How to stop playing it safe

Taking risks don't come naturally to introverts. In this video, you'll learn how to stop playing it safe, without leaving your comfort zone. // from Michelle Hickey Design // #introvertlife #creativebusiness #introversion

August 9, 2019

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Taking risks don’t come naturally to introverts. In this post, you’ll learn how to stop playing it safe, without leaving your comfort zone.

Taking risks don't come naturally to introverts. In this video, you'll learn how to stop playing it safe, without leaving your comfort zone. // from Michelle Hickey Design // #introvertlife #creativebusiness #introversion

Have you always been told that the way to accomplish great things is to step outside of your comfort zone? To become a risk-taker? To take more leaps?

None of these things sound appealing to me. I don’t want to leave the comfort zone. Playing it safe is what feels right in my gut. My whole aim as an introvert is to always get back here to this space, where everything is familiar.

But when you’re creative, you’re curious. And there are things that you want to do and try, which involves heading into uncharted territory. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to quiet that creative side of me.

When playing it safe is in your DNA

But every time I try to leave the comfort zone, I’m met with a huge amount of resistance. Taking risks can be scary for everyone, but when you’re an introvert you’re up against a stronger force. You’re essentially saying, you have to change who you are if you want to do this new thing. And our egos do not like that.

I realized that I’d been looking at this conundrum in the wrong way. All of this time, I had been trying to convince myself that I had to change my personality. Like if I wanted to connect with a new friend online, I had to learn to be outgoing and bubbly first. Or if I wanted to raise my prices, I’d have to become more aggressive. Trying to change who you are at your core is always going to be a losing battle.

The solution is not to change who we are, but to change how we are perceiving these things that seem so scary.

I’m not leaving the comfort zone. I’m bringing these unfamiliar things into it and making them safe. We don’t have to stop playing it safe, we just need to better acquaint ourselves with the unknown, on our terms.

Approaching something new, your way

And the best way to do this is gradually. I’ve become okay with taking my time as an alternative to not doing something at all. Slow and intentional feels right to me, as long as I continue to move. And I’m not trying to teach the tortoise and the hare parable here. I think that jumping in headfirst is the right move for a lot of people. The key here is knowing which person you are and honoring it.

If it feels more natural for you to work your way up to trying something new, then own it. The key here is to make the unfamiliar, familiar, one step at a time. You don’t have to leap off the building. Take the stairs.

The method that has helped me to stop playing it safe

This all sounds good in theory. Now I want to show you how to make this tactical. What will this look like for you, next time you want to try something new?

The secret is a little bit of exposure every day. What I have found to be effective is to be around a lot of people who think that what I’m about to attempt is normal. Except, without actually having to be with them. Here are three ideas to try:

Listen to podcasts

This was especially helpful to me before I was about to launch my Creative with Confidence course. I had never offered a program before. It was very unfamiliar, and very outside of my comfort zone. So every day I would listen to accounts of other people who had launched online courses. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and after listening to enough of them, it would have felt weird to NOT launch my course.

This is all I heard for a month straight, all of these people who had launched courses and lived to tell the tale and my mind began to normalize it.

This is safe.

You can do this.

Flood your Instagram feed

You’re on there all the time anyway. Let’s make sure you’re looking at content that’s going to serve you. One of the best ways to grow your business fast is to collaborate on projects. But this can feel really uncomfortable. Most people can’t work up the nerve to reach out and ask — or even know who to collaborate with. Many of us have been telling ourselves the lie that every person who is interested in collaborating is already friends with the other collaborators and there’s no room for you.

Prove yourself wrong. Go on Instagram, search the #creativecollab and follow it. And while you’re there, follow a few other like-terms. This works just like following an account. Anytime someone posts using that hashtag, it’ll pop up in your feed. This will give you countless partnership ideas, but that’s just the bonus. You’ll be giving your brain the evidence it needs that people just like you are collaborating and growing their businesses every day. The more stories you read, the safer it will feel. You can do it too.

Watch YouTube Daily

Treat your senses to a double dose through video content. In my opinion, YouTube is the most underutilized resource at your disposal. If you want to try something new, get inspired by people who already doing it.

Most people use YouTube to learn how to do something. Take that pressure off of yourself to take notes or take action. Just listen and observe.

Find videos that are short so that you can watch them while you’re getting ready in the morning, folding laundry or making dinner. My favorite time to watch is when I’m eating breakfast, which I usually do from my desk. In certain seasons, it’s my ritual.

Right now, I’m starting to write a book, so every day, I watch something on YouTube related to writing, research or publishing. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as its keeping me reminded to go after this creative dream that’s so important to me.

Want to stop playing it safe? What is your scary creative dream? It’s time to reach out and invite it into your comfort zone.

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