'Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride!” – Hunter S Thompson
As leaders, actually as humans, I don’t think we are made to find our groove in life and simply live in it. It is not until we are prepared to get out of the groove, which some may call this a rut, that we actually find our purpose, come alive, and are able to inspire other people to join us on our quest.
This means moving beyond our comfort zone which actually means being uncomfortable. If you are not being stretched, facing unanswered questions, being challenged then maybe you are in the comfort zone. We don't find what we are truly capable of without being tested, stretched or expanded. Have you let the passion to try be passed by the fear of failure?
For many of us, it is easy to 'get stuck' and therefore, miss out on the potential and the opportunities that lie before us. Three reasons I believe this occurs are:
New beginnings require new measurements
Sometimes, we can judge whether things are right or wrong based on metrics that are simply no longer relevant. Often, we will also judge whether something is right or wrong based on whether it comes easily or hard, believing if it is too hard, it can’t be worthwhile.
New beginnings require new ways of measuring and assessing if something is going well or not. By continuing to assume that the same rules apply as in the past, we miss opportunities to grow and make progress. It is important that you develop your own measurements of success early in the new beginning as this avoids the chances of being swayed by other people imposing their measurements upon you.
A new beginning requires giving up control
Generally we like to be in control of our lives and our futures. We are most in control when our future is predictable.
There is an element of risk involved when we give up control, however, it is only in giving up control, that we can really allow others in our team to put their best foot forward to positively impact our business.
It is during periods of challenge that we are much more likely to allow those around us to try new things, rather than trying to do everything ourselves.
Forcing ourselves into new beginnings is a way to remind ourselves that certainty minimises risk, and in business, profits come from risk.
New beginnings require leaving the system
Sometimes in life we can forget what the system is for, getting comfortable in it and ultimately, we end up serving the thing that was created to serve us.
Just like business potential can be limited by systems that we have outgrown, so to our human potential can be limited by habits which we are not willing to let go of despite having outgrown them.
Systems are an essential part of life, and for most of us, we require them to function everyday. However, it is important to evaluate the merit of systems, processes and habits in your life to ensure they are serving you, instead of you serving them!
There is a piece of each of us that leaps when we see courage in action – people making a new beginning. It is only when we step out, or come to an obstacle that we are forced to extend ourselves, that the best of us rises up. For some of us that new beginning or stepping out may be about stopping doing something rather than starting something new. This can be equally difficult and require just as much courage.
Be encouraged to take that step into something new.