What is holding us from starting something new? Leaving our comfort zone? Fear? Lack of self-confidence? No matter what it is, I imagine it as a monkey sitting on the shoulder. And this unfriendly monkey sitting on the shoulder let our new opportunities passing by. Nowadays we know that it is actually our very old reflex. It is supposed to protect us from the danger. However in today’s world where flexibility is an important value, this cheeky animal is not very welcome.
Last Friday I had a Skypecoffee with my friend who lives in France. We were talking about moving, starting from zero, searching new jobs and new life projects. She asked me how I do it, that I always have the courage and energy to start new things. When I look back I can’t even count how many times I moved and started completely new life somewhere else. Similar at work. I was usually having newly created positions or I was running projects unique for the company.
I answered that I am not thinking very much about it. Every time I have to open a new door, I am so much curious how it looks like over there that the fear is not in my mind. Later after the Skypecoffee I was thinking more about it. Here are some points, which I would like to share.
1) CURIOUSITY. What is now I know. But stepping into the unknown will bring new experience and that is so much refreshing. I can’t forget to mention the learning it will create.
2) FORGET PERFEKTIONISM. I can always use more appropriate words in the text or find better pictures for the presentation. What works for me is: Finished is better than perfect. Ticked off, done what is next?
3) DEVIDE THE WORK INTO SMALL STEPS. Every project can be a bit scary at the beginning. You will not hear this for the first time but people climbing Mount Everest are thinking to get to the base camp. And than to the next camp. Step by step. Until they finish on the top of the world. Small steps are more tangible. And as I am ticking off items from my To-do list I am proud of myself and feel motivated.
4) DON’T BE AFRAID TO DO MISTAKES. In order to be “less perfect”, I have to accept that I can do mistakes. Yes some mistakes are painful.
5) MAKE ACTION PLAN WITH THE COLUMN Who can help?. While writing my To-do list I usually come to the points where I have no idea how to handle certain challenges. I always have a column where I note names of people who can help. They might have more experience or know somebody ho has. This makes me feel that everything has a solution.
6) ENJOY DISCOVERING. The goal is not about what you achieve but about who you become. For me every new experience is like a journey. I meet new people, visit new places and taste new flavors. I am expanding my horizons and that’s why I like start-up moments.
And what helps you to win over the cheeky monkey sitting on your shoulder?