Last Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity to be a student, and I have to say, it was fantastic.  As someone who speaks to large corporate groups on a regular basis, it’s been quite a while since I was in the position of walking into a training as a learner, having a vague idea of what was going to happen, but really having no clue as to what was about to unfold.  It was a good reminder to me of what my audiences may be feeling (and that I should probably mess with them just a little bit more).    

Since launching Hit the Deck last year I have been drinking from a fire hose.  I jumped in over my head only to realize the extent of the leap after I had left solid ground.  And my life will never be the same.  

Before the launch I had become very comfortable in my career.  I had clients calling me to do work on a regular basis.  When I wasn’t traveling and speaking I was meeting people for long lunches, puttering in the garden, shopping and trying to find things to do.  Sounds great, right?  Actually, I hated it.  I felt guilty on the days I wasn’t working.  At the end of the day I had no sense of accomplishment.  I hadn’t had any new experiences.  I felt ashamed for wasting my talents.  So I decided I needed to get uncomfortable.

And boy did I.  

First of all, I had to put my money where my mouth was.  I had an idea I thought was great.  I believed in it and I believed in myself.  But did I believe enough to invest a substantial amount of my own money in it?  That was a huge decision.  I am very careful in how I manage my finances and the thought of losing money or going in to debt can send me right into coronary arrest.  I do believe in myself.  I know for a fact I will always land on my feet.  I may have a nervous breakdown along the way, but I WILL survive.  I had to learn about the printing industry.  I had to learn about package design.  I had to figure out how to source goods.  Then when the product was done I had the realizing that those months of hard work were actually the easy part!  Ha!  The joke is on me!  The challenging piece now is the marketing, selling, and distribution. (Anyone know of any good distributors or sales people?  Seriously…)

I’ve also stopped reading so much fiction.  I am a voracious reader and I love a good book.  My primary source of reading now consists of the latest research in exercise physiology and nutrition.  It’s also marketing books, coaching books, and books written by inspirational leaders.  Nerd!  And proud to be one….

I’ve started networking again.  I am meeting some amazing people and making a point of surrounding myself with people who will support me and from whom I can learn from.  (Perhaps I should consult one of them to make sure I should have used the word “whom” and not “who”?) Anyway, these people inspire me and I have the opportunity and responsibility to inspire them as well.  Many people have helped me along my journey and I can’t wait to pay it forward.

My point is that as adults we have a tendency to slip into our comfort zone and put it on auto-pilot.  That’s not okay.  I consciously work on not passing judgement on how other people live their lives, but as Nelson Mandela said “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”  It doesn’t serve your spouse, partner or significant other.  It doesn’t serve your family or children.  It doesn’t serve your community.  It doesn’t serve your health.  It doesn’t serve your career.  It doesn’t serve you.

Get out of your comfort zone.  Your comfort zone is directly proportional to your success zone.  If your comfort zone is small, your success zone will be as well.  Get out of your comfort zone.  It doesn’t have to be huge – just do something that’s a little out of your ordinary routine.  You are either growing or you’re dying.  It’s your choice. 

Learn.  When was the last time you learned something new?  Other than who got voted off the latest reality series….  Read something.  Go to a class.  Have conversations about things and ideas instead of people.  Find a mentor who can help you, guide you and who will share what has made them successful.  

Last week was a great opportunity for me to push further and to make some new commitments to myself and I’m holding myself accountable.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be drinking out of 2 fire hoses soon.  And I’m okay with that.  

One fire hose was getting sort of comfortable….

 

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