If you’ve followed my blogs or Facebook posts, you know I preach doing something out of your comfort zone regularly. It’s how we get better at things.
Do something new – you’ll be glad you did!
I realize now that I should add a new disclosure:
Try something new. But, be smart about it.
On our recent trip to Alaska, I was fascinated with lots of new things – the wildlife, the landscape, and especially, the Reindeer Dogs. On just about every street corner there was a Reindeer Hot Dog stand. I wanted to try one, but I knew I really shouldn’t. One – I really don’t like red meat , and two – I don’t like sausage and it doesn’t like me back.
But, for some reason, the challenge was on. It was something new and different. And, I kept thinking “when in Alaska…”
On our last day I was brave and tried one.
The guy making them helped me carefully decide which one to try – considering my non-meat eating habit and all. I got the mild one. He said I’d love it.
I didn’t even like it, but I ate it anyway. I’m not sure why I didn’t stop when I knew it wasn’t going well. The dog sat in my stomach and seemed to expand as the day went on. It turned out to be a huge culinary mistake.
So – now when I encourage others to try something new, I’ll add these four ground rules.
1) Know your comfort zone. Yes, doing things out of your comfort zone is healthy. But, really you need to know and understand what your comfort zone is first. Sometimes there is a fine line between stretching your comfort zone to grow and sheer stupidity.
2) Listen to yourself and follow your gut instinct. Mine told me it was a bad idea before during and after.
3) When you try something new and it isn’t going well, stop it.
4) Set yourself up for success. There is a time to be brave and try something new, and a time to learn from your past. I could have tried something new that was more suited to my tastes – like the stuff called Moose poop that was really chocolate covered blackberries.
Now, that would be a risk worth taking.
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. Check out her live and online communication skills training.
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