One of my favorite quotes by writer Anne Lamott comes from her book Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. “It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life.”
Ah, that Anne Lamott. She is one of my go-to authors for wisdom and remarkable insights.
I wish I’d had that quote with me the day I first received a call to do a media interview. I was literally sitting in the epicenter of television media – at Harpo Studios where The Oprah Winfrey Show was taped, when I got the call. To say I was uncomfortable with the idea of doing a live TV interview was the understatement of my life.
Though I’d spent decades working behind the scenes in television, I was terrified. Being behind the scenes was my comfort zone. But being in front of the camera was most definitely not.
Yet sometimes I wonder why we gravitate towards comfort zones at all. Yes, they are where we feel safe. And safety is essential in many ways of course. But is it all there is? Aren’t there so many other human needs beyond “safety” that are positive enough to warrant a step out of those confining spaces? And by leaving our comfort zones, is our safety actually in peril?
In a word, no.
What is risked in the vast expanse beyond comfort zones is making a mistake, embarrassing ourselves, or what is perceived as failure. But what is gained is something unexpected. Freedom.
Because when something scares you and you do it anyway, it no longer has the same power over you. And the more you do that daring thing, the more that power to hold you back diminishes into nothing. And you are free. Free from feeling unworthy. Free from that voice in your head that says “I could never do that.” Free from limitations.
Yes, and free to shine.
Why all this talk about comfort zones and freedom from a Media Coach? Because so many of the authors I meet, though they were brave enough to put their wisdom into the world via the words of a book (and that takes courage, believe me) are hesitant to step into a position of leadership as an expert in Media.
If you’ve ever felt like that – or feel like that still – let me ask you this: Whom does your comfort zone serve? Does it serve the people who need your message? Does it serve you?
I suspect not.
As a nonfiction author, I’ve been afraid to leave my comfort zone too. Terrified in fact. But scared as I was, I kept showing up for live TV appearances, radio interviews, and for phone calls with columnists. Little by little it got easier. These days I feel more excited than nervous when asked to do an interview.
Because here’s what I’ve learned: I agree wholeheartedly with Anne Lamott. It’s good to do uncomfortable things. Because a comfort zone is only meant for comfort. But I am meant for more than that.
And so are you.
P.S. Did you know that even if you don’t have a publicist the Media can contact you out of the blue? What an amazing opportunity, right? Well…not if you’re unprepared. I never want that to happen to any nonfiction author so I’ve created a totally FREE PDF Media Success Quick Start Guide: Ready for Publicity in 30 Minutes. Please get yours at readyforpublicity.com so you won’t miss out on game changing publicity for your book and message.