Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sherri Shackelford: Dare to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Congratulations to Cheryl on seven years of blogging! One of my favorite things about Cheryl has always been her willingness to experiment with digital media. She’s fearless in her writing, and fearless in her life. 

She taught herself wordpress and blogger and she gives classes on the subject.  For over seven years she’s kept her blog fresh and interesting. She’s not afraid of experimenting and we could all learn a little something from Cheryl about courage!

In two weeks I’m traveling to the Romance Writers of America convention in Anaheim and my hair has already started falling out. (Turns out, my hair falls out when I’m nervous.) Without my family in tow, I’m not a good traveler.

I obsess about what I’ll wear, I stage my suitcase, and I generally act like a crazy person. And that’s an improvement for me! I used to be really obsessive.

In 2008 I attended my first (and so far *only*) RWA convention. I remember resting in the hotel room while fantasizing about taking a cab to the airport and getting right back on that plane and going home – on the first night. I forced myself to stay, and each day got a little better.

I met some wonderful people, and I learned a lot about the business. Over the years I’ve made a point of pushing myself farther and farther outside of my comfort zone.  For a lot of people, fear of the unknown can be paralyzing: What if I make a mistake? What if I say the wrong thing?

The people who excel at their craft and in life are the people like Cheryl – people who are willing to make mistakes, and say the wrong thing – and do better the next time. When we refuse to challenge ourselves, our worlds shrink.

In order to conquer big things – like traveling across the country – I try little things first. I build up my tolerance by visiting the customer service counter. I used to hang onto clothes that didn’t fit or had a flaw because I feared a negative encounter with the sales associate. I don’t like confrontation. Unfortunately, in life, there are times when it’s unavoidable. By practicing on little things, it makes the big things a whole lot easier.

This week – be like Cheryl. Try something you’ve tried before, do something you’ve never done before, and challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone. Then stand back and watch your world expand!

One person who comments today will be able to read Sherri's book on their Kindle!

A wife and mother of three, Sherri's hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, "Why did I just come in here?" A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul. Her debut novel, Winning the Widow's Heart, is now available! She loves to hear from readers:

Order your copy of Sherri's book from amazon: 


  1. Also - I can giveaway a hard copy if the winner would prefer! Thank you, Cheryl for having me :)

  2. You'd never know you were out of your comfort zone at 'practice' yesterday! I agree--even just going to a major conference is a step outside my comfort zone. I'll do something new and challenging this week. Promise!

  3. Good morning, Eli! And thank you :)

    *lizzie, yesterday was certainly a trial by fire! I was so tense and wound up by the time the presentation started, I figured the whole thing would be a disaster...Luckily, it went off pretty well.

  4. I think you're the "pink of perfection!"

  5. I loved this blog. I never thought about other people being out of their comfort zone. I always thought it was just me! Some days just leaving the house is a big step. This book sounds great!

    tscmshupe at pemtel dot net

  6. Fortunately reading "Winning the Widow's Heart" isn't just within my comfort zone - it hits the sweet spot where history, humor, and suspense intersect in a great romance! Bravo, Sherri!

  7. Love this book!! I read it so don't enter me....but good luck to everyone. You'll be sure to enjoy!

    Sherri, you are such a wonderful person---try not to be too obsessed. :-)


  8. Sally, I know what you mean - sometimes just getting out of the house is a success!

    Cathy, awwww, Thank you!

    Robyn - you're so nice! Robyn helped me proofread the book :)

  9. Sounds like a great contest. I'd love to win.

  10. Cheryl always imparts words of wisdom :) Sherri I just started reading your book--Wow! Best wishes on your continued success! Hopefully, this won't post three times like the last one I commented on. :/

  11. I can hardly wait to read this one!

  12. Happy Sunday, Wilma!

    Avery, the gremlins in blogger are mischievous, that's for certain! They're always inserting little typos into my posts...thanks for stopping by :)

    Thank you, Lilsis!

  13. thanks for chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  14. I know I would be nervous go to a conference like that. I'm not good about going around a lot of people. And if I had to get up in front of a crowd and talk, they would be picking me up of the floor. I get nervous going to the dr.. Well good luck with everything. Thanks for the nice giveaway. If I win I would like a hard copy. Donna Harris

  15. I forgot to mention, your book looks and sounds like something I would like to read. Thanks for the chance to win. Donna Harris

  16. Great post! Winning the Widow's Heart sounds like a very interesting story. I will be looking forward to reading it.

  17. Sherri, Cheryl introduced me to your books a few years ago and I am a fan. This book should be as great as the others I've read. I don't have a Kindle, but would love the hardback. You are right about Cheryl trying new things. She is a woman who doesn't take no for an answer. My email address is Sue

  18. Sherri,

    Your story sounds just like a lot of us, I think we probably would not admit it though. That is what I love about all of you, you are not afraid to share it with us. Great books.

    Brenda M

  19. Apple Blossom - I love your blogger name! It makes me think of spring and sunshine :)

    Hello, Becky!

    Sue, Cheryl is amazing! I devour her books.

    Mickey, I get really nervous around crowds. Sometimes I have to sneak back to my hotel room and hide ;)