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Courage over comfort - A career building mindset

As humans we are wired for comfort. It’s why we resist change. It’s why we get stuck in a role that no longer works for us. It’s why we say no to amazing professional development opportunities. It’s why we avoid tackling the big issues or having the difficult conversations.

It’s easier to operate from within our comfort zone – but as they say – nothing good or exciting happens there!

I recently interviewed a wonderful female leader about how she went about building her impressive career. She shared with us that one of her secrets to success was operating from a mindset of Courage Over Comfort.

Throughout her career she had time and time again chosen courage over comfort – not only at pivotal career defining moments – but as a guiding principle for the daily challenges that came across her desk.

Choosing courage is a conscious choice. It doesn’t happen by accident.

It’s not an easy choice, but it promises huge rewards – including massive growth, expanded career opportunities, building an impressive reputation or the simple pleasure of proving to yourself that you are capable.

So, whether it’s making a bold career move, tackling a tricky team performance issue or saying yes to opportunity to share your ideas with the senior leadership team – imagine what could be possible for you if you were to choose courage over comfort.

Here are 5 keys to operating from the mindset of courage over comfort.

1. Trust in your greatest potential. The only way to discover what you are truly capable of is to give it a go. We do not experience growth and we cannot demonstrate our capabilities when we remain firmly rooted within our comfort zone.

2. Embrace the suck. Not everything will go to plan when you choose courage over comfort. It’s very likely you’ll mess up. It will be unfamiliar and uncomfortable. You will need to resist the tempting call of comfort and be willing to go through the pain. It will get messy in the middle – but trust the process and trust that the growing pains will be worth it.

Remember – we may shine most brightly from the mountain tops while our biggest growth happens in the deep valleys!

3. What if? Before you take the plunge to step courageously into the new or unknown – ask yourself “If it all went terribly wrong, could I handle it?” The answer, 99 times out of 100, will be a very big YES. If you did get yourself into a pickle, you would work it out. You are talented, resilient and you undoubtably have a track record of bouncing back from missteps along the way.

4. Allow your inner circle to have your back. We all need a cheer squad in our lives – and they are all the more important when we choose courage over comfort. Let down your defences and let others in to support you, advise you, hold you accountable and ultimately celebrate your wins with you.

5. Build the muscle. Every time you choose courage over comfort you will be extending your comfort zone. What once required you to take a deep breath and put on your big girl pants will eventually take less and less courage. Commit to building your tolerance for discomfort by consistently flexing your courage muscle.

Where are you currently holding yourself back by choosing to stay firmly within your comfort zone?

Choose courage over comfort today – knowing and trusting that it will be worth it!

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