A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to present an award at the 2018 Lincolnshire Technology & Innovation Awards, an annual event that took place at the Lincolnshire Showground during a jam packed Lincolnshire Tech week that recognised the achievements, contributions and innovations of both new and established technology businesses across Greater Lincolnshire.
Now I’m a firm believer that growth only really happens when you step out of your comfort zone and take opportunities that initially seem daunting and intimidating, so naturally I said yes.
After all, besides potentially embarrassing myself in front of hundreds of the leading tech directors, business owners, developers, designers and creatives in Greater Lincolnshire, what did I have to lose…
Taking on daunting opportunities and stepping outside of your comfort zone is such an valuable and underrated tool when it comes to personal development and growth. It develops your self-confidence, it broadens your horizons, it gives you new experiences, it allows you to make new mistakes and learn new lessons, and ultimately it is the single greatest catalyst when it comes to your growth as both a person and as an individual.
If we stick to the same old routine, and the same old experiences over and over again then naturally we as humans begin to stagnate. We get used to things, we become good at them, and then we never really grow from there. But if every now and then a curveball comes our way, and we do things we’ve not done before then we really do begin to grow. As humans we’re built to do things, we’re built to grow and better ourselves, and stepping outside of our comfort zone is a sure-fire way to take a step closer to becoming the best version of ourselves .
“But what if I fail?” or “what if I don’t like it?” is the excuse so many people use when it comes to trying new things and new experiences. But so often a shift of perspective from focusing on the negative outcomes of the situation to focusing on the potential positive outcomes is all it takes to realise the significant benefit that comes when trying new things. If you don’t like it, then you can say you’ve tried it, and you’ve learnt not only the context of the situation but you’ve also learnt about yourself, and what you as an individual like and dislike. You don’t lose out from finding out you don’t like something, you only gain as you now know something that you didn’t before. You’ve actually gone and gained a bit of knowledge.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather regret the things that I did, than regret the things that I didn’t do. Don’t pay the price for your fear.
It’s also worth mentioning that as well as the opportunity to present an award, the team I was in were nominated for three awards; Innovation in Education, Digital Innovation, and Software Product of the Year and we were delighted to win the Digital Innovation award for a complex communications system that the business designed and built for one of Lincolnshire’s biggest companies. Over 120 award entries from 60 technology businesses across Lincolnshire were considered, and it was great for the team to be recognised for all their hard work in developing this product and their overall contribution to the tech industry.
It was a great honour to walk on stage and present both the winning award and the highly commended award for the Online Retailer of the Year, in front of a room packed full of Lincolnshire’s tech leaders, champion innovators and top creatives, as well as be present on stage for the presentations of the Digital Campaign of the Year award and the Creative Agency of the Year award.
Standing on stage and seeing the eyes of hundreds of prestigious tech leaders and digital giants staring back at me was definitely an experience I’ll never forget, and one that I’m incredibly grateful for, and one that truly took me out of my comfort zone and thus one that grew me as an individual.
So next time you feel daunted by an opportunity, or have the option to try something new, I ask you to grasp the bull by the horns and step out of that comfort zone, realise the potential growth of the situation and ultimately realise that nothing worth having comes easy.