Try it, you just might like it
“Wow that sounds like such an exciting global assignment. However I would never do that”
When I overheard this conversation, I asked them why would you say this? Never is such a strong word. Their response was that they would never work out of the country. They would be too afraid. My natural response was “afraid of what”. They could not give me a credible answer.
What is there to be afraid of about a career move that may involve living in another country? My thought is what would you think 20 years later about not doing it? Would you regret it? Would you be glad you did it.
I think for the most part we would probably regret it. At least you could try it because you just might like it. It seems like so often we love to stay in that comfort zone. We do not want to be stretch ourselves. Just the thought of inches out of what we feel comfortable with, causes us to go into defense in trying to come up with reasons not to do it.
We are all wired to operate in a zone of comfort and our daily lives are focused on doing the same thing over and over again. We could be blind folded and for the most parts the steps would be the same. Same patterns, same habits; basically same everything.
However when that opportunity comes to break that routine, we become uncomfortable and nervous. We easily avoid it by continuing to live the life the same way and we make sure that we are within our circle or that womb. That chance to enter uncharted territory, a situation where life’s future is unpredictable or we perceive we often prefer not to change, clinging to a comfortable situation.
I can remember years ago as I just got into my career getting a phone call from an event organizer asking me to be the keynote speaker for an HR event. My life went in slow motion as she was asking me this. I had been to numerous of their events and all the top HR folks are always there. But surprisingly as I had an internal conversation with myself, I said yes, no problem. By the time the phone call ended, I wanted to call back and say I changed my mind or better still say there is a calendar conflict.
I was comfortable being in the audience, I was comfortable being in the crowd but now I was being asked to stand on the stage and address maybe 300 of my peers. Like an athlete I started training. Wrote my speech, created a PowerPoint deck for hand out only (no PowerPoint allowed) . Every day I read that speech till, when I worked out I had it in front of me. When I commuted, I read it every day till I could basically recite it from memory.
When I got up to give that speech, I was so comfortable and it just seemed natural. I was a hit. I rocked it. When the speech ended, I had a line of people waiting to just say that loved my little talk, wanted more information or just wanted to drop off a card. I knew then that I wanted to do this more. I volunteered and look for every opportunity to get back on that stage.
Treasures await you!
Since that time I have given speeches all over the world. Matter of fact I just returned from Mumbai, where I gave a keynote speech and received an award. Next up is Lagos, Nigeria in October and South Africa in 2014.
All this happened because I STEPPED OUT. I moved out and took a chance and it changed my life. So next time that opportunity comes disguised as stressful and scary. That should be a sign that it is asking you to move out a little further out.
If you want to be successful, you have to step out, whether that it in small steps or a major leap. If it comes a calling, step up to the plate and give your career a chance. It could just change your life.