The Value of Pushing Yourself

Sometimes in life, you get too comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a little comfort now and again but if you’re spending your life coasting, you are missing out! Landing in the right career, the right relationship or the right situation allows us to feel confident and fire on all cylinders. And that’s awesome! However, after a while, you reach a certain level of expertise and sometimes forget what it’s like to be the new kid. Our experience is so valuable but at times it limits us to thinking you know better and no longer need to experiment or grow. you may start playing it (gasp) safe and avoid pushing ourselves. Experiencing the unfamiliar, not only in work but in life, can help motivate you and those around you. Never underestimate the power of surprising yourself by developing new skills to make you feel invigorated and take your game to the next level.

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. There’s a rush that comes from experiencing something new. When you achieve a long-term goal that you never thought possible, it feels amazing and your confidence skyrockets. If you hate public speaking but crushed it when doing so at a recent conference, you feel like a superhero (at least for a few days!) That confidence then pushes you to attempt even more conferences or speaking engagements or other exciting and unfamiliar things. Getting up on stage might lead you to the promotion you’ve been dreaming of or a total career change. The possibilities are endless. You never know where you’ll end up if you’re pushing yourself on the regular.

Bring on the changes & challenges. Stagnation rarely leads to happiness and fulfillment. Doing the same old stuff and expecting different results gets you nowhere but feeling frustrated. If you’re floating through life not especially happy or engaged, then not making change isn’t going to get you anywhere different. Be willing to try something new. Start small. Take a creative writing course, go for coffee with someone you never interact with, start reading fiction when non fiction has always been your preference. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering change to teach you something new and make a difference in your experience. You may discover a passion for science fiction (reading or writing!) or meet your new mentor or best friend simply by taking small actions that are out of the ordinary for you.

Get up after you fall. It’s inevitable. At some point, you’ll try your best and it won’t go the way you planned. So what? In scenarios like that, what matters most is that you get up after you fall. Don’t let one situation prevent you from trying again. Persevere in the face of challenges and you’ll grow no matter what. Learning by trial and error is still a way to learn. Who knows what the next attempt will bring? Failing can be extremely inspirational not only for you but also to those who see you get back up and try again. It makes them realize that they can do the same.

Spread the disease. Growth is contagious.  We’ve all been in situations where someone around us was making change in their lives. And there are a myriad of ways you responded to it. You rooted them on, you called them crazy, you were extremely jealous but no matter what they prompted a reaction in you that likely had you thinking about yourself and changes you may or may not choose to focus on in your life. By working on and pushing yourself, you start to become an agent of change for others and that is pretty gosh darn amazing.

Not only is it a powerful motivator to challenge yourself, it’s fun to remind yourself of what you’re capable of and take things head on. Public speaking, karaoke, whatever it may be, we’ve all experienced that rush after you’ve conquered the unconquerable. It’s pretty sweet. Maintaining the status quo and carrying on as is really is no way to stay in touch with your inner badass, let alone let it shine to the world. Now get out there and start doing new things! You may just surprise yourself.

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