Pushing boundaries - the Vampire revisited!


05-09-2013

We learn a lot from pushing our boundaries - stretching beyond our comfort zones, doing something new or unfamiliar - and handling the uncertainty that comes with it, says Hilary Jeanes of PurpleLine Consulting.


"Safe is risky" ~ Seth Godin
 
"Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear." ~ Cheri Huber
 
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." ~ Robert F. Kennedy
 
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We learn a lot from pushing our boundaries - stretching beyond our comfort zones, doing something new or unfamiliar - and handling the uncertainty that comes with it.
 
Whether we do that or not depends on a number of things: the challenge of the task ahead; our previous experiences of doing so - positive and negative; any assumptions we make and whether we are pushed (we feel we have to do it) or pulled (it's something we want to do).
 
Some years ago on a day out at Chessington World of Adventures, my teenage daughters convinced me to join them on a 'tame' ride - the Vampire. Now, I hate theme parks and roller coasters, preferring to have my feet firmly on the ground. But because they said it was OK to go on, I let my trust in them guide me and went on the ride. I held on for dear life throughout, while they howled with laughter at my white knuckles and terrified face.
 
Well the Vampire probably was very tame even then by many people's standards, but certainly not for me. My legs were like jelly when it eventually stopped and my ordeal was over. And unlike other boundaries I've crossed, I was sure I did not want to repeat the experience.
 
I remembered that experience a few weeks ago as my birthday surprise approached.  All the girls told me was that I should be ready in casual clothes at 7:30am.
 
What did they have in store for me, I wondered? Instead of remembering the lovely times we'd shared together, as the day approached my mind kept going straight back to that Vampire ride.
 
I asked them a few questions, which were rebuffed.  And despite assurances that we would be doing something I liked, I feared another Vampire experience or something similarly awful.
 
It was the uncertainty - the not knowing - which concerned me most. Does this sound familiar?
 
When pushing boundaries, there are few things which can help, such as:
 
- confidence in your own ability to handle whatever comes your way
- a desire to explore the 'unknown'
- your attitude to risk
- your tolerance of 'failure'
- acceptance of the consequences
- a willingness to learn, especially from any mistakes you've made.
 
Focusing on what is happening in the moment can help, just taking one step at a time.
 
So what had the girls organised for my surprise? I shouldn't have worried. It was a trip to London and a spa day with them both at the Sanctuary in Covent Garden. Bliss! And a wonderful way to spend my birthday. 
 
There is always learning in pushing your boundaries …
If pushing YOUR boundaries feels scary, listen to Giles Duley's stories in this video.
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Hilary Jeanes supports individuals and teams overcome their challenges and achieve the results they want in their working lives. Contact her on 01763 245323 or by emailing Hilary@PurpleLineConsulting.co.uk
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Working with you to realise your potential at work by

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Hilary Jeanes (trading as PurpleLine Consulting Limited)