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Courage over comfort – A career building mindset

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!

LET'S CONNECT

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Why This Job?

Why This Job?

 

Why is it that you do what you do? Of all the jobs and all the companies; why this one?

If you were to think back to when you said YES to the role that you are now in, what was it that excited you? Can you remember?

Interestingly, research has shown over and over again that it is rarely about the money. Provided our remuneration is OK, money rarely drives leaders to excel, to engage more authentically with their team or dare to venture into unchartered waters seeking the results they know are possible. What drives us is way more personal than that.

All too often we get so caught up in the day to day, busyness of our work, we loose sight of why we are here and what it was that sparked our interest in the role in the first place.

So why here, why this job?

This is the question I asked the leaders at a team retreat last week. There is no doubt that the question caught many of the leaders off guard. It is not something that we often think about.

For one it was because they loved the idea of working with a progressive innovative business, another saw it as a great opportunity for growth, while for a another it was that the role gave him the opportunity to continue to work in the retail industry without working weekends and so allowed him to get involved in his kids sporting activities for the very first time.

Why we do what we do is deeply personal to each us and drives a sense of purpose and meaning.   It connects our work with what is most important to us while keeping us engaged, even when the going gets tough. It directs our actions and helps us to stay focused and committed.

And one of the added benefits is that if fuels our passion. When you do work that is aligned to what is important to you it is easy to love your work. Your excitement will excite others who will want to get involved in what you do. As Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why and his block buster TED talk has said, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

Understand Your Why To Land Your Next Ideal Role

So how do you answer that sticky first question so often asked in a job interview; “Tell us a little about yourself?”

It is one so many of us have stumbled over in the past. I know I have. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of regurgitating a bland summary of our CV. When we do this it doesn’t give the interview panel anything new or substantial to help them see why we are the ideal candidate!

This question is the perfect opportunity to share with the panel what drives you at your core and how this matches with the goals and values of the business.

Recently I assisted a leader prepare for a job interview for a senior marketing role. By tapping into her WHY, Susan was able to not just speak about WHAT her skills were and HOW she had demonstrated them in the past; she was also able to clearly articulate WHY she was so passionate about the businesses primary product.

And did it help her land her dream job… absolutely. She received feedback it was one of the primary reasons she was chosen for the role.

The power of being connected to “WHY this job” is truly compelling.

It will drive outstanding performance, gently nurture you through fear and uncertainty and fuel your passion. It will stand you apart as a leader and have you recognised as the type of leader the organisation feels lucky to have on board.

So stop focusing quite so much on WHAT you do as a leader and start reconnecting WHY you do it.

Take some time to reflect on the following questions;

  1. What drew you to your role in the first place?
  2. Why did you say YES to the role and not some other role?
  3. Does the role still meet your personal WHY?

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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Businessman having stress in the office

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You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

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Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

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Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston