The dog, Sparky, was one I knew well. He lived across the street and we (my sister and I) would go over and play with him.
On this particular summer day, I was walking home from babysitting and saw Sparky tied up in the front yard. He was barking at me and wagging his tail, excited to see me. So, I pet him and then turned to go home and that’s all I remember.
I’m told that I screamed and ran home. Sparky’s mom looked out the window when I screamed and came over to find out what happened (and called my mom). I was fine, just surprised. Sparky had pierced the skin, but it healed fine.
I developed a new fear though. Suddenly, I was a little apprehensive around dogs (which I had adored), I was even a bit tentative around my own dog for a bit.
Slowly, I worked through it. And I still adore dogs.
If you’ve been reading here for a bit, you know that this probably ties into business in some way and are waiting for it.
And yes, it does tie in. My comfort zone with all dogs shrunk that day. It took a little time and effort to expand that comfort zone back to where it had been.
Have you had a similar experience in your business?
Maybe you were burned by a client? Perhaps a “safe” phone call didn’t go anything like you expected?
Whatever your story is, your comfort zone shrunk. Maybe you didn’t even notice it at the time. But now you have a bit of apprehension when working with a new client or picking up the phone.
It’s natural, no one likes being hurt.
But like the quote in the image says “…wiping out the fear isn’t what’s important – facing it is.”
For me, that looked like spending time with my own dog. Approaching her, even when I felt apprehensive and trusting that her end of our relationship hadn’t change, only mine had.
Maybe for you that looks like making warm calls to people that have been happy to hear from you in the past. Or maybe it looks completely different.
This doesn’t mean you have to step completely outside your comfort zone. You can stretch it a little bit, just do one thing that puts you face to face with your fear, but in fairly safe way. And if you want a little help with that, just let me know.
When has your comfort zone shrunk and what did you do about it? I’d love it if you shared in the comments below!