Leading Authentically Means Trying Something New

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I have always wanted to have a weekend apartment in New York City- a city of pure adventure. But every time I would think about exploring that option, I would talk myself out of it. 

“It will be too much work to take care of two residences.”

“I do not have the time to waste to commute back and forth.”

“My life is in the suburbs and I am use to driving from place to place.”

“I am not sure I will be able to acclimate to a new life style.”

“Switching between the two worlds will be so challenging.” 

I finally decided that these concerns were just excuses that I had conjured up in my mind. There really wasn’t much truth to them when I began to analyze my fears. I pushed myself forward and my husband and I met with a realtor to find our perfect rental. I tried to imagine what my weekends would look like and how healthy it would be to ditch the car and just walk. I would commit to one year of discovering a different world and learning about living part –time in an urban community. That became my new mantra- I would embark on a YEAR OF WALKING.

 

Remaining in a state of paralysis instead of deciding to try something new can prevent many leaders from growing and changing. When we become fixed on continuing our tried and true patterns without stepping out, we cheat ourselves of evolving into stronger leaders.

I am working with a firm in launching a new mentorship program. There is a lot of resistance and paralysis in keeping an open mind about the benefits of mentorship relationships.

“We just don’t have the time to devote to mentees.”

“Why should we mentor them, when they are just going to leave for better jobs?”

“Our two generations don’t have much in common.”

“Mentors spend too much time talking about how the way things were or should be.”

“Mentors just want to mold me into being exactly like them, not supporting my dreams.”

 

 

Here are a few tips to help leaders embrace new ideas:

PRETEND IT IS THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Remember what it was like to put on a new outfit, have a book bag filled with empty notebooks and brand new pens? It was a new year with so much hope and promise. Try to key into that feeling and approach new concepts and relationships that way.  Look at that change as a blank slate ready to be filled in with new lessons.

SAY TO YOURSELF- WHAT IS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

This is a trick that I use all the time. When I am about to tackle something new, I go right to the worst-case scenario in order to put it out there. And I never get to that place again because as leaders we are always trying to make things more tolerable and manageable. It’s never  that bad, but by allowing our minds to think about it, helps take away some of the fear. 

TALK TO SOMEBODY

Holding fears inside and never allowing them to be shared with others can be a self-defeating strategy. Sit down with a friend, colleague or relative and open up about what you want to change and what are some of the obstacles. This back and forth dialogue can really clarify your move ahead.

Are you an authentic leader open to new ideas? How do you propel yourself forward?

 

(photo credit)

7 thoughts on “Leading Authentically Means Trying Something New

  1. Terri – the year of walking! How awesome is that!? Not only will you be physically walking more with your weekends in the City, but also encouraging all of us to walk to new places and experiences in our lives with an open mind. I also ask myself what’s the worst that could happen. Sometimes my what if thinking is hysterically impossible and that puts so much in perspective too.

    Here’s to a year of walking and trying something new!

  2. I am looking forward to expanding my world, Alli and seeing things through a more urban eye.

    I hope my post does excite others to want to explore beyond their own boundaries and not be afraid to try out the less known.

    Thanks for your support!

  3. Terri,

    You had me as soon as you talked about the dream of the NY City Apartment and talking yourself out of it.

    The rental is a great idea! I love that you have committed to a year of walking! I can’t wait to hear how your year goes!

    I have never been to NY but hope to during some of our travels to and from this foreign land. It would be fun to walk with you! 🙂

  4. New York is an amazing city, Chery and I would love to walk the avenues and streets with you any day!

    It’s funny how easily we can talk ourselves out of doing something if we have fears or reservations. We learn the most about ourselves when we tackle these new adventures and own the experiences.

    Thanks so much Chery!

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