Growth is Hard

It’s easy to start a new project. It’s easy to live in confidence some of the time. It’s even easy to step out and put ourselves out there for a new team, project or big dream of ours.

But to do it day in and day out, when we face the inevitable criticism, when we look back with yearning at our former comfort zone, when the new growth towards a new goal has to happen soon, that is when the temptation to turtle in and freeze up happens.

Here are three quick tips I’ve learned from clients and in my own career to push past the temptation to go back to an old comfort zone.

1. Notice the shell and make it small.

Sometimes when thoughts of defeat, doubt or overwhelm come, it’s easy to let them sit inside, ignore them or pretend they don’t exist. What’s even better is to write them down, speak them out, and somehow get them out of our own heads so we realize that, in fact by having those thoughts, we’re human like everyone else.

Even the greatest athlete, author or creative faces doubts. It’s a normal part of the growth process. It’s what we do with them that matters most. So, make them small by getting them out into the light. For when gremlins see light, they shrink back.

2. Live in the journey.

We’re on a road. And growing. Few of us start a job at 24 and are in the same job at 65 when we retire. Along the way, we have different versions of our career, seasons in life and chapters in the journey. Each person, job, role or other season offers us immense growth opportunities that, if we chose to embrace them, can lead us to even greater things just around the corner.

But it takes humility to admit we have to grow and courage to step out of our shell. Tortoises have shells for a reason. They’re safe and comfortable.

3. Live with the end in mind.

As a former educator, we were told often to plan with the end in mind. To begin with where we wanted our learners to go so as to organize learning experiences around the outcome instead of the present.

So it is with our tough, growth seasons. When I train for a race, I don’t feel like getting up early to run. And yet, I imagine what it feels like on race day to finish the race.

When I’m in a tough career growth phase, I often don’t like some of what I am doing; and yet I imagine where it will take me once I master this skill, conqueror this project or serve a client even better.

How can we begin to step out of our comfort zones? If you’re looking for clarity on your next step or before you take the next step, I’d love to connect with you to see how a trained coach can walk alongside of you to help you move quickly to the next level.

Crystal Gregory

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