We’ve all been there…an exciting opportunity comes knocking on our door. Maybe it’s a job interview, promotion, or a new professional endeavor. Maybe it’s relocating to another city or state. Maybe it’s an invitation to do something or go somewhere. And although you feel a rush of excitement, this same opportunity can also feel intimidating. So you start questioning yourself. “Am I good enough?” “Can I do this?” “What if I fail?” Questions like these cause your confidence to take a nose dive, and in many cases, you talk yourself out of saying yes to that scary opportunity that could bring positive changes in your life. And you retreat back to the land of safety. The land of missed opportunities.
So how do you know if you should say yes to that opportunity despite those thoughts of uncertainty about your future success? I think it boils down to internally asking yourself one question: “If I accept this opportunity, will I be over my head or will I just be out of my comfort zone?” If you think you’ll be over your head, you will know it in your gut. And in those cases, it doesn’t always mean you should decline the opportunity–maybe getting help or support from someone with more knowledge or skills is all you need to be successful. Take the time to pause and explore that option, if that is an option.
But if your answer is, “I’m not over my head; I’m just out of my comfort zone”, then boldly accept that new opportunity, realizing that the reason it’s intimidating in the first place is because it is out of your comfort zone. However, know that you are fully resourced to be successful.
Like most people, I want to feel secure and confident in whatever I undertake, because I believe that my chances of success will be much greater. But if I stay at that place, then I’m only operating in my comfort zone. I’m learning that if I want to get better, I must stretch myself and lean into unknown and intimidating territory. When you lean in, you will slowly begin to feel comfortable with the uncomfortable. As Mark Cole, CEO of the John Maxwell Companies advises, “Live at the edge of your capabilities.” You will find that when you do, ironically, that intimidating opportunity later evolves into a sense of accomplishment of new and exciting endeavors.