehow, my legs got me there, and you know what? When I turned and faced the front row students and the camera, I discovered I was in my comfort zone. The interview went quite well and I got a chance to show off my beautiful necklace and bracelet. I even cracked a few jokes. I didn’t faint. I made it through and when it was done, I sat back in my chair, feeling proud of myself for pushing past my fear.
Right, I promised three things. Hmmm… ok.
- It won’t kill you (Disclaimer: if there is even a remote possibility that it will kill you, please do not step outside of your comfort zone)
- Every time you step out of it, your zone expands.
- Every time you expand your comfort zone, you make it easier to step outside of it.
I’d really like to thank Tara for sharing her knowledge and experience with us and for helping us to find our “North Star”. Thanks also to my friend Jane and my fellow students, and everyone who watched the class online. It was such a great class and I learned a lot from Tara, plus she was just so dang adorable. If you are a maker who is trying to market your handmade goods, you must watch this class. SO many “aha” moments.