I don’t know about you but I’m the kind of person who likes to say yes to knew opportunities then worry about how I’m going to do them later.
After quitting my job I made a decision to say yes to things if they came my way, even if they seemed scary at the time. I said yes to running a stand at The Maker Faire. I said yes to a screen test audition for Rust-Oleum paints. I said yes to running workshops at The UK Wedding Fair. In December last year I said yes to being a guest speaker at an event for bloggers called Blogging: A creative and commercial opportunity which happened this month.
Every time I agree to do something new that pushes me out of my comfort zone, I go through what I call The Seven Stages of Fear. This process happens every time without fail. The most recent was the Blogging Event where I was asked by Culture Vulture to talk about my experience as a blogger, my personal journey after leaving my job, what the blog is about and how I run it. Now, I can talk about upcycling all day but I’m still not entirely sure I know what I’m doing as far as this blog is concerned. Nevertheless I agreed to do it.
This is how it always goes.
Stage 1 – Flattered. I’m approached to do something new that is out of my comfort zone but I’m genuinely flattered at the thought that the person or organisation thinks I’m capable of doing it.
Stage 2 – Ignorance is bliss. I put it out of my mind until I have to really think about it, forget what I agreed to, and plan to worry about it when I absolutely have to. No need to worry, it will all be fine.
Stage 3 – Mild panic. The date approaches and I realise I have to start planning for it so I start to research the event, what is expected of me and have a nervous feeling that is bordering on excitement but is really just the onset of panic kicking in.
Stage 4 – What the hell have I done. About a week before the event, I start to really question my judgement. I have no idea why I said yes to it as I’m clearly not suitable and there’s no way I can pull it off. They’re going to rumble me soon and realise they made a mistake asking me and I’ll never be asked to do anything ever again, but I plough on with the planning and preparation.
Stage 5 – I’m never doing this again. Two days before the event I get really angry with myself, why the hell did I say yes, it’s ridiculous, it’s taking far more time to plan that I thought and I’ve left it until the last minute as usual. There’ll be tears, tantrums and reassurances from my husband that it will all be ok and I shouldn’t worry. What does he know!
Stage 6 – on the day nerves. There’s no backing out at this stage, I have to do it, I’ve prepared as much I think I can and I’m actually a little bit excited when I arrive at the venue, meet everyone and see the set up. I breathe deep and tell myself that it will be over soon and it will all be ok. I start to believe in myself again. I’ve got this.
Stage 7 – That was fantastic, I don’t know why I ever doubted myself. I get through the event, it all goes really well, people compliment me, I seem to know what I’m doing, everyone else seems to think I know what I’m doing. I’m proud of myself for doing it, buzzing that it went well and think I can conquer the world.
The Blogging Event was fantastic, there were some great speakers who were all so good and really knew their stuff. It was great to hear their personal stories and experiences of blogging. It was inspirational and lovely to meet people in the same field, albeit with very different topics and approaches to blogging. I was reassured to think that maybe I do know what I’m doing after all.
So if you’re about to agree to something out of your comfort zone, I say go for it, every time, but be prepared to go through a few emotions. I promise you’ll be ok though.
I wonder what’s next for me, anyone got a new opportunity for me?