Leaving the Comfortzone
As someone who hikes year-round and with any weather, I know that there is no bad weather, just bad clothes. Of course, I enjoy a hike when it's sunny and warm. But when the weather is not so friendly, even challenging, you experience a hike much more intensely and the satisfaction you feel, when you reach the end of the trail is several times higher. The more you leave your dry and warm home to brave the elements, the better prepared you are and the more you know from experience that a sweet satisfaction awaits at the end.
«Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life»
The same is true, if you leave your comfort zone on a regular basis. It is still not comfort, but in a way, you know what to expect. You know, that you can cope with it and you know that you will learn valuable knew skills or grow as a human being.
Having been born transgender, the path to my authentic self took me out of the comfort zone many times. At each step, it took me some time, to catch my bearings, to realize, I will be okay. I am okay. Likewise, in my professional life, I pushed myself forward for more work, more responsibility. First, it was to suppress my transgender identity, later, it was because I loved learning new things, to engage and to develop others.
I got my first leadership role at age 23. The office manager had retired. At group headquarters, everyone warned my boss and mentor: She's too young. But he wanted me and I wanted the job, because I feared, the opportunity would be gone, if he hired a younger successor.
I was too young, in a way. I had little life experience and I had lead people from my age to 63 years old. I am still grateful to especially the more experienced employees for their patience and their feedback. You are never finished as a leader, but by the the time I was 26, and my high school classmates that had gone on to university graduated, I had already learned a lot.
My personal and professional trips outside the comfort zone have made me the person I am today and standing still is not an option for me anymore (as my BFF can attest ;)).
«If you want something you never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.»
PAY IT Forward
The privilege I have to be born in Switzerland and the opportunities this gave me for lifelong learning are something, I know, cannot be taken for granted in other parts of the world. This is why I have supported organizations like Aiducation in the past and will commit myself to apply my ideas and my energy also for regions of the world that cannot count on the privileges that I have known all my life.
Lifelong learners are motivated to learn and develop because they want to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act. And lifelong learning does not necessarily mean go back to school. Learning can happen anywhere. By reading books. By tackling a new project and acquiring knowledge to successfully complete it. By exposing yourself to new situations and being curious. By travelling to a foreign country and being curious about its people and history. And I have to add for myself, for me, the passion for being curious and learning also creates the wish to pass this passion on to others.
«It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.»
If this topic moves you as well, then don't hesitate to contact me to find out, how we can learn and make progress together.
Photo Credit Title Picture: shutterstock.com