By Sunny Simon

Six weeks ago Gina sought my help due to her job loss. It was the beginning of an emotional rollercoaster ride normally experienced by individuals who are tapped on the shoulder and given a message they are not prepared to receive. Many of us have been through it. The script begins with verbiage about a company restructuring and ends with the notice that jobs have been eliminated.

I coached my new client through rebounding from the shock, knowing she would eventually look at this as an opportunity to affect change. Gina confessed her biggest concern was the interviewing process. She had been with the company 15 years, hiring on after completing her internship. Gina’s resume showed solid skills and experience making her a desirable candidate for the right position. My client needed to regain her confidence and step outside her comfort zone to feel in command and market her skills in an interview setting.

When life boots us out of the nest, survival tactics involve learning how to navigate calmly as we charter new territory. I counseled Gina to acknowledge her fear as real but something that could be managed. Obviously, it would be too big a leap to immediately push her into an interview situation. We did some prep work and she learned to control her anxiety. I explained behavioral interviewing, how to maneuver through a panel interview and techniques of selling your skills at a job fair. Our next round to increase Gina’s comfort level involved several mock interviews. In addition to our sessions, she asked friends and family to interview her. Within a few weeks Gina was ready for a real life experience.

What about you? Are you too comfortable in a dead end job, or a stale relationship? Have you stopped taking risks? Do you consistently play it safe? Challenge yourself to embrace new experiences. You do not have to sign up for a trapeze class to conquer your fear of heights. As in Gina’s case, slow and steady wins the race. Start on the edge of your comfort zone by taking an elevator up to a third floor patio and spending some time enjoying the view. By gradually increasing your exposure to an activity that makes you feel queasy, you will adjust.

Expanding our horizons builds confidence and boosts our mental health. The brain receives additional stimulation, we become more resilient. The area outside your comfort zone can become your new normal. Make a plan today to take a few risks and embark on a new adventure.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at