Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone | Why It’s Good To Be A Little Bit Terrified

Here’s what I’ve realized about myself lately. I’m sitting in my comfort zone and I’m pretty comfy there.  Nice and comfortable. And in the zone.

It’s not working.  I need to make quite a few things better – but I’m a little bit terrified.  Terrified of getting started. Terrified of the time and work it’s going to take. Terrified of devoting time to something that may fail in an explosion of fiery demise. But I’m also terrified of everything staying exactly the same.

I’ve realized it’s time to make some needed changes – big and small – in my life.  Here’s how I’m going to get started (my skin is crawling thinking about all of these changes – who have I become?!).

The right question makes a difference.

I am comfortable asking questions, but usually I know the answer and am helping guide others to the result.  Right now, I really don’t know the answers and I need help. So I’m asking the right people the right questions.  It’s taken me a while to get to both.  I had to figure out who were the right people – by asking questions.  I had to figure out the right questions – by asking introductory questions.

I know that I don’t know what I don’t know.  And that’s ok.  I’m comfortable making small progress with my questions – and the related answers and gained knowledge – to help me understand the small next steps that I need to take to ultimately get where I’m going.

Yes, there are terrible questions.  But being brave enough to ask what you really need to know helps you get to the right question.  And that really matters.

Take the right time to make a decision.

I like to make fast decisions.  I’m pretty good at it.  I’ve done it in my career for decades.  My mind is racing all of the time – with ideas, with projects, with tasks, with goals, with dreams.  This often makes it difficult for me to

Stop.

Think.

Wait.

And when I do, it’s because of years of practice and a focused decision. I don’t like waiting or stopping.  I’ve realized that when I can accomplish both of these, my thinking is clearer. My decisions are more impactful.  My results are more effective.

You can’t wait forever.  You need to make decisions.  Be knowledgeable enough to understand what time you need to make the right decision.  Take the time you need.

Involve the right people in your discovery.

I like to think that I know everything.  And sure, I know quite a bit – but I don’t know everything. I’ve learned that it’s comforting to be in a new environment, because it forces me to learn.  Learn well and learn quickly.

When I’m trying to learn something new, I ask the experts in my life for help.  But I do it smartly – I ask specific questions that are purposeful to the task at hand.  See, asking for help seems like a lot of work, but asking one question that has a simple answer (even if I don’t know the answer) makes it easier for someone to help.

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Asking others also provides accountability – because someone else knows what you’re working on. And it provides a sounding board – if your idea really is terrible, your “right person” should be comfortable to guide you into a new, terrific direction.

Moving from terrified to terrific will take focused work and dedication.  You are going to be frustrated, tired and impatient more times than you’d like to count.  Oh, and it’s probably not going to be easy.  Sounds awesome, right? Yes, this is exactly how you need to feel to move forward, to stretch yourself and to change your comfort zone into a place of new discovery.

 

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