Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Scary Stuff

A colleague of mine, Lesley, once shared with me that she does 1 thing that scares her, every day. This has been her key to growth and authentic success not only in her career, but in all areas of her life.  I too have adopted this philosophy. While every day I don't say to myself, "Okay, what's scary that I can do today?", I make sure that my tasks and projects are moving ahead and stretching me every single day.

Scaring ourselves a little bit is something I encourage my employees to do. It has become part of our long-term goal setting processes, and has an amazing impact because when everyone stretches that much further, the organization moves giants steps ahead as a whole.

On more of a day-to-day basis, what might doing something scary every day look like?
How about:

  • Raising your hand for that stretch assignment. You might not have done something before, but you're pretty resourceful and can make it happen.
  • Speaking up - in a meeting, to your boss on something you disagree about, to share an idea, to offer support, to put the brakes on that office bully no one else will take on. 
  • Adding value. Perhaps you're expected to do something a certain way because "that's how it's always been done." What if, just what added more features or more information? Or simplified a process? It might be a bit scary but the results may very well be exceptional.
  • Asking for feedback from an employee, a colleague, your boss, or a client. As scary as it is to hear what people think (and to try not to get defensive), their input and the ability to do more of what's good and to tweak what needs improvement - wow, that's pretty powerful.
  • Connecting and listening. Again, to an employee, colleague, boss, client. What if you just checked in and found out what's on their mind? You'll be better able to support them and do your job better if you listened, really listened, to what they have to say. 
Okay, so you know what to do. But you ask, "How do I do this?" And you're not asking about the mechanics of it. No, you're wondering, how do I overcome my fear to do something scary? By honouring your inherent right to be happy and moving forward. Here's some great advice from Ronna Detrick on "Kicking Fear to the Curb."   

What other daily scary ideas do you have? I'd love to hear your comments. 

1 comment:

  1. oh, Elaine....there's a theme we all have. To help me overcome my own fear, I've just created two commandments for myself ...
    1)Always make mistakes and 2) You can handle it.
    The first is liberating and the second is comforting. I know intellectually that doing what I fear inevitably results in growth, which is what I live for. It's the stepping out to do it that is that hard part!