You know why it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. But is it always the thing to do?
Well, as my son used to say when he was 7 or 8 years old (in a very wise tone of voice)
There are two possibilities: yes, or no!
That always made me laugh, but — it’s true isn’t it?
Sometimes its right to encourage ourselves to step outside the zone of safety and familiarity. Other times it might be best to heed the voice that’s saying, “Wait a minute! What’s the hurry?”
Our Heart Magnet is an inner guidance system that helps us clarify the issues at hand when we have to complicated decisions.
Tuning into it’s messages can help us decide whether its time to take a step outside of our comfort zone, and when it’s time to stay put.
A client (we’ll call her MaryAnn) can’t decide if she should pursue an exciting new job opportunity, or if she should stay in the job she’s had for the past 12 years.*
This is a tough decision. Her present position is secure, well-paid and brings her a lot of professional recognition. But she’s been noticing a growing dissatisfaction and loss of motivation. This stems from feeling stuck, as there seems to be no further opportunity for her own professional growth and development.
She’s tested that out by holding conversations with her peers on her nonprofit’s senior management team in which she presented carefully thought out ideas for new, mission-driven projects that would benefit the organization and its constituents. She’s held individual discussions with her immediate supervisor, exploring what other opportunities there might be for her to contribute to the organization in ways that would both provide her opportunities for continued growth and contribute meaningfully to the organization.The responses to these efforts have convinced her that things are not going to change for her.
Soon after this became apparent, a colleague from another nonprofit reached out to her to encourage her to apply for a newly created senior leadership position. “This would be perfect for you!” she said.
Apparently, others felt the same way, because two weeks after her interview, MaryAnn was offered the position. They met her salary requirements and are willing to have her set her start date. The job sounds exciting…but it’s a stretch. MaryAnn isn’t so sure she wants to leave an organization she’s been part of for so long, where her role is clear and where she knows her expertise and leadership are valued. What if it turns out the new job and organization isn’t a good fit for her?
MaryAnn came to me seeking help in thinking through whether it was time to step outside of her comfort zone.
Using the Heart Magnet As a Guide
I helped MaryAnn use her Heart Magnet to attune her to the messages she is getting about each of the options before her.
First, she doe an exercise to awaken her Heart Magnet. (You can find that exercise at the end of this post). Then she pictures herself choosing to stay in her current position. She writes down the information coming to her from six channels: thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, voice (what she is saying and how her voice sounds), behaviors and intuition.
Then she checks out the information she gets when she pictures herself accepting the new position.
This exercise clarifies things for MaryAnn. She recognizes how strongly she is drawn to this new opportunity. After giving the matter further thought, including consideration of practical issues like employee benefits and job security, and assessing her own willingness to take the risks involved, she reaches a decision. She feels comfortable, confident and excited in preparing to step outside of her comfort zone. She accepts the new position, and gives her current employer two months’ notice in order to assure a smooth transition.
Awakening Your Own Heart Magnet
Perhaps you’re struggling with a decision in your own life. Your Heart Magnet might be able to help you out, but maybe it’s messages aren’t all that easy to recognize.
That ’s because many of us learned not to pay attention to it as we grew up. Instead we focused on messages about what we should do to gain approval from important others like parents, teachers or peers.
I’d love to hear from you! Get in touch here.
*MaryAnn’s story is a composite based on several client’s experiences.