Friday, January 04, 2013

Stretching ourselves

I am starting off 2013 with a couple of bold steps outside of my comfort zone and am encouraging you to do the same. As Frederick Wilcox said “Progress always involves risks.  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.”

First over the holidays I signed up for an online writing course.   I know… I have been blogging for years but we can all learn and deepen our skills and that was what I was keen to do. Plus I’ve never taken a formal writing course.

Now I am still on module one and writing furiously every day to submit my assignments, but it is not so much the writing that is a stretch, but the willingness to sit back and let others critique what I’ve written - now that is the brave part for me.  I am feeling quite naked as I bare my soul and write about personal stuff. 

It’s funny though as the others submit their work, I find myself more wrapped up in their problems and trying to solve them, rather than actually reviewing their writing style.   I’ve also come to recognize that I have a ways to go in revealing all, as some of the emotions expressed by the others are so raw and the situations so serious.  It makes me pretty grateful for all that I have.

My second foray into the brave unknown is that I have joined a mastermind group. Now I have been in one before and can thoroughly recommend the process as one that makes you become more accountable and helps you move forward.  And I’ve also recommended that people check their egos at the door and maybe that is more where I am struggling.

Thing is, I basically know what I need to do, I just don’t have a forte or interest in doing it, so I am bound to get my knuckles wrapped.  It’s like I am setting myself up for the lecture, but then, maybe I need to hear it.

I know we will be talking about our challenges and I have difficulty “doing vulnerable” but I also know that in order to grow, professionally and personally, I have to be prepared to listen to some hard truths.

So what can you do to go beyond your comfort zone?  Perhaps join our mastermind or newbie groups, take a course, learn a new skill or volunteer. When you stretch yourself, it’s like flexing a new muscle when you work out, gradually it feels quite normal and the pain is gone, and you are ready to try something more difficult.   Maybe.

All I know is that my brain is on overdrive as I try to grapple with all this new learning but it feels good. Try it and see for yourself.

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