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Leaving my comfort zone for my “growth zone”

Most of us at one time or another have felt it: I know I could push a little harder, go a little further, try something out of the ordinary, but it feels good right where I am.

I am certainly no stranger to this feeling. When left to my own devices, that little voice inside my head has been known to tell me on more than one occasion: “Why try something new when you know what to expect with what you’re doing now? The unknown feels too scary, too difficult. Just stick with what you know. Doesn’t that feel better?”

If I let that voice rule me, becoming a coach would never have even entered the equation. I would have stuck with working in the industry I have known for over 20 years and with which I felt comfortable. But I knew there was something more out there for me to do. I knew my real strengths and passions went beyond my comfort zone.

And while I know that voice is never going to go away completely, what I can do is come up with strategies to override it when I need to silence it and push myself to grow. I’m able to tap into something stronger inside of me that says, “comfort is fine, but finding comfort in the discomfort is empowering.”

Recently, I went public with my career change that went beyond just sharing the news one person at a time. Using email and social media, my announcement felt bigger and broader – and scarier. In fact, I put off making this big, broad announcement for a while. I was too scared to spread the news widely because it made things real.

Lo and behold, once I ripped off that band aid, the responses and outreach I received have been remarkable. I’ve reconnected with former friends and colleagues, made new connections with people I never would have met otherwise, and the rewards feel extraordinary. I can honestly say I am not only proud of myself, but I have never felt more in charge of my own destiny.

I’m now fully immersed in my growth zone. And boy does it feel great.


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