Everyone who works with me learns about how to navigate outside of the comfort zone. It’s a core foundation of developing Emotionally Intelligent Leadership.
Quick primer: We live in a world that is familiar, safe, trusted – comfortable. Something calls to us from outside of the circle and we have the choice to go for it (requiring we bust free from the zone) or ignore it and stay safe in the zone.
When we are at the edge of the zone, all kinds of uncomfortable things happen. As we make a decision to go for it or stay put, we can find ourselves tense, angry, depressed, fearful, victim-y, tired. We can have all kinds of thoughts and voices – “who do you think you are?”, “what would the neighbors think?”, “our family doesn’t do it that way,” “You’re too old, fat, young, educated, ___fill in your own excuse__.”
A key EI skill is to recognize the emotions and manage what’s happening. At the point of fear, the reptilian brain takes over and tells us to be afraid and flee or fight. An Emotionally Intelligent Leader gets conscious to that ancient brain and allows that other part of the brain to come forward, soothing the old messages and feelings and creating assurance and reasonability about the change that’s about to happen.
For me, it’s money and being seen. I can be sideswiped by my reptilian brain when I have “scarcity thoughts” or “oh shit, they are really going to see the real me fear.” I want to run back to safety. It’s a knee jerk reaction.
Then my EI kicks in and I positively talk to myself, I remember that I’ve had this fear before and it’s not real, I look for evidence that I’ve been successful. I also give myself permission in advance to make a mistake, knowing that it won’t be the end of my world but rather the beginning of learning something new.
I periodically ask myself where I am stuck in old beliefs, habits or paradigms and then consciously choose something to jettison myself into a risk, new behavior or updated practice. The result – expansion.
To expand in my money issue, I’m playing Robert McPhee’s Prosperity Game (you can find him on Facebook) which is challenging me to view abundance and possibility in new ways. Around being seen…well, here I am in active and visible communication with a whole tribe of people, willing for you to see me and know me.
I also forgive myself if I stay stuck for a little while, confident that I won’t stay stuck forever, and wait for the opportunity to have some new information that allows me to make an expanded choice.
Are you stuck? Need a hand up? I invite you to receive my F-R-E-E mini-audio workshop, “The 5 REAL Reasons Your Team is Not Engaged (and it’s not what you think).” I’ve got some great tips, based upon my years of self-development and supporting the development of my tribe of leaders.
It just might help you get unstuck. To get the F-R-E-E mini-audio workshop click here.