Exit Your Comfort Zone By Mrs. Ngozi Oyewole
Founder, Noxie Limited and Board Chairperson, Strategic Women & Youth Institute (SWYI)
“ I am the Solution ”
I know women like titles like President of this or Chairperson of that, for me today, let us put all the tags down and I will introduce myself as a woman development advocate. We must abandon societal labels and adopt “I am the Solution ”
Whatever challenge you are facing now, ask yourself this question:
- What would you do right now if you trust yourself that, whatever happens, you can handle it?
- Just for today, decide to trust in your capacity to do hard things and choose self-trust over self-doubt and courage over comfort.
- Then tomorrow, do the same.
- Of course, putting oneself ‘out there’ – risking failure, rejection, criticism, and exposure – is easier said than done.
- It takes courage, the virtue that Maya Angelou called most important of all the virtues is “without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue consistently.”
Your wings are stronger than you know and will take you further than you think.
The last 12+ months or even 2 years and all that is happening now, have taught us that we human beings are more resilient and adaptable than we may often realize.
Not only that, but those situations that test us the most also teach us the most, building our ‘muscles for life’ to bounce forward from setbacks – better and braver – and find opportunity in the midst of our adversity.
Discover how to bring out the leader in you!
- know yourself
- Set short-term & long-term goals
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Build a network of contacts
- Be yourself
- Work on your self-confidence
- Educate yourself
It’s easy to identify problems, but not quite as easy to spot opportunities.When others see mountains as a hindrance, I urge you to see them as a rare chance to climb
The Principle of “Who you know”
This is the power of Networking.
Networking is not only about who you know but who knows you. You must find a way to make those you know to also know you, this is how you get to be recommended for jobs, appointments, positions, etc.
Another Principle is “What You Know”
- What is your level of education, skill, or knowledge?
- Are you currently updating yourself with the necessary skills, education, and knowledge for your field of vocation?
- Are you an employee waiting for your employer to train you?
- Are you running a business with obsolete or outdated methods?
- People are naturally drawn to persons with special abilities, knowledge, skills, talents, etc.
- Men and women of knowledge will always dominate, stand out, and be acknowledged.
The Principle of Doubt your Doubts
- Who do you think you are to do that?
- You are not smart/ talented/ experienced/ fill-in-the-blank enough.
- What if you fail? What will people say?
- Sound remotely familiar?
- Many women have a daily wrestling match with what is called ‘the obnoxious roommate’ in their heads.
- That critical hyper-cautious voice constantly second-guesses their smarts, pointing out their shortcomings, fueling ‘imposter syndrome’ and imploring them to play it safe and settle for the status quo.
- Regardless of gender, none of us are immune to self-doubt.
- Yet a variety of factors -such as a lack of positive role models – set women up to doubt themselves more and back themselves less than their male counterparts.
The Principle of Trust yourself, not your fears
- Cast your mind back to a big challenge you once faced that caused you to feel overwhelmed or anxious.
- Chances are you felt stressed you’d be unable to handle it.
- And yet here you are! Someone who is that bit stronger, wiser, and more resilient for the experience.
- The lesson?
- You are capable of more than you think!
- Now apply that learning to your current situation.
- What possibilities might open up if you trusted in your resourcefulness to rise to the challenges at hand?
- As we said earlier, You’ve Got This:
- The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself, learning to trust in yourself to figure it out as you go along will not only spare you a lot of stress, it will unleash potential that your fear may otherwise have held dormant.
The Principle of Connect to a purpose beyond yourself.
- Two key facts about the human condition.
- Fear is often not rational but it’s always the dominant default emotion.
- Without a compelling reason to risk what we fear, we won’t.
- This brings me to an important question:
- For the sake of what are you willing to be brave and put yourself ‘out there’?
- Answering this question will connect you to a purpose more compelling than staying comfortable and avoiding failure.
- For instance: achieving an inspiring goal, making a difference in the world, or simply because it’s just the right thing to do (i.e. integrity is a core value you won’t compromise.)
- To quote Kevin Cashman on his Live Brave podcast, “Purpose activates courage.” It compels us to go ‘above and beyond’ in critical moments and career junctures.
No Career is Linear
To quote one other leader in the CEO Speaks study:
“Don’t settle. Follow your passion and purpose…. leaving your fingerprints on every assignment that you have.”
– The Principle of Embracing the detours. No career is Linear.
‘One of the biggest decisions is to get comfortable with risk-taking, that is when growth happens,’ Ginni Rometty, former CEO of IBM and co-chair of OneTen.
Of course, not every risk lands a wildly successful outcome. Sometimes we don’t get it perfectly right the first time. Sometimes we do fall short of the high bar we set for ourselves.
Yet even when our risks don’t land our ideal outcome, we still learn and we still grow far beyond what we would by playing it safe.
Women are their greatest critics and have this idea that they cannot take a bigger risk and they always feel they’re not ready for the next step.
No path is LINEAR…
It’s why the dots only connect when you’re looking backward.
Learning to lean into the curves and using the situations that test you the most to teach you the most will set you up to bounce forward from disappointments.
You learn the most when you’re doing something you have not done before.
So go ahead and take that stretch assignment. Consider the bold job move.
Get out of your comfort zone and pursue your passion.
Make the conscious decision to get embrace discomfort. Not to make you squirm, but to help you grow.
Start acting as the leader you aspire to become.
Give yourself permission to step up before you feel fully ready.
And when you don’t land the perfect 10, extract the lessons and move on.
The world needs your courage, not perfection.
Dare to defy your doubts!