“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.” George Shin
Stepping into the unknown is scary! We tend to gravitate to that which is familiar because we know what to expect. We take the same route to work every day because it makes sense. We talk to the same people at work because we are accustomed to them. We like what is known. It feels safe.
But I want to challenge you with this question – how have you grown in the known?
Stepping into the unknown does not have to be a major event, it just has to be a small step outside of the box. Here are 4 tips to help you step into the unknown and grow.
1. Engage a Stranger in Conversation
This task will prove easy for some of you, but for others this is a major challenge.
For those of you who find it easy to talk to others I challenge you to start a conversation with someone who can influence your career or personal relationships. Make the conversation meaningful so they remember you.
For those of you who find this very challenging, start a small conversation with someone in the store or in an adjacent work space. Common conversation starters can be family, current events or the weather (seriously, it has been 103 degrees where I live – that is a conversation piece).
2. Start a Project
Projects are a great way for us to flex both sides of our brain. Flex the logical side of your brain by setting a goal with specific steps to achieve it. Flex the creative side of your brain by actually designing and working on the project. For added stretch, recruit someone to join you in order to get fresh perspective as well as a social partner. Projects also add value because we have something tangible to be proud of when we are done.
3. Join an Organization
There are so many interesting organizations to be a part of. From non-profit to social, there is something for everyone. Facebook built in a new feature that uses your interests and suggests groups accordingly. There is also Meetup that offers tons of local groups. I have made life-long friends through Meetup groups.
Joining an organization can potentially scratch #1 and #2 off of your list, resulting in PHENOMENAL growth!
4. Take the First Step Towards Your Goal
Everything in life starts with small action. Take the first step towards achieving your goal. Want to lose weight? Start walking. Want to go back to school? Call the registration office to find out what you need to do. Want to write a book? Create your outline.
Gains are small and/or non-existent when we stay in the unknown. Be happy with where you are yes, but do not forget your potential and your purpose. As long as you stay safe you can’t reach your potential and will likely fall short of fully living in your purpose.
Good luck growing!