Getting comfortable getting out of your comfort zone!
Many of you will know I’m insanely passionate about bringing out the best in the women I work with to help them reach their full health and life potential. And most importantly, I want to inspire my clients and followers to be the very best versions of themselves, whatever that means to them. To do all of these things, we often need to step out of our comfort zone and guess what, it’s uncomfortable!
When things feel uncomfortable, we avoid them. We create resistance and roadblocks so we can’t make the progress we really want to. We formulate excuses and reasons why we shouldn’t do something and we also ignore and brush under the carpet the very things that would catapult us to where we really want to be. Humans, aren’t we funny?!
I’m a very confident person in many areas of my life. I’ve always been externally confident and in the last 10 years since becoming a coach and studying mindset, I’ve worked on building my inner confidence, which is where I believe the real power and magic lies. But like many people there was an area in life I was shying away from as I lacked confidence around it. As I always like to inspire by example, today I wanted to share how I’ve overcome something pretty big (well to me anyway!) in my working life that is now going to be the catalyst for some great things to come. And it goes like this….
I’m happy to speak in front of 500 people, teach aerobics to 4000, run live webinars and do live radio. But I’ve always had some resistance around television. I’ve done quite a bit of a pre-recorded TV but I’ve always avoided live television and as I approach 40, I felt it was about time I tackled it.
So a few weeks ago when my amazing friend and business associate Gill Harvey Bush (who I met on a TV show we both did on ITV 1 in 2007!) were recording the Confidence program education webinars, we started to go through all sorts of things for our clients about the resistance and the aforementioned barriers people have around confidence in certain areas of their lives. I mentioned to Gill about a fear I had (which is usually the basis for lack of confidence or avoidance) and we decided to include a short section on our webinar about the reasons why I lacked confidence and what steps I could implement to overcome them. It was essentially a mini coaching session for me led by Gill, to help our confidence clients see that even confident people can have a lack of confidence in some areas of their lives and of course to show our clients how to unravel some of their confidence stuff by listening to me being coached.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we looked at the reasons I was OK with live radio but not live TV, why I was more comfortable with pre recorded TV and less so with doing things live. We talked about the reasons I felt uncomfortable and also looked at some of my core beliefs around my ability and how I could come across if I didn’t have the control of editing or re-recording! We looked at why I was comfortable on audio presentations to my clients and standing up in front of hundreds of people that had chosen to hear me speak, but not speaking about my topics and passions on live TV to those who didn’t know me. We also looked at a deep routed personal issue about how I don’t like my mouth / teeth / smile that stems from childhood. I laughed as we went through all of this because I knew that it was all in my head and around ‘my stuff’ that could be overridden with the right approach! Our ‘stuff’ is what holds us back, it’s what keeps us where we are, it’s typically self-limiting core beliefs and sometimes self-sabotage. My Grandma used to say, ‘if things don’t change they’ll stop as they are’ and this is SO true when it comes to boosting confidence! We encouraged the confidence program clients to get ready to stepping into the new confidant them and also getting them to think of confidence as a skill that needs practice. And I knew I needed to do the same!
Anyway, the weekend following this call, I decided to spend 4 hours practicing being on live TV. I want to be a pioneer for women’s health, fitness and lifestyle and yes I can do this via my programs, but long term, I’m going to need a bigger platform and TV is without a doubt one of them. So I interviewed myself, asked myself all sorts of challenging questions, recorded videos of me talking and just practiced all sorts of stuff around it. Guess what? I was instantly more confident. Yes there were lots of things to improve on, but I was creating some action around things that would help me and I decided to do more of this. I started watching some You tube videos of those who I liked their presenting style, I researched some facts and figures around my topics so that I could have 5 top tips on the things I’m an expert in – after all, if you have 45 seconds on TV, you need to get it across. And I imagined being scrutinized on live TV about the topics I could potentially talk about and created answers with facts and figures to back it up.
Three days later, I kid you not, I got a call from my PR agent who said ‘ Can you be on ITV news to talk about the triple zero Top Shop Mannequins at 5pm?’. First of all I freaked out. I was with my children and I almost used them as an excuse not to do it. But I rang her back and said ‘yep’ let’s do this! And as I sat in my car waiting to hear what time the car would be coming to collet me to take me to the studio, I wrote some bullet points and went into practice mode again. 20 minutes later the producer called me to say that as I was over an hour away they were worried I couldn’t get on air in time and had found someone from an Eating Disorders Charity to speak instead as she was round the corner from the studio. Was I relieved. NO!!!!! I was absolutely gutted. So here I was 5 days after the call I’d done with Gill and I was gutted I wasn’t able to do the live TV slot. Hilarious or what?! I rang Gill to tell her and we laughed and laughed about how easy it is to build your confidence with the right approach and how all this taught me I want to do more TV and that I can now allocate some time in each working week to practice as well as look out for opportunities.
Last week at 6pm on Monday, I was invited to go onto the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC news, to talk about making things easier for our children when it comes to education. And I jumped at the chance – no resistance whatsoever – I was going to seize every opportunity I had! I spoke to the producer, was on the 6am train into the BBC the next morning and went live on air at 915am. It was a much shorter slot in the end that what was planned so I wasn’t able to get all my points across, but it was:
- Such valuable experience for me to do live TV – lack of confidence often stems from the unknown – I’ve now done it so I know what to expect next time
- I looked back at the interview and whilst there are things I would do better next time, I was less critical of myself and put all my energy not on ‘I wish I’d done that’ but ‘next time, I’ll do this’
- I was able to make lots of new twitter followers, touch base with my other BBC radio contacts and former TV Series Producers which has created some new leads and potential future opportunities
- It reminded me how passionate I am about my work, politics and current affairs. I have a 2:1 degree in International Relations, where I specialized in gender issues and I actually wanted to be a war correspondent for the BBC when I graduated (ironic that, considering that is live TV on the biggest scale possible!). My first job was working for the government too and all this also confirmed how much I want to make a difference in the world and that my experience, knowledge and opinions are valued and should be out there more!
- I got a real confidence boost! As Gill and I talk about on the Confidence program a lot, when you have even the smallest confidence boost, it manifests itself in all areas of your life. Since I overcame this fear, I’ve just had a different energy (and my energy is normally very good!), but it’s different. I can’t explain it really other than I think I just feel better about myself, really proud of myself and have even more self-belief. I don’t have any roadblocks around this and rather than dreading an opportunity around live TV, I’m ready to embrace it.
The main thing I want to get across is that I would have avoided doing this for ages, if not forever without addressing my fear like this. Gill’s great questions, combined with my own mindset shifts (which I teach on BEST), practice and preparation as well as just bloody well getting out there and doing it has been much easier than I thought. Because I had some support, because I knew how to manage my thoughts and also because I knew deep down that once I overcame the unknown I’d feel FANTSTIC!
If you need help with boosting confidence, come and join us on the 5-week audio-based confidence program. And if your mindset needs a reboot, then you’ll love BEST.
We’re always told that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, I say this all the time in my bootcamp classes and online bootcamps, but having overcome a fear that was holding me back, I’ve got to say I believe this more than ever.
Good luck and let us help you if you need it. Even someone like me who has a great mindset and is generally very confident, needed some help with working out how to overcome a little confidence barrier :o)