“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

I honestly don’t even know what to say about this quote. What can I possibly add? This is something we all could really use to do. Perhaps carefully…but do it nonetheless.

We encourage our clients to push outside of their comfort zone, to stretch past what they know and where they are secure – where they are too secure – because this approach challenges them to their best leadership, and to show up as their best selves.

We encourage them to have the conversations they need – and don’t want – to have. To try a new approach with their team (or their family). To admit when they’re wrong, if that’s tough for them. And own when they’re right, if that’s tough for them. To speak out in meetings, and in situations that matter to them. Or to hold back, even when their first impulse is to always speak out. To do things that scare them.

It’s great that our clients have us to challenge them, but it’s possible for all of us to challenge ourselves, even without a coach beside us. Not only is it possible, but it’s important to challenge ourselves. And it’s also important to challenge ourselves within reason. While it can stretch us to do one thing every day that scares us, I’ve found that it makes sense to scare ourselves…but not too much. We need to push ourselves, but not too far.

If we go too far, if we’re too uncomfortable, we run the risk of taking on more than we can handle. If we’re too scared, we can be overrun with emotions and lack the rationality – and emotional intelligence – to be at our best.

It’s a fine, fine line. To push ourselves to new experiences and to try new behaviors and attitudes, while at the same time keeping ourselves “safe” enough to succeed. To be willing to be afraid, but not too afraid.

It’s a fine goal – to do one thing every day that scares you. It’s a goal that can bring us to our best. And when done smartly and intentionally – when we step thoughtfully out of our comfort zone – it’s a goal that can enhance our leadership and our lives.

What can you do to scare yourself every day? Click here to comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

If you want support in doing something scary, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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