Stand out, 2013 style
Standing out from the crowd and being different may not be the only marker in the route to success, but it’s certainly not a typical indicator of impending doom., and there are other reasons you want your business to stand out. Maybe you’re in a competitive market and want to get noticed. Perhaps you’re hoping to get funding, and don’t want to be lumped in to the other countless groups that also need startup cash.
It could be as simple as wanting yours to be the email your time-pressed customer opens. In short, there are many ways being different can make a positive impact on the future of your company. In part one of this series, I shared with you that you can stand out by reducing your friend counts, and in part two, I showed you how to stand out by bringing people together and being the connector.
In part three below, you’ll learn the hardest lesson of all – standing out is usually achieved by busting out of your comfort zone:
How to stand out by getting uncomfortable
Fear stop us from doing things that are risky. That can be good for us – in the case of one woman whose fear center no longer works, she continues to find herself in dangerous situations that fear could have kept her safe from, ulltimately.
We often avoid risk out of fear, even when we know that the risk we want to take isn’t dangerous. We all have that thing we should be doing but can’t bring ourselves to do, out of fear. You probably have the resolution you made around this time last year that you gave up on, because you were too afraid to see it through.
How do we get around the fear so that we may stand out?
Since the feeling of being afraid is so powerful, how do we get around it, or at least get to a place where we can tell whether our fear is irrational, and if so, power through?
By getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
To start with, make a list of 30 things you’d like to do to make progress in your personal or professional life. Order the list from things that are just a little bit out of your comfort zone, to things that are the most harrowing to think about.
Start with the thing that cause you the least discomfort, and do your best to achieve it. When you get as far as you can, take a week off. Then do the next thing on the list.
The point here isn’t being able to reach the goal – maybe riding roller coasters just isn’t for you.
Rather, the idea is to make yourself attempt things that give you that feeling of discomfort, so you can desensitize yourself to your more irrational fears.
Attempting to break out of your comfort zone
A few things to try, if you have trouble thinking of any on your own:
- Do some public speaking
- Approach someone you admire but are afraid to talk to
- Take a trip to a country where you don’t speak the language
- Use that social media site you hate, and try and create a new audience there for a month
- Call instead of texting
- Visit in person instead of calling
- Test a different advertising method
- Write the book you’ve been daydreaming about, then give the first draft to someone whose opinion you really respect
- Ask a favor from someone who you’d never dream would help in a million years
Some of these may not frighten you at all, but the next person you talk to may find them terrifying. Even if nothing on that list scares you, just think for five minutes, what you’d do if you weren’t afraid. Pick from the list things that won’t endanger your life, those things that, if successful, would certainly enrich it, and do them.
The greatest risk of all sometimes, is not to take a risk at all.
2013 could be just another year, one you could exit having basically the same problems you had this year. But if you’re willing to focus on the best connections, bring people together, and overcome the fear that paralyzes your progress, it could be the year that you have your breakthrough.