Blogger Meetup: How to leave the Comfort Zone behind

I’m not sure what I expected to get from this blogger meetup

I kept hearing that in order to have a highly trafficked blog, networking with other bloggers is necessary. I didn’t really know why, but I figured it was because we could send traffic to each other from time to time. After Googling “blogger meetup + Charleston” I landed in a Meetup group set for Barnes & Noble on 12/5/13. I didn’t know what to expect from the situation, but I was hoping to get some tips on how to improve my blog and I was just haughty enough to think I could give some out too.

I was a little nervous, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me. I was about to go on a ‘date’ with 6 strangers (that’s how many RSVP’d) and share with them a personal project that I’ve been caring for like a child. I have been working on this blog a little bit each day since I started it back in August, and now I was about to open it up to be scrutinized by people who have been doing this longer than me… I felt like I was about to go watch game film back in my CSU days and Coach Staggs was going to rip me for something I didn’t see.

Getting out of the “Comfort Zone”

Leave the Comfort ZoneFor years I have heard that we need to constantly get out of our comfort zones in order to make progress. I taught a guest lecture at CSU a few weeks back and asked the 2 football players in the room if they had ever gotten better at an easy practice. They both shook their heads “No.” We only get better in difficult situations.

The same theory applies to our everyday lives. When we constantly push ourselves to try new things and go out on limbs, we are constantly pushing to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Nobody has ever won an award for coloring in between the lines. We only get better when we get out of our comfort zones.

What actually happened

I arrived to 2 very nice, helpful bloggers that immediately asked me about my site. What type of content is it? How often do I write? Have you thought about adding this? I loved it. I wasn’t being mocked for having a basic site and they immediately made me feel comfortable about my decision to come to this.

I soon learned that each of them were as normal as me and my apprehension was soothed. One of them is a life coach and I was immediately intrigued because I’ve always wondered how people got into that profession and how they actually make money from it. The other is a lawyer and this is her side project that she has packed with inspiration, for which I’m obviously a sucker. We talked for a bit about how to improve each of our blogs and upcoming projects we’d like to take on, all offering suggestions where we could. 

I learned some great tips to improve my blog from some very nice people and I can now say I belong to a ‘blogging mastermind’ group. The next time we meet I want to be able to offer more to the group and have some good suggestions, I found myself taking more than giving and I don’t like those scales to be unbalanced. But the others didn’t seem to mind, they were happy to help and I’m very appreciative. The experiment was a success!

Making it a habit

A few days leading up to this I found myself getting nervous and wondering if the people I meet will be way ahead of me in their blogging prowess, or if they would all be awkward and silent, or even worse if they liked me and wanted me to come back for the next one… Do I want another commitment???

Seth Godin refers to this as ‘the lizard brain‘ and he regularly speaks about why we need to beat it back as vehemently as possible. When we are scared of something, that usually means we need to go towards it. We are often more scared of the potential within us than actions we should take to reach that potential.

So now I have been, it was great, and I was able to successfully step out of my comfort zone to try something new. Just before this meetup I decided I need to do this more often, I need to get out of my comfort zone more often. If you’ve read any of my blog, you know I’m all about some public accountability so here it is:

Every week I’m going to get out of my comfort zone and do something that I’ve never done

Each week my comfort zone will get bigger and bigger, so each week will be a new challenge. Of course I’ll be writing about this so get used to that feeling of “That sounds cool, I should try something new, too,” because I want you to feel that. If you’re reading this I want you to take something away from it and get better, so what are you going to do this week to get out of your comfort zone?

Please let me know what you do to get out of your comfort zone, it can be small – not everyone has a large comfort zone – but if it pushes you, that’s what matters!

Connect with me on Twitter or Linkedin, I’d love to hear what you have going on. 

Have a great weekend!