So if you know me at all, I am always encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone, lean into the discomfort...just jump. I call it "nudging", but they may call it "pushing". Well, you might also know that I am BIG on "walking the talk". So I wanted to share some of my personal stories in regards to the above. They are not all stories of the standard of "success", but I do share how I used them to stretch forward. I believe that by sharing our truths, we can help others.
Last week was a big "stretch forward" week for me. It was my first time presenting for CUE at the first ever CUE BOLD. I went into this weekend, only knowing two people (HUGE leap for me to hang out with strangers for 2 days...big introvert anxiety), but man was it fantastic! More on that in the link below.
The second big stretch was that I recorded my first podcast! When Brent Coley approached me to do this interview, my first thought was "HE** NO!". I can kind of write, but have a coherent conversation, that others will hear? NO WAY! BUT, I didn't say no...what I actually said was "That is WAY out of my comfort zone, but I need to do it because I can't ask others to risk, if I don't". The topic: Stretching out of our comfort zones!!! It was all about us sharing stories of stretching forward. The topic is what sparked this blog post. I expand more on the CUE BOLD story and others, listen here: brentcoley.com/podcast . We recorded last Thursday and it was such a wonderful experience! Now will I listen to it? I am usure-(I don't want to hear my own voice), but I am so glad I did it.
I often talk about "switch flip" moments. A colleague asked me what that meant the other day. I explained it was the "aha" moment when something shifts in someone. Something triggered them to change something...a light switch was turned on. One of my big "switch flip" moments came as a result of reading Brene Brown's book Daring Greatly. The whole book was wrapped around this Teddy Roosevelt quote:
In the book, Brene talks about the fact that she WANTS to be in that ring...all in. I realized that I wanted to as well. I started stepping out of my comfort zone, knowing full well that I will fall...but at least I made the move. Last year I started using that quote with others: "Dare Greatly". I even gave the Roosevelt quote along with a plaque that said "Dare Greatly...#take risks" to teachers in our district that I wanted to celebrate for stepping out of their comfort zone. I LOVED seeing others take risks and the big pay offs.
BUT do your words ever come back to bite you? Mine do ALL THE TIME, but I love that. I LOVE when people put me in check...especially when those words help me stretch.
Last year I received my Administrative Credential, I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I knew that I wanted to move forward. A principal position opened up in my district...hmmm. I was actually told that I wouldn't even make the paper screening. My first reaction...recoil. But then I started thinking...well, if I go into this knowing I have NO chance, then I know I am just going in for the experience. I was wavering back and forth. Do I put myself out there and make the people I work with every day, have to turn me down? How awkward will that be? I was texting with a friend about it and her response "Come on, Cori...take a risk, dare greatly!". Well...what could I say to my own words except "Ok...I will!". I turned in my paperwork and low and behold...I did make it through the paper screening. Again...I entered the interview knowing the absolute truth that this was ONLY for a learning and growing experience. Boy, was it! I did not get the job and I am actually glad that I didn't (a story for another time). But I WAS glad that I put myself out there. I stretched myself and I learned a lot! I took all that learning about myself and the organization and have used it as I proceeded forward this year.
A few months later, I was messaging with a gentleman that I had met through Twitter. At one point, I asked him if I could interview him for a blog post on "innovation". He agreed to it, but only if we did it through Voxer. What the heck is he talking about? Well I learned it is a "walkie talkie" type app. This was NOT something that I wanted to do...I wanted to hide behind my keyboard to conduct this interview. I was on high introvert anxiety. Well, his words to me were "Cori, how can we discuss innovation if you won't be innovative in how we discuss it?". Dang it... he was right! So, I reluctantly opened an account and sat quiet. Next thing I know...someone else was invited to the "chat" and it was go time. I was introduced to the other gentleman and the ball was in my court. I had no other choice but to talk into this thing...EEK!
THAT interview was never written up, but I had no way of knowing that those two gentleman would make such an impact on me! I am so thankful that Jon Corippo and David Culberhouse stretched me in that interview (and continue to do so, daily). These two stretch my thinking like I can't even believe and they encourage me to stretch myself like I never knew I could. They have changed me for the better, and I am so thankful that I took that initial leap!
Whenever I even think of going into that recoil mode, I think of these two stories and many others. I realize where I would be if I took the easy, route...if I had stayed in my "comfy zone". I know that I would not be who or where I am in my life today. I now take leaps, know that I will stumble and fall, but also know that I will do so "daring greatly". I know that I will always come out with something positive as I reflect on the process, the learning and the journey and be better for it.
So my call to action...just dare greatly. It could be something as small as me speaking into the Voxer app...which lead to unknown HUGE gains.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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