By Christi Hegstad | President, MAP Professional Development Inc.
"Some days, my entire life feels outside my comfort zone," a coaching client, who was navigating an intense job, motherhood, and community involvement, recently shared with me. "I don't seem to just step outside my comfort zone, I full-on leap!"
How often do you move beyond your comfort zone? Some people thrive on continuously placing themselves in new, uncertain opportunities, because they know that's where their greatest growth occurs. Others prefer to remain "safe" in the confines of their comfort zone, even if they're not necessarily happy there.
Think of leaders you admire. I'm quite certain Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman and others experienced some discomfort and uncertainty in pursuit of their purpose. To fulfill our highest potential, model courage for others, and do our part to change the world, we must become comfortable with discomfort and regularly break free from the confines of our comfort zones.
To help make those necessary leaps toward healthy opportunities, try engaging these tips:
1. Connect the action to your purpose. When you clarify your values and uncover your purpose, courage multiplies exponentially.
2. Define your call-to-mind courage moment. At what moment in your life did you feel especially brave? Use it as your touchstone. I went skydiving years ago and now often think, "If I can jump out of an airplane, I can surely hit 'send' on this proposal!"
3. Identify your courage role model. Then, in moments of uncertainty, ask yourself what she would do and see if that brings you a new perspective.
"You can choose courage or you can choose comfort," writes Brene Brown, "but you cannot choose both." Ladies, we live in a time that requires extraordinary courage from each one of us -- to create the world we want to live in as well as the foundation we want to leave for our daughters. Be bold! Choose courage! Burst free from your comfort zone and experience the fullness that life, work, and leadership has to offer you.
Christi Hegstad, Ph.D. is a certified and award-winning coach, speaker, and author, helping people work with meaning and live with purpose. Connect with her online at www.ChristiHegstad.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ChristiHegstad.