Leadership Insights by Jay-Ann Gilfoy
If someone offered you an amazing new job today, would you take it if you didn’t know how to do it?
I asked this question to someone recently, and she said, “If I had the full experience necessary, I would.”
This answer is unfortunate. It’s one that women fall into all too often, and it’s holding us back. If you want anything in life, you must be able to step out of your comfort zone and be okay with the potential of failing.
We’ve all heard that saying, “Growth happens outside of our comfort zone.”
Perhaps we need to really let that sink in: We do not grow unless we are uncomfortable.
I have experienced many failures in my life, and some of them have left lasting effects. I have learned how to pick myself up and moved on even in very painful experiences. One of the key techniques I use is to say to myself 'Put one foot in front of the other.' when I feel a sense of anxiety about something I am interested in pursuing but inwardly afraid that I won’t be able to measure up.
Why do I take risks?
I don’t really feel I am a risk-taker, but if I do take risks, it’s typically for two reasons:
- First, I am curious about why things don’t work. I look at problems as opportunities that I want to fix. Sometimes after I have said yes to something new, I fall into a mindset of ‘Oh no! I don’t know what to do’. Rather than panic, I start to explore my thinking, talk to others about the problem, read and reflect. When you are in a state of curiosity, solutions typically arise that push the boundaries of possibility.
- Second, I get bored of things being the same, and I seek out challenges - within reason. This need to move in a new direction while looking at a current situation with a sense of urgency, wanting to do something to improve on it helps me to view things differently and look at new possibilities.
At this point in my life, I know where my boundaries are and have learned how to go beyond my comfort zone enough to feel adrenalin fueling me but not so far as to feeling out of control or beyond my capabilities.
Taking risks that stimulate growth and the feeling of living life fully alive is a dance between understanding your boundaries and not being afraid to push up against them where growth flourishes.
Jay-Ann Gilfoy, a visionary senior leader who develops high-performing teams with a future-oriented focus on people, purpose + profits all operating at their highest potential. Learn more about Jay-Ann here.