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How our comfort zone ensures best gets in the way of better…

Judi in disguise

My godmother (let’s call her Judi) has a lovely life, mainly running along one track and she’s happy bobbing along doing her thing. She doesn’t invite change and isn’t a huge fan of it.

She did the living and working in the Big Smoke thing, went travelling to far flung places, got married and started a family. I love hearing about Judi’s past adventures and sometimes feel sad that her life is so far removed from what it once was - she has changed so much. She no longer seems to want the adventures, the travels, the excitement. The Judi that was, has evolved into the Judi who doesn’t. And that’s perfectly fine if Judi is happy living that kind of life but I sense there’s a longing to try something new; over the years though, Judi’s confidence and self-belief have slowly ebbed away so I think she’s reached a point where she probably doesn’t think herself capable of trying new things.

She no longer works...

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Where does this confidence come from?

From an early age, we’re encouraged to speak in front of an audience – it starts with the school nativity or class assembly when you’re asked to read out a few lines. Some children seem born performers and are happy to be in the spotlight; some who might normally appear confident little things when with their group of friends, actually become shy in a wider setting and nervously utter their given words; for others, they look like a rabbit caught in headlights as parents sympathetically look on.

As we go through life, we can make a choice as to whether we put ourselves forward to be the spokesperson for a group, become a debater, chair meetings or indeed whether we perform to a large audience - be it as a speaker or as an actor. Whether it’s part of the job or a volunteering role or maybe a past-time or activity, there’s undeniably going to be plenty of times when these situations might arise. It’s the confidence you have which will determine...

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