In order to become more successful, it is important to continually strive for personal growth. We need to keep pushing ourselves to be better than the person we were in the past. As time goes by, we need to keep growing in terms of our mental strength, emotional strength, abilities and skills.

We all know this. So, what stops most people from actually becoming stronger and better each day? What stops many of us from becoming better at making friends, better at learning, better at leadership, better at public speaking?

I believe the answer is that FEAR is what keeps us within our comfort zone. We tend to want to keep doing what is comfortable and certain than to attempt something that is fearful and hence uncomfortable. As a result, we may never grow and become better.

For example, have you always wanted to be able to be a confident public speaker? Have you ever thought that the ability to speak to a group of people will make you a greater asset to your company, make you a better leader and give you a better chance for promotion and hence a higher income?

So, what has stopped you from becoming that great speaker? I would bet that it was the fear of even attempting in the first place; the fear of failure and embarrassment. When the chance came, you did not grab it. You let it pass by and allowed someone else to take it. As a result, you never had a chance to practice and become good at it.

Well, I am here to tell you that to grow, you have to get yourself to stretch out of your comfort zone! Do whatever frightens you (but benefits you). I can assure you that once you take that first step, it will not seem that fearful anymore. When your brain has realized that you have not died from it, you will become even stronger as a result. After you do it a few more times, the fear will not only disappear, but you may even find it fun. Remember, that whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!

I can tell you that everyone feels fear. Fear is a god given gift meant to protect us. It can be useful at times. Unfortunately, if we don’t learn to control it, it will imprison us and harm us instead. When I first had to speak to a small crowd, do you think I was scared? Of course! So being scared is natural. The only people who do not feel fear are those in the graveyard. The first time, my hands were sweaty, my legs were shaking uncontrollably and I had a million butterflies in my stomach.

However, I learn from a book that FEAR is nothing but a False-Experience-Appearing-Real (F.E.A.R). It’s our mind that makes it worst that it actually is. If your mind can do that, Couldn’t your mind also make it funnier and easier than it actually is?

So, using NLP techniques that I had learnt, I visualized that my audience had ants in their underwear and that a bird was pooping on their heads. By changing the way my brain re-presented the experienced, I started feeling humorous and less fearful. After I finished that first speech, the fear lessened and the confidence grew. With each talk, the confidence grew and grew and that is what allows me to speak to a 5,000 strong crowd today with lots of confidence.

You can do the same thing to! You can build confidence in any area, as long as you take the first step to control your mind (learning NLP really helps), stretch out of your comfort zone and take action! So, think of a list of things that you are afraid/uncomfortable doing BUT you know is beneficial to you.

Could it be a fear of….
Public speaking? Dealing with numbers? Meeting New People? Sharing Your Feelings? Starting a project? Pursuing a new career? Going back to school/university to learn? Leading a group?

Commit to yourself to do one little thing a day that scares you, but will get you to stretch out of your comfort zone so you can a little stronger day by day.