Is there some kind of a path to success and rising up in our careers?
A code for constant self development and confidence.
Let me show you.
In these four circles lies the answer.
We start at the comfort zone or your safe space. We have fixed routines, we do not try anything new and hence there are no challenges to deal with. We are relaxed.
When faced with the prospect of dealing with something new, for example, presenting on stage, we move into what is known as the fear zone.
Only if we are able to break-through the fear zone and go ahead with the plan, can we get into the learning zone. Unhindered by the fear and anxiety, we become unstoppable and independent.
Once we achieve this independence, we graduate into the growth zone.
Let us look at an example.
As young Deaf people, we are engaged in a lot of associations for Deaf people and their activities. Be it community events, presentations and seminars that we attend, we are always in the role of the observer. We are comfortable in that space.
Maybe one day, you are asked to engage with the audience and present on some topic.
As soon as we sense this change, from being an observer to being a presenter or a leader, we are engulfed with fear, uncertainty, and inferiority complex.
The initial fear and apprehension of not being able to put your point across clearly or making mistakes or perhaps being made fun of is natural. Everybody experiences these feelings.
If we don’t take the opportunities to leave our comfort zone, we cannot achieve success.
Beyond this zone lies the gateway to learning, independence and development.
Once you decide to take that plunge and go ahead, this determination to leave behind your misgivings about your abilities will catapult you into the path of creativity. It will open doors to new realisations making you a confident and successful individual who can achieve whatever goals they set for themself.
I will give you another example. Learning English!
As Deaf people we know that the current education system does not meet our needs. Lack of a clear sign language and communication policy in schools results in inadequate English literacy skills.
Teachers fail to provide accessible and quality education. Students have no option other than to mug-up and regurgitate during examinations. This is a routine which we unfortunately have become comfortable with.
Enrolling at the ISL Connect program may have spiraled us into the fear zone. It is a challenging new course. You might not have experienced this kind of an English learning program before. The classes are intense with teachers who expect your full participation. The activities and assignments are designed to make us express ourselves in English. Your mind may be clouded by doubts and fears; all reactions to stepping out of the comfort zone.
To quit the program is the easy option. To be back in the comfortable routines of life. However, if you quit now, you would miss out on an opportunity to reach your full potential.
Whenever you feel the need to leave your comfort zone, always choose to go ahead and give it your best. Keep trying. In the English classes, you will gradually notice the patterns, the errors, and grammatical nuances. Utilise the experience and expertise of the instructors. Study with your peers. Apply the different rules and strategies in your day to day life. This phase of trial and error will make you a confident individual, who can communicate easily in written English.
Remember! Do not get too cozy with routines and habits that do not push to become better. Accept the new challenges and experiences. Give it your best and go the distance. Face the fear and don’t let it shackle you. Once you start trying, nothing can stop you.