Hello SOTGC community,
This post was inspired by a conversation I recently had via text with one of my previous colleagues. My friend Angie (featured in “The sexiest side of you is who you really are”) and I got to know each other while working at Salient Surgical. A couple months ago she left for a new opportunity in the same industry. She and I were texting about the recent interview with Jeremy “Leading From The Front 1” since Jeremy was her area vice president as well. We were reminiscing about old times, about the wonderful people we got the chance to learn from at Salient Surgical, and how things have changed and people are moving on.
I have a tendency to need to find the “silver lining” on any situation, mostly because my Mom has reiterated to me time and time again that “energy begets energy” and whatever I put out there, is what I will get back. So as we were laughing about old time and missing the people who we will no longer be working with, I mentioned something along the lines of “well sometimes it takes a being tossed into the “uncomfortable” to force us make the changes we know we need to make, but have been too comfortable to do.” She agreed and we wrapped up the conversation shortly after.
This got me thinking. Over the past year I have been forced to deal with and adjust to many changes. On a personal, romantic, and work level…there have been 180 degree changes that have happened gradually or overnight, and continue to happen. None of them are fun to deal with and many have sent me into a spiral of “what the heck is it all for?” mentality for a time. That being said, this is life. The only constants we can expect from life are taxes, change, death, and the fact almost everything tastes better with Sriracha. Very few of us embrace any of these (especially taxes) because it forces us to move from “this is my happy zone” into “holy cow pies! What is going on here?!”
I used to love watching the nature channel…for about twenty minutes at a time (as this was as long as my ADHD mind would allow for me to observe something I couldn’t interact with.) I remember watching this segment on baby birds and their parents. How their mother and father would hunt for and then feed them when they were too young to leave the nest. I am thankful every day that I was not born a bird because having my parents barf meshed up mice and worms into my throat is not my idea of yummy cuisine. Yet each parent, after spending weeks protecting, feeding, and nurturing their young, would at some point toss them out of the safety of the nest, and force them to fly and face the real world. There was no “well if THIS isn’t comfortable for you, then go ahead and live at home for the rest of your adult life.” There wasn’t an option of “I understand you tried the real world and it kicked you in the head a few times, so go ahead and move back in and refuse to deal with change.” It was, “here you go sonny! Fly…or hit the ground, hard!”
As I’ve mentioned before in posts (Pressure Makes Diamonds) about how our greatest mentors (and the people we look to for help and development) will be the ones who force us out of our comfort zone. They make us take risks that are as uncomfortable as wearing skinny jeans for the first time or snowboarding down a steep slope when we are certain that the Bunny slope is where we belong. These are the people that “toss us out of the nest” no matter how scary it is, and also kick us into a “I refuse to hit the ground so I better figure out how these wings work….ASAP” mentality.
Then it makes me wonder, if no one ever “tossed me out of the nest”…would I make the changes that have led me to develop the way I needed and still need to? If we always stay inside our comfort zone (whether that is referring to work or personal matters) will we ever become the strong birds that we need to be? At the end of the day I am pretty sure I would have been quite content to remain within my safe zone on a regular basis. However, I am eternally grateful for the people and circumstances (no matter how annoying or painful at the time) that have caused me to stare at the ground as I plummeted towards it at an alarming speed, and have been forced to learn how to fly. And I hope I’m constantly surrounded by people that occasionally toss me out of my comfort zone so I may continue this development process.
How about you? Is there something that you know needs to be addressed that you’re too comfortable to work on? If no one was there to “toss you out of the nest” would you ever make the changes or try new things that you know would be amazing learning experiences that could enhance your life? Or do you remain in “comfort land” which is both safe, and unfulfilling? Which is better? Viewing the world from the safety of the nest…or the satisfaction of knowing we tried something new and different, and will have no regrets later on in life when we look back at our past?