Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Lately when I have had the chance to write, it is at my local coffee shop...in that space of time after dropping my daughter off for school and before heading into work. I like this routine, this sense of stability, but it was thrown off kilter this week with our field leadership in town for the week. A week of early mornings, late nights, evolving presentations, and constructive dialogue. That may have meant disrupting my “comfort zone”, but traveling that divergent path was very much worth it.
Over the past week, in addition to our various presentations and discussion, we heard from several speakers that challenged us in several ways. Dr. Bill Burrell, an Air Force veteran and ordained minister spoke about inclusion and diversity, the need for us to take ownership in our own actions and making decisions that we know are right but are often uncomfortable. Chris Fussell, a former Navy Seal and president of the McCrystal Group spoke about the need for leaders to bring together diverse teams, developing trust and communication in challenging situations. Joel Zeff, a motivational speaker, journalist, and improv comic made us laugh while pointing out how we each make choices every day that impact not only ourselves, but those around us, and the right choice is often means stepping outside what feels comfortable.
This week I had the chance to see my team in action, real time, depending not on slides but well developed strategies. Not defending past decisions but instead learning and reaching for the forward. Not believing that we have all the answers, rather listening for new opportunities and solutions. Much of what they presented I have been involved with or have at least been aware of. However, many things were new to me, following the general direction that we set together, but with new and fresh ideas. It made me proud as I learned about a new brand, a new business, a new opportunity that the teams have worked on collaboratively. Stepping out of their comfort zones and leaning in, working together as divergent teams.
Today, I am sitting at the kitchen table, having breakfast with my daughter while my wife is attending a Women’s Health & Fitness Expo. She drove there last night, 150 miles from home staying overnight for the opportunity to continue her wellness journey. The chance to meet her favorite trainers, experience new programs before they are released, discover more about herself and how she can continue further down this path she has chosen to travel. My daughter and I are talking about her job shadowing opportunity that is coming up, and the high school soccer practices that start this coming week. She made the JV soccer team, making the last-minute decision to try out, after months of saying she wasn’t planning to try out.
Comfort is a wonderful thing. There are reasons why we reach for it and sometimes truly need it as a blanket that gives us warmth and security. However, if we remain anchored to this, we risk never reaching new worlds, discovering new opportunities, meeting new people, realizing what we are capable of. This week has been a not so subtle reminder of the power and importance of stepping outside of my comfort zone, and I am grateful for my wife, my daughter, my team, and all those who took the time to remind me that outside of my comfort zone is where the real magic happens.
(you can follow me @rhoniball or connect with me at www.honiball.me)