By Kathy McKenzie, Director FIRE UP

If you think back over the past week, have there been any opportunities for you to challenge yourself and to stretch beyond your comfort zone?

Stretching ourselves often needs us to take a deep breath and dive in, but my experience is that the space beyond our fears and limiting beliefs is so much more than the space of staying comfortable.  The unforeseen possibilities that arise, the new relationships that form and the feeling of joy that comes from successful achievements.

I had one such opportunity on Friday last week.  I had just presented at FILEX (the largest Fitness Conference in Australia) on Friday afternoon and was breathing a sigh of relief that the weekend was approaching.  I was reflecting on my presentation, as I always do and thinking about what worked well and where I need to put more attention to improve next time, but overall was pleased with the response from the people who attended.

It was then that my opportunity for stretch arrived.

Bel Fong and Ryan Hogan, who are part of the amazing team that organises and coordinates FILEX, were faced with the dilemma of one of their keynote speakers informing them at the last minute that they were still in Canada and would not be attending!  Every organisers nightmare!  You have 160 people expecting to be inspired by an industry expert and all of a sudden you are faced with the prospect of having to cancel.  Not a good place.

When Bel and Ryan asked if I could jump in last minute I knew this was an amazing opportunity.  Both topics that the absent speaker had chosen  – Realising your Potential by Unlocking Mindset and The Power of Belief were definitely were well within my capability.  Both topics I have extensive experience in.  Ironically the only thing stopping me from just jumping in was fear of not being as good as the speaker I was replacing.  How ironical – planning to talk about the Power of Belief and doubting myself!

This is where the power of beliefs exerts itself.  We have limiting beliefs but we also have the choice to override those with more empowering and generally accurate beliefs.  I spent time meditating and recalling all the times I have had to prepare last minute and things went well.  I concentrated on the great people I had met Friday and the belief that I was going to be presenting to an audience who really wanted to learn and grow.  I thought about my belief, that from every opportunity we take another opportunity arises.  Focusing on these beliefs and then combining that with some visualization of the audience laughing with me, enjoying being in the space and generating some great learning, all contributed to me getting out of my comfort zone and as the over utilised quote goes, just doing it!

Saturday night as I relaxed back reflecting on the day, I was incredibly grateful that I had taken the opportunity.  Indeed I met great people as a result,  I learned about myself and got to impart to many others the importance of self-belief as I indeed had to step in and practice as I preached!

Watch for opportunities to stretch yourself – you are always capable of more than you think.

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