I remember a time in my life when fear was omnipresent, and my response to anything new or different was no. I can honestly say when I reflect on those times that I don’t even recognize myself.
My way of protecting myself was to avoid anything that might be too adventurous or take me out of my comfort zone. I had done a great job of safeguarding myself in a cocoon of my own making.
The irony in this is that I was a professional change agent in my career, leading and consulting on transformation and change, sometimes on a massive scale. Maybe that I thought that responding with a no might keep me safe -for the record, it did not.
The fear that I felt usually gave me great hesitation and caused me to pause. I was more focused on what might go wrong than the thrill and exhilaration that I could experience.
My internal conflict was between staying in my comfort zone and living life without limitations. I had some intense conversations with myself over those years.
Life gave me more than my share of confidence-building events and experiences, which resulted in me having a tremendous sense of what I was capable of and my strength.
As I live my life now, I rarely find myself in a comfort zone. I am open to trying new things and experiences never like before in my life. I intentionally included the word Adventures in my company’s name when I created it in 2017 to remind me of my quest to find new and exciting things to do often.
I have learned a lot on my journey, from saying no to saying yes over the years.
The feelings of anticipation before doing something new can be like rocket fuel.
The experience of doing something for the first time can be empowering.
The emotions and thoughts that come after doing something that had paralyzed me with fear are nothing short of exhilarating.
The thing that motivates me to say yes and go for the adventure more often than not is the emotions and thoughts that come when I reflect on having done it.
I do so many things now that would not have been possible during my no phase. The growth to get here was not easy, and yet, I would not change a thing about my journey.
While I get to celebrate my growth, I must acknowledge two of the most influential people in my life. I worked with two of the most talented and supportive coaches of my career, starting in 2000. The opportunity to meet them and work with them for so many years changed my life’s direction in ways that I had not imagined before working with them.
I lived first hand with the advantages and benefits of working with coaches for two decades of my career. I know the value and return on investment of the money and time that I invested in growing in ways that I could not even fathom.
I have seen firsthand the impact that coaching has had on those willing to step into space outside their comfort zone. That space is only accessible with a yes response.
What are you willing to let go of no for?
This post is republished on Medium.
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