Beyond the comfort zone 

Joining the Pink Spaghetti family 

You might be wondering what Pink Spaghetti has in common with an exercise class - let our co-founder, Caroline Gowing explain. 
Last month I went to an exercise class – new year, new me. It was a disco class - "Popfit", loud music and lots of dancing. Throughout the whole class all I could think of was how similar this class was to what I see in Pink Spaghetti life. Let me explain… 
Out of my comfort zone 
For me, I was way out of my comfort zone. I don’t do classes, I walk (a lot) on my own with headphones in, with friends, and I know how to walk. I can dance, but generally in a dimly lit room when more than a few drinks have been consumed which help me think I can dance. 
But today was a bright studio with people who knew what they were doing. I felt very nervous going into this environment, so I arrived early so I could get a place at the back. Despite it absolutely not being the case, our newbie franchisees may well feel like this when they arrive for their training - like the new kid at school! 
Imposter Syndrome 
We started the class, I started looking around. People were good. Some had stylish active wear rather than my functional t-shirt, some knew the songs and the moves, the other newbie seemed like she was picking things up well. Should I be here? Would I go the wrong way? Was everyone looking at me and instantly assuming I did not belong here? Perhaps I had made a mistake, perhaps they would laugh about me when I had left. We see this in our network, we have so many people who are fantastic, but doubt themselves. 
The class had 12 people in it, but I focused on the one. You know the one. Colour co-ordinated clothes, fab trainers, hair looked beautiful, didn’t seem to get out of breath, knew every move, even when she was turned away from the instructor. I made assumptions about her, assumed I could never be as good as her, and she wasn’t even aware. 
This happens in our network. We know (quite often in the run up to our conference, when new and experienced franchisees meet for the first time) they can assume everyone else is perfect at everything. 
I did not just learn from the instructor, I learned from other people in that room. The ones that were closer or the ones that were really good, and the ones that made eye contact and smiled, and of course the ones that were in view when I changed direction, whether at the right or the wrong time. Just like our network of franchisees with a wide range of skills, always happy to help. 
My confidence started at rock bottom, but as the instructor repeated a move I felt more confident – until she went onto the next move and I was left facing the wrong direction! However, practice does make perfect, and while most of the class is going to take me longer than a week to learn, perhaps in a couple of months I will look like I know what I am doing. Just like learning the right system we use for a client, or getting to grips with a new social media platform and learning to market a business. 
I am sure the instructor saw promise in me, as we do with our franchisees, I am sure she has seen this dozens of times, someone nervous who does get the hang of things in the end. It was a safe space, like our network. I am sure most people felt like me when they started, just like running a business – “nervous and excited” are the two most common words used when people start with us. 
I feel pleased that I have taken a step forward in my aim for even more of a balance as my children are gaining more independence and are needing me less, no one actually laughed at me, but I came out smiling. My comfort zone just got a little bit bigger. 
If you''d like to know more about joining our Pink Spaghetti 'family' as a Virtual Assistant business owner, do get in touch
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