This past weekend, on Friday and Saturday, I coached and taught a group of highly motivated associates on client development. I shared with them that the lawyers I coach who do the very best, begin by believing in themselves. I played audio from two of those lawyers who said the most important thing they had gotten from the coaching was confidence in themselves.

In March, 2011, I suggested that a key to your success was to get comfortable outside your comfort zone. Over the last year, I have thought that it was easy for me to suggest it, but challenging since I failed to give you an idea how to do it.

Every major breakthrough in my career came when I stopped doing the same thing over again and did something that was outside my comfort zone. It was hard, so how was I able to do it?

I visualized what I would do internally before doing it. As you may know, before I gave my first presentation to a group of contractors in 1981, I spent most of the night before visualizing what I was saying and the reaction of the audience. Before every major trial, and even during trials, I visualized my cross-examination or my closing argument. Even today, I visualize presentations when I go through the slides.

Dr. Stephen Covey wrote about visualization this way:

Almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They Begin with the End in Mind. You can do it in every area of your life. Before a performance, a sales presentation, a difficult confrontation, or the daily challenge of meeting a goal — see it clearly, vividly, relentlessly, over and over again. Create an internal “comfort zone.” Then, when you get into the situation, it isn’t foreign, it doesn’t scare you.

My suggestions have no real meaning if you only read this and don’t do anything outside your comfort zone. So, I want to push you: In the next 90 days think about the most important thing outside your comfort zone that would advance your career. Take a moment and share it with me. I promise I will encourage you to actually do it.