One evening last month, I had the opportunity to attend one of Chic Geek’s “Speak Geek Series” titled “Challenge Your Comfort Zone”. Founder Kylie Toh started Chic Geek because she wanted to see more women celebrate technology and discover their inner nerd.
The series features women role-models and community leaders. It was created to build meaningful connections between attendees and provide women the opportunity to find their voices and share their collective experiences.
During the event, each of the guest speakers had a turn sharing their personal experiences with challenging their comfort zones. After which, attendees were given the opportunity to participate in small group discussions with the guest speakers to share their own experiences.
The evening ended with some open networking and munchies.
During the event, I feverishly jotted down 5 pages of notes from the guest speakers. There were so many golden nuggets and “a-ha” moments, I could not keep pace with the brilliance being shared.
Dragon’s Den veteran Janie Fontaine, owner of Janie Jewels, an eco-friendly jewelry business located in Airdrie had much to say about confidence being key when it comes to challenging your comfort zone. You need to know yourself in order to get out of your comfort zone. Her advice was to ask a lot of questions and allow yourself to make mistakes.
Kali Taylor, co-founder of Student Energy, a global not-for-profit, encouraged attendees to not pretend to be someone you are not. She advised that when following your own path, it’s ok to get a little lost sometimes. Always be a trouble-maker – push the system to always be better. Don’t be afraid to change your mind but know what you believe and back it up. She ended her talk by saying to be fierce and not to let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
Karen Whiteman, Executive Connector of Social Venture Partners Calgary, started her talk by telling us “to put your big panties on and deal with it”! When pushing your comfort zone, look at your worst case scenario and ask yourself, “Can I live with that?”. Then look at your best case scenario and ask yourself the same thing. Follow up by asking yourself “Why?” and “Well, why not?”. Karen ended her talk by saying asking yourself “Why not” is a great slogan for an interesting life!
Final speaker of the evening was Anette Ceraficki, who leads a team that is building an online HR communications and performance management tool (after her idea and team won first place at Startup Weekend). Anette shared that the more you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the more you get used to doing it. Her advise was to at least try something for 30 days. The more risks you take, the more comfortable you become taking risks and your confidence grows.
At the end of this inspirational evening, it was clear that the magic absolutely does happen outside of your comfort zone!
For more information about Chic Geek events, including Girls Learning Code, Code Party and their “Speak Geek” series, click here to see their event page.
In house artist’s rendition of guest speaker key points.