Do you ever look back on a time in your life where you regretted not taking a risk? Personally, I can think of several opportunities I missed out on ranging from not asking someone out on a date to not taking a chance and starting a dot com business when those businesses were thriving.

Chances are, there’s some kind of fear or discomfort that’s separating the current you from the you that you want to become. If your goal is to find an ideal mate, maybe it’s fear of rejection or discomfort of trying something new like speed dating. If your goal is to get promoted, perhaps it’s fear of the unknown – you don’t know what to expect and if you can handle it.

If you can identify what you need to change about yourself to achieve your goals, you’ve completed the first step. To get to this point, simply imagine yourself after you’ve achieved your goals and figure out what’s different about you. Make a list.

Step 2 is to go through your list and figure out what skills you need to acquire.

Once you know what skills you need, you can start to create an action plan. So if your goal is to start a business, a skill you might need is to ask people for funding. If you’re shy, this may be difficult for you and require you to move beyond your comfort zone.

You’ll need to take steps to conquer your fear and the bigger these steps are (or the more you skip over) the faster you’ll achieve your goal. Let’s look at some steps you can take to become better at asking for funding:

  1. You can research how to get funding on the internet or by reading books.
  2. You can talk to someone that has asked for some sort of funding and get their advice.
  3. You can call up potential lenders (bankers, VC firms, investors, etc…) and ask for an informational interview so you can learn about getting funded.
  4. You can partner with someone else looking for funding and sit in meetings, participate in discussions, etc…
  5. You can call up all the sources of funding in your area and set up meetings.
  6. You can set up meetings with all viable sources of funding regardless of where they’re located.

If you take baby steps by stopping after each step because you need to build up the courage to get to the next step, it could take a very long time to get to your goal. On the other hand, if you skip a few steps and immediately move on once you’ve completed a step, you’ll get where you want to be faster.

Self-help guru Tony Robbins has a great technique for motivating yourself to take actions that are beyond your comfort zone. Simply imagine your life 10, 15 or 20 years out if you don’t take the action and look at how miserable you’ll be.

Moving beyond your comfort zone

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