Encouraging Students Outside their Comfort Zone

Source: Forbes, Apr 2013
(see source’s comment section for my comment)

In an increasingly competitive, cautious and accelerated world, those who are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards.

… no worthwhile aspiration can be accomplished from within our comfort zone.  Only in giving up the security of the known can we create new opportunity, build capability, and grow influence.  As we do, we expand the perimeter of our ‘Courage Zone’ and our confidence to take on bigger challenges in the future.

… in todays competitive and fast changing workplace, we can never hope to achieve success unless we’re willing to embrace change and risk the discomfort of failure. In short, we must be willing to get comfortable with the discomfort involved with taking risks.

Throughout our careers we must continually assess whether we are letting our fear of failure or losing face keep us from taking the actions, and engaging in the conversations, that will move us forward and make the impact we want.  

being willing to take a risk doesn’t mean everything you try will work out.  But as every successful person will tell you, it’s only by being willing to make mistakes and try something new that you can ever accomplish more than what’s been done before.  As John F. Kennedy once said, “Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished with a guarantee of success.” Nothing ever will be.

Too often we let our mistakes and setbacks define us. Yet, as Dr Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology once said, “It’s not our failures that determine our future success, but how we explain them to ourselves.”   Likewise, if you knew that no matter what happened, you could handle it, what actions would you take that you aren’t taking now? What conversations would you engage in that you’ve been putting off? Where would you step out onto center stage more fully and boldly in your own life – and in doing so, open up the possibility for new opportunities, new relationships, new alliances, new ideas to take bloom?

Caste your mind ahead ten years from now and think about the life you want to be living then. What do you want to be doing? With whom? Who do you want to have become in the process?

Ten years from now there will be people who have achieved extraordinary success.  While we don’t know who they will be, one thing is sure  – they won’t be people who have stayed inside their comfort zone.  Rather, they will be people who have continued to stretch themselves, even when things are going smoothly, and who have  been willing to risk failure or looking foolish, knowing that the biggest risk they take is not taking any risks at all. The question is – will you be one of them?!

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