Nancy Barkley Of Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways On How to Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone To Grow Both Personally and Professionally
An Interview with Maria Angelova
Traveling solo to a new destination and intentionally allowing yourself to get lost can be a rewarding experience. By immersing yourself in the local culture and exploring without a set itinerary, you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the destination.
It feels most comfortable to stick with what we are familiar with. But anyone who has achieved great success will tell you that true growth comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. What are some ways that influential people have pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to grow both personally and professionally? As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Barkley.
Nancy Barkley is the owner and founder of Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways, based in Philadelphia, PA, USA. As a goal-oriented small business owner, she possesses a superior understanding of the hospitality and tourism markets. With 25 years of experience in project planning and execution, Nancy is an accomplished global event and wedding planner who is client-focused.
Nancy’s knowledge and insights are highly sought after, and she has been featured in prestigious publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, Money Matters, Huff Post, CNN, Travel Market Report, and Travel Weekly. Her accomplishments in the travel industry have led to a career as a global speaker, where she has presented in numerous countries to both customers and associates. As a public speaker, Nancy brings her innovative approach, dynamic personality, and strong stage presence to engage audiences with ease. She is well-regarded for her ability to work effectively under pressure, adapt to changing circumstances, and inspire others.
Nancy is passionate about making a difference by giving back and is committed to volunteering for causes that help others.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Thank you for having me. I grew up in a row home in Philadelphia with an older sister and a close group of friends who remain in my life today. My passion for travel began at age 13 when I went on my first cross-country trip. This fascination inspired me to pursue a career in travel and tourism, working in various roles from arranging luxury leisure trips to becoming a Global Travel Specialist for a large pharmaceutical corporation.
In 2005, I launched my own business, Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways, to have more flexibility and control over my work-life balance while raising three boys. Since then, I have created numerous worldwide weddings, honeymoons, elopements, and vow renewals for my clients.
I am proud to have established myself as a global speaker and have been featured in prestigious publications. Additionally, I serve as the Chairman for the Wedding and Honeymoon Tourism Group for the World Tourism Network. I am passionate about giving back and am committed to volunteering for causes that help others.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“The only place success comes before hard work is in the dictionary.” This life lesson quote is relevant because it highlights the importance of hard work. Success looks different for everyone and it’s important to remember that it doesn’t come easy. It requires hard work and determination. I strive to work hard and do my best every day.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Coincidentally, I recently visited Savannah, Georgia for the first time. While strolling through Chippewa Square, I had the opportunity to take pictures of the location where a part of the movie Forrest Gump was filmed. This movie teaches us to never underestimate the impact that kindness can have. Throughout his entire life, Forrest remains honest, kind, and selfless, always striving to do what is right without seeking personal gain.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Let’s start with a basic definition so that all of us are on the same page. What does “getting outside of your comfort zone” mean? Stepping out of my comfort zone involves taking on challenges that I am unsure of or afraid to do.
Can you help articulate a few reasons why it is important to get out of your comfort zone?
Stepping out of your comfort zone is crucial for personal and professional growth. It can help you expand your horizons and improve your mental and physical health. For instance, getting out of my comfort zone has helped my business grow and physically by changing my exercising routines and meditating.
Is it possible to grow without leaving your comfort zone? Can you explain what you mean?
For me, no. If I had stayed in my comfort zone, I would have stayed at the corporate job which I was unhappy and stressed out about while raising 3 children. By starting my own business, I went completely out of my comfort zone and were able to grow in all areas of life.
Can you share some anecdotes from your personal experience? Can you share a story about a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone and how it helped you grow? How does it feel to take those first difficult steps?
Approximately 12 years ago, I was invited to speak at a wedding trade event in New York City. Despite having never spoken in public before and feeling terrified, I was well-prepared and delivered a speech on how to successfully plan a destination wedding. As a certified destination wedding planner, I was confident in my expertise on the topic but very nervous to speak in front of hundreds of people. My presentation was well-received, with attendees approaching me afterwards with questions and even resulting in new business opportunities. To this day, I keep a copy of the presentation on my desk as a reminder of the first time I stepped out of my comfort zone in my business and spoke in public. Since then, I have had the opportunity to speak globally on various topics within the hospitality industry and entrepreneurship.
Here is the central question of our discussion. What are your “five ways to push past your comfort zone, to grow both personally and professionally”?
1) Traveling solo to a new destination and intentionally allowing yourself to get lost can be a rewarding experience. By immersing yourself in the local culture and exploring without a set itinerary, you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the destination.
2) Set challenging goals: Setting challenging goals can help you push past your comfort zone by providing a clear target to work towards. To set effective goals, it can be helpful to use the SMART criteria: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This can help you create goals that are clear, realistic, and motivating.
3) Mentor others: Mentoring others can help you push past your comfort zone and develop leadership skills. For example, I was a Mentor for SCORE to help entrepreneurs starting their own business as well as helping planners that were looking to plan destination weddings.
4) Network with others: Networking with others in your industry or field can help you push past your comfort zone and make valuable connections. For example, attending industry events or joining professional organizations can provide opportunities to meet new people and expand your network.
5) Embrace new experiences: Embracing new experiences can help you expand your comfort zone by exposing you to new situations and challenges. To make the most of new experiences, it can be helpful to approach them with an open mind and a willingness to learn. This can help you develop new skills and perspectives that can benefit you both personally and professionally.
From your experience or perspective, what are some of the common barriers that keep someone from pushing out of their comfort zone?
Fear of failure: Fear of failure can prevent people from taking risks and trying new things. This fear can be paralyzing and prevent people from stepping out of their comfort zone and achieving personal and professional growth.
Lack of confidence: Lack of confidence in one’s abilities can also prevent people from pushing out of their comfort zone. This can result in missed opportunities for growth and development.
Uncertainty: Uncertainty about the outcome of a new experience or challenge can also prevent people from stepping out of their comfort zone. This uncertainty can create anxiety and prevent people from taking action.
Social pressure Social pressure, or the fear of being judged or rejected by others, can also prevent people from pushing out of their comfort zone. This fear can prevent people from trying new things or taking risks that could lead to personal and professional growth.
Complacency Complacency, or the tendency to become overly comfortable with one’s current situation, can also prevent people from pushing out of their comfort zone.
Social pressure: Social pressure, or the fear of being judged or rejected by others, can also prevent people from pushing out of their comfort zone. This fear can prevent people from trying new things or taking risks that could lead to personal and professional growth.
Procrastination: Procrastination, or the tendency to put off tasks or decisions, can also prevent. people from pushing out of their comfort zone. This habit can result in missed opportunities and prevent people from achieving their goals.
Lack of motivation: Lack of motivation, or the absence of a strong desire to achieve a goal or overcome a challenge, can also prevent people from pushing out of their comfort zone. Without sufficient motivation, it can be difficult to take action and make progress towards personal and professional growth.
There is a well-known quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “Do something that scares you every day”. What exactly does this mean to you? Is there inherent value in doing something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, even if it does not relate to personal or professional growth? For example, if one is uncomfortable about walking alone at night should they purposely push themselves to do it often for the sake of going beyond their comfort zone? Can you please explain what you mean?
Doing something every day that scares you” is a practice that can help promote personal growth. This can range from simple actions such as trying a new fitness class to more challenging experiences like speaking in front of a large audience. By stepping out of our comfort zones and avoiding complacency and procrastination, we can prevent life from becoming monotonous and continue to grow and develop.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
If I could inspire one movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people, it would be a movement centered around kindness, helping others, and paying it forward. I would call it the “Help Others and Pay It Forward” movement. It costs nothing to smile at someone and be kind. We never know what others may be going through, and if we all made an effort to help one another and pay it forward, I believe it would make a positive difference in the world.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
It would be an honor to have lunch with Malala Yousafzai. As the world’s youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, she is a true inspiration. I deeply admire her advocacy for human rights, particularly her efforts to promote education for women and children.”
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!
About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at [email protected]. To schedule a free consultation, click here.
Nancy Barkley Of Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways On How to Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone To Grow Both… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.