In my business I never ask anyone to do anything I don’t do. It’s an integrity thing for me. I’m sort of a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is type of gal. After all, people don’t do what you say. They do what you do.
How can I ask my client to dare to launch their new business idea, have a candid conversation in a key relationship at work or home, apply for their dream career, let go of a past hurt, speak before a 1000 people or bungee jump, in short –play full out — if I haven’t done it myself?
Taking on others’ dares means my comfort zone is constantly stretched. But I didn’t always dare myself.
Several years back I did an end-of-the-year review on my professional and personal life. I was gravely disappointed by one of my answers.
The question was: “Where have you failed this year?”
After some reflection I realized there wasn’t an area where I had failed. My chest sunk. I knew the point of the question: I had not stretched or taken enough risks during the year.
It was a pivotal moment for me.
A key part to growing is being able to fail and fail often. The only way for us to grow is do things that feel risky.
When we don’t take risks it means our Genius is withheld and our people, tribe, and world suffer. Practically speaking, it means our art is not enjoyed, our products don’t help people, jobs aren’t sustained, and lives remain difficult.
On a personal level, it means our life is never really lived.
To put ourselves “out there” means we must be “ok” that our ideas, decisions, writing, and products aren’t liked, aren’t rewarded or, even worse, are laughed at.
Can you handle that? I hope so.
I make it my personal business to get ‘comfortable with the uncomfortable’ everyday by challenging and daring myself to say what isn’t being said even if it’s not easy to hear or someone might not like me as much at the end of the day. I also have to be ok with being wrong and then adapting.
Am I scared? Often. Like recently, sick-to-my-stomach-scared when I shared an idea that wasn’t popular. But I consider taking such dares the cost I pay to feel alive and contribute my best.
It’s best to get over the thinking that it should be easy to do this. It’s not meant to be.
Perhaps Richard Branson sums it up best, “The Brave may not live forever, but the Cautious do not live at all.”
What leap or dare do you want to take?
Whatever you choose, do it. Then enjoy the rush of knowing you played full out based on what matters most to you.
P.S. (No, I have not bungee jumped. I secretly hope I don’t get a client that needs bungee-jumping to experience his/her breakthrough. But then I would have the dare of my year.)