Amanda Lang, business journalist and author of The Beauty of Discomfort, says that doing things differently requires a little muscle power and that if you teach yourself to embrace this uncertainty you can thrive.

Our fear of change is evolutionary. “Anything that’s different from what we have done or know presents a risk,” says Lang. “And on the primal level, we experience that as a feat of death, which is absolute failure.”

“Discomfort works; it’s a signal that its time to do something, that you’re in a place where change is possible. Once you’ve learned what your discomfort with change feels like, you know you need to activate a strategy to help you through it.”

START SMALL. “If you’re a shy person, picking up the phone and calling someone you don’t know can be really difficult. So make that effort in small steps – volunteer to make fundraising calls for a charity, for example.”

VISUALIZATION IS KEY. “Once, I had to give a talk, and the subject wasn’t in my niche/speciality – I was terrified. So I used visualization: My worst-case scenario was that I would get up in front of these people and bomb. It would be awful, and they’d hate me. But once I ran that through my mind and imagined what would I do if it really played out that way (which of course, it was unlikely to), I realized that in the end I would be okay and I would survive.

FAILING IS GOOD. “You learn something every time you fail. It’s a muscle you exercise where you say,’If I’m going to take this risk, I’m going to accept the fact that it might not be perfect every second, but I’ll be okay.’ As that muscle gets stronger, the discomfort you fear at the beginning will dissipate.”

Personal-finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq provides the sweet spot between day-trading and keeping your savings under your mattress.

TAKE STOCK(S). “The 2008 crash scared a lot of people out of buying stocks, but history tells us that investing in them longterm is still a good bet. Over the past 30 years, for example, the average annual rate of return for the TSX has been about 10 per cent. Savings accounts at a bank or credit union pays less than 2 percent. If you are buying individual stocks, make sure you rad the prospectus that is prepared by the company before it offers securities to the public.”

ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS. “Don’t ever invest in a product or idea that you don’t understand. If you’re working with a financial advisor, ask them to explain the fund they are recommending as if you were a 10-year old. Dig deep and ask what fees are attached to the investment they are recommending (front-end and/or back-end).”

TAKE A BREAK. Take your vacation time. “Studies show that employees who take a holiday and get away from work are more productive than people who work straight through. Sometimes in order to move forward, we have to step away.”

If Sir John Barnett (his real name!), celebrity makeup artist for L’Oreal Paris, hadn’t introduced himself to Naomi Campbell – against everyone’s advice – there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be once of Beyonce’s go-to makeup artists today.

ALWAYS SAY YES. “I studied art history in college. I started doing visual merchandising for the windows at Bergdorf’s and Barneys. I wasn’t into makeup at all. Then a friend of mine, Yadim, who was a lead assistant for makeup artist Pat McGrath, said they needed some extra hands at a show, and I said, ‘Sure.’ I had no idea who she was. ”

TAKE A RISK. “At the show, I met Naomi [Campbell]. I remember seeing her shoulders – she has this very great regal posture; she used to be a dancer. I thought: ‘Is that who I think it is? I’m going to say hi.’ Everyone was like, ‘No!’ Don’t say anything to her; leave her alone. It will be a scene. I went right up to her and said: ‘Hi, how are you?? My name is Sir John. I’m new with Pat’s team,’ and she was like, ‘Okay,’… and I walked away.”

FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT. “Pat asked me if I would be in Milan in two weeks, and I said yes. Mind you, I didn’t even have a passport. But the universe aligned, and I got to Italy. Naomi found out I was there because I was at the Dolce [& Gabbana] shoe, and she requested me to do her makeup for the afterparty that night.”

LEARN FROM THE BEST. “Then I started working with Charlotte Tilbury, who is still like a fairy-godmother to me. She introduced me to Beyonce at Tom Ford’s first womenswear show in 2010. She said, ‘Listen, I want you to do [makeup for] this girl,’ and she pointed to her name. I’d just finished doing Julianne Moore and Daphne Guinness and I said, ‘Which model is Beyonce?’ and they just walked me over there and opened the curtains. I saw this big gold hair; I started sweating and I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll be right back.’ I ran in the bathroom and called my mom. The rest is sort of [surreal].”

STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE. There’s so much competition nowadays. You can get discouraged by looking at everyone else’s accounts on Instagram, but as long as you’re being true to yourself and your art form and doing the best you can do, you’ll have no competition. Don’t be jealous of your friends; be inspired by them.”

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