I love taking on projects and responsibilities with which I have zero experience. In my current role, I have had to learn project management, BlueBeam and iPoint software, and process improvement. When I’m challenged to figure something new out, I’m excited to dive right in!
I’ve noticed that most people don’t share this excitement for the unfamiliar, especially my female peers. They make excuses why they can’t adopt a new process or tool, preferring to stay within their comfort zones.
By the time I was a senior in high school I had moved seventeen times and went to twelve different schools. Each time I walked into a new school, I felt lost and confused, not knowing my way around or having a familiar face to turn to for help. This discomfort would last several months until I would start to feel comfortable. Then it was off to the next school to start all over.
Learning how to live with this repeated discomfort made me more flexible than most people. And although I wished for a more traditional upbringing as a teenager, my supercharged adaptability that resulted has become one of my competitive advantages in my career.
Dale Carnegie said, “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”
We can’t grow unless we stretch ourselves outside our comfort zones. The unfamiliar is going to give us discomfort, and we need to embrace it instead of running from it. What lemons has life given you? Have you let those lemons sour your life, or have you turned them into lemonade?