The number of experiences and opportunities I have had over the past year alone, I probably could count over four sets of hands. I am forever grateful for the situations I find myself in during my career, and goodness knows I like to work hard for it. But, I often wonder what it must be like for someone that doesn’t have the drive or the confidence to take the opportunities that come their way. Everyone is different and there are a lot of people in the world that will often pass an opportunity by as they are unsure about how the opportunity may play out. Who might I meet? What will they ask me? What if I don’t look like everyone else? What if I say something silly? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t know where I’m going? These are probably only a handful of ‘What If’s’ that someone could ask themselves. And I’m sure if I spoke to someone who suffers more so with social anxiety, they would be able to offer me a lot more examples.
Social Anxiety is a stigma all to its own, and for those with a severe cases, my advice here probably won’t help much. However, there are people in the world that suffer with anxiety towards social situations in a lesser form, and quite often will miss out on opportunities because they feel it will make for an easier life to pass them by. But, I really want to try to inspire some of those people.
Step out of your comfort zone. You never know what might happen if you go to that event, ask for a promotion, fly away on that press trip or sign up for a new gym class. In 99% of cases, I’m sure the results will only ever be positive. Try to think about your own well-being and how you want your life to progress. Are you going to let anyone else stand in the way of that? You get one life and one chance to live it to the full. So step out of your comfort zone and go for it. You may meet new people, find a new hobby that you love or just experience something new. And that is surely better than sitting at home on your tush, experiencing nothing but another episode of XFactor!
Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen? You go home realising that the gym class wasn’t for you? You go to the event and don’t speak to anyone – highly highly unlikely, but okay, you’ve not lost anything but maybe an hour or two – and most probably you have put a smile on someone’s face for turning up! You go on the trip and don’t really enjoy yourself? Again, very unlikely if you’re going somewhere wonderful. I have never been on one bad press trip – and although some may be a touch unorganised and not quite for me, I have still made the most of it, made new friends and had a laugh along the way!
You need to work out if something is worth your time. Of course you can’t do everything! If I went on every press trip, event trip, press day or coffee meeting I was asked to go on – this blog wouldn’t exist. I would have zero hours left in the day to actually write anything down. And whilst in the beginning of writing this blog, I did go along to a lot more events and meetings, I did so because, quite frankly, I was a touch less busy. Now, I have to decide which meeting is absolutely essential, if the brand event is perfect for me and my brand, who else is going that I’d love to see and whether I actually can spare those few hours. For any new bloggers out there, I urge you to go to a lot of events and network. Meet people, make some new friends and find some new contacts. That is what I did in the first few years and I met some wonderful people through that. Bloggers and PR people who I now call great friends! But they all now see I’m a busy bee and they get that! But if I hadn’t of visited those events in the first place, there is no way I would have had the opportunities and projects to work on, that I have! Not to mention the blogger friends who I have met. Imagine if I had never met Em, Suzie, Carly, Amelia, Tamara, Patricia and every other babe I call a friend. I’d be pretty darn gutted!
I guess there are a lot of cases where I feel that passing up an experience may leave me with FOMO – or fear of missing out (I thought you might like to know what that means, Mum). And in those cases, where I feel that I’ll miss out if I don’t go, I know that that will be an experience worth my time. And as such, I have experienced very little regret in my career. Aside from maybe one awards ceremony that I didn’t go along to and I kicked myself for the whole night in absolute envy. But since, I have attended everything I desperately wanted to go to, and only missed experiences where I was away experiencing something else. And thus, regrets are minuscule and FOMO is pretty much non existent. SO. For anyone out there who experiences FOMO regularly, but feels a little unsure about stepping out of their comfort zone, just try to take little baby steps towards new experiences. I’m not saying to throw yourself into every single experience and opportunity that comes your way, but just be a touch more open minded. Weigh up the pros and cons of a particular new opportunity and just try one or two. I’m pretty sure that you will find your confidence growing each and every time, and opportunities will only get better and better!
Without stepping out of my own comfort zone and opening myself up to new opportunities, I would never have been in Paris last week, taking these photos with L’Oreal Paris as one of their new Hair Ambassadors. Take risks, regret less and go for it!