This phrase has been resounding in my head during the course of the past week. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have the privilege and opportunity to participate in Leadership Iowa this year as one of 40 individuals selected statewide! I am thoroughly enjoying my experience and yes, it is definitely stretching me outside of my comfort zone and getting me to think outside of my tiny little box.
Last week, Leadership Iowa met on the topic of Global Innovation. Sounds a bit dry, huh? And, I admit, going into this session, I wasn’t entirely sure how it would relate to my work. I was (happily) mistaken! We talked about innovation itself. For the first time, I was faced with the question, what does innovation mean to me? The best answer I received and probably the most simply stated is this: Innovation is changing “the norm.” Thinking outside of the limits that you put on yourself or that may exist within your business or organization. We explored what holds most people back from being innovative from the book by David Owens Creative People Must be Stopped. For me, I identified reasons that are within my control- whether within my organization or because of my own self! It was a stirring moment for me. My biggest constraint is… me. Self-doubt. Lack of confidence. Acquiescing to other people’s ideas rather than promoting my own. Not wanting to “toot my own horn,” so to speak…
I was still mulling this over while I was sitting in church on Sunday morning. The pastor made a request: if you’re comfortable where you, it’s time to make a change. If we’re comfortable, are we making an impact? What are we doing to reach others? There are many ways I can relate to this request. Granted, the pastor was obviously talking about faith and spreading God’s love with others. Which, I could definitely spend more time stretching myself outside of my comfort zone… but it also brought the discussion on innovation full circle. What good am I doing not speaking up when I have an idea? What good am I doing sitting on my heals and letting self-doubt eat away at me? How can I break the ties and propel myself to the next level?
What’s more, is how this intentionalism can spill over to my training. I think I did a fairly good job pushing myself while training for the Tucson Marathon in December. But, what have I done since? Sure, I’ve added strength training and plyometrics. But, have I truly pushed myself outside of my comfort zone? No. Have I fully committed to trusting that this new way of training will, in fact, make me a stronger athlete? No.
It would appear, that in my year of being intentional, I have a long ways to go! It’s a good thing I still have 9 months to keep pushing myself to become an all around better me! Cheers!