About a month ago, my children and my husband embarked on the junior ‘go ape’ challenge. For those of you who are not familiar with ‘go ape’, this is an adventurous activity help up in the tree tops. The junior version involves zip wires, and going between the trees on ‘paths’ with various levels of difficulties.
These photo gives you an idea of what part of the junior Go Ape course looks like:
It was the first time that either of my children (or my husband) had done anything like this. My son, who is more akin to a mountain goat, whizzed through the trees. However, my daughter, who is only 6 and not quite as fleet footed as my son, struggled initially. The fear was clear to see on her face, and my husband had to help her through the course. My parents and I were giving her lots of verbal encouragement from ground level.
You could say, she was right out of her comfort zone. However, the second time she went around the course, she was smiling and flew around it. My husband, this time, was struggling to keep up with her. In fact, by the end of the session, she’d pretty much caught up in ability with her bigger brother.
So, what is the point of this story?
- Practice makes perfect, the more you do a difficult task, the more confident you become doing it.
- When you are right out of your comfort zone, it helps to have someone to pro-actively support you.
- There are always people around you who will seem to ‘get’ something quicker than you. However, it’s not how far or fast that you start, it’s about where you end up.
Now think about something at work which takes you outside of your comfort zone. How could you either practice it in a safe way, or get someone to support you to do this?