Neal Donald Walsch says, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I believe this is to be true. You don't know success until you try something new. You don't know failure, or how to grow, until you try.
When I was little, I always made my little sister be the guinea pig. She did everything first...try new food, jump off the diving board, you name it. She was much braver than I in that respect. As I grew older, and more ambitious, I became more brave. I realized fear makes you grow. Anytime you step out of your comfort zone, you grow. You may succeed or you may fail, but you definitely come out in the other side.
10 ways to push the boundaries of your comfort zone:
1. Start a blog! That's one thing I did. It's a scary, courageous, life-changing endeavor. The point is you're a leader and you need to encourage your people. Figure out the best avenue for you to accomplish this.
2. Be your opposite. If you say "no" all the time, try saying "yes". If you're critical, try complimenting 1 person for a whole week.
3. Vacation somewhere you've never been. Seeing things with fresh eyes always fosters growth.
4. Give a staff person a chance to solve a problem. Step back and let others shine. As a leader, not only should you not be afraid to fail, you should allow others to do so also. This freedom will encourage them to try again and will lead them to successful change.
5. Start small. Write down 2 new things you will try this week.
6. Find a mentor(s). There is nothing greater than trusted individuals that will push you to think differently and challenge you to act.
7. Be the guinea pig! Be the first to try something, the first to speak out/raise your hand, jump up in a meeting and be the volunteer when the speaker requests.
8. Attend a seminar outside your industry. I recently attended one for entrepreneurs and another on Christian Leadership. You can glean new ideas from people outside your normal business industry.
9. Give a presentation. The best way to learn is to teach. Try this in a small group setting to begin with. Grow from the feedback you'll be given.
10. Get out of your own way! Stop being afraid of what others think and have faith you can succeed.
In the words of Jon Acuff, "Don't ask fear for advice. You already know the answer."