by Kati Hanna, Senior Consultant

When was the last time you had a true “Aaaha moment?”  For me it was recently while on a vacation with my family.  We spent a couple of days at an amusement park.  My kids wanted to ride a “high thrill” swinging pendulum ride, or as I would characterize it, “a wickedly scary ride that I could possibly die on!”  The line was almost 2 hours long, so I made the mental decision that I would wait in line with them and then bow out at the last minute gracefully.  When it got to be our turn, I looked at my kids and told them that I couldn’t wait to watch them on the ride, but I was going to stay on the ground and video tape it.  My daughter looked at me with huge disappointment in her eyes which immediately changed my mind.  After 2 hours of looking at this crazy thrill ride, I suddenly began walking to my seat.  As I buckled myself in, I started having a last-minute anxiety attack thinking it was just not possible for me to complete this ride.  Unfortunately, at this point it was too late and the ride began.   As the ride made its way higher and higher into the sky, I realized I had made the ride out to be much worse than it really was.   I started relaxing and found myself enjoying the ride. It was after the ride when I had my “Aaaha” moment.

I realized I had almost missed out on a great ride and even more important a truly fun experience with my children.  I thought to myself, “How many times in my life have I missed out on something good because I allowed fear or uncertainty to guide my decision?”

It is so easy to get stuck in your “comfort zone.”  That place you know so well and find so easy to navigate through.  The only problem is staying too long or too often in your “comfort zone” limits your personal and professional growth.  When you think back in your life to some of your most memorable moments, I’m certain you will remember times when you triumphed adversity, overcame a fear, challenged yourself beyond your own limits, or just took on a new challenge or chapter in your life and made it through.  These are moments that build your confidence and help you become an even better version of yourself.

Sometimes the older we get, the easier it is to intentionally choose not to take risks and remain in our comfort zone.  As a consultant and executive coach, I encourage my clients to challenge themselves and get “unstuck.”  The first and most important step is outlining your goals and determining the things that are standing in your way.  Often, you will find the only thing standing in your way is your own fear.  So get out there and take that crazy ride and enjoy the thrills that life has to offer.

A growth strategist guru, Kati Hanna has managed over 75 projects in a wide variety of industries during her 25-year career. She focuses her efforts on working with leadership teams to define goals and high-potential opportunities for growth; and managing key growth initiatives, marketing efforts and organizational implementation. Learn more about Kati.