Safety is overrated. It is a powerful motivator for us as human beings, but our desire for safety often gets in the way of becoming our best self. The path to exceptional runs through a valley of risk. In order to unlock your potential, you must put yourself in situations where there is a significant risk of failure.
I have recently had a couple of really unique speaking engagements that called for me to step outside of my comfort zone. In both cases, I tried to take some of my own medicine and be extra bold, to take the extra risks. As I stepped on the stage, I wasn’t certain if either presentation I was about to give would be a hit or a miss. But, I knew that I had to push myself to a place where I wasn’t comfortable.
And it paid off. The feedback was great from both presentations. And, as a bonus, I felt great about the experience. It was a great reminder for me that taking risks and putting yourself out near the edge is invigorating. It wakes up the “fight or flight” part of your brain which causes you to focus in a way that is above and beyond the norm. It helps reveal your best self.
Where are you taking risks in your work? In your life? Can you identify the areas where you are putting yourself out there, pushing beyond your comfort zone?
If nothing comes to mind, then I suspect you’ve been seduced by safety. And safety feels good. It’s inviting and comfortable. But safety comes at a high price that’s paid for in lost opportunities. Are you willing to keep paying that price?