When I looked back over my year of blogging, there are definite themes that I stick to in my writing. In the past few days, a few different people have used those words as encouragement to me: step out of your comfort zone, take risks, fail forward. I appreciate when people use my words on me, because I am big on integrity and I believe that the cornerstone of integrity is to "walk the talk". The thing is...I do those things every day. There is not a day that goes by when I am not stepping (or leaping) out of my comfort zone, taking risks and failing forward. The thing is...no one knows where my comfy zone is; but me. It's personal. I have embraced getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. What may seem like my norm, is actually me doing these things, continuously. This is important. Think for a second. YOU are probably doing the same...trying new things, thinking differently, making changes...but maybe you don't even recognize it. That is why reflection is so important.
I have also talked about the idea that everyone is on their own journey. It is important to recognize and celebrate moving from your own point A to your own point B. (Pretty sure that I borrowed that from George Couros in Innovators' Mindset). One can only do that, when they KNOW their point A. It is also important to note that change or movement do not need to be some grand event. It's personal.
I just finished reading UnMapped Potential and am currently reading ShiftThis. Both books discuss the idea of small, incremental shits. This idea is interesting to me. In the past, I have written that "small gestures create big gains." In that, I was typically talking about words, like telling someone you appreciate them, or thanking someone...I didn't think about it in terms of change. The funny thing is, a good friend has been telling me to focus on small changes rather than grand ones...but I didn't actually HEAR him until very recently.
We actually had a really good discussion about is yesterday. Before change can happen, there has to be a need for it. We agreed on this point, but the urgency looks different for every person and the change looks different for each individual. For many, the idea of change is overwhelming and fear inducing. It looks like a really large mountain to scale. But what if we look at change differently? What if we first focus on the small changes, risks, moving outside our comfort zone, that we do on a daily basis? Look for them, they are probably there. Gain confidence and strength in knowing that you CAN do hard things. Then...ramp it up. It's personal.
Here is a personal example: I am an introvert...beyond that, I am a shy introvert. People are pretty surprised when I share this with them. Why are they surprised? Well, when many people first meet me, I am in front of them, presenting something. What they don't know is that I am pushing myself out of that comfy zone...every time. It's still me, but it's me pushing. When I get too comfy at something, I look for opportunities to stretch. I add a new layer, try something new, present in a different forum. As with any risk, there are opportunities to fail, and I do. And with every fail, there are opportunities to grow, and I do. Whenever a new opportunity or challenge comes my way, I just go for it, because I can't ask others to do these things, if I am not willing to do them myself. So I make changes...daily...some small, some big, but over time they look like one huge leap.
So when I say things like: take risks, fail forward, step out of your comfort zone...only you know what that looks like for you. There is no comparing, there is no judging. You know you...celebrate you and your forward movement. Those small changes add up...take a look back every once and awhile and check out your journey, you may be surprised at how far you've come. It's personal.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.