Episode 272 Scary and Exciting

scary-and -exiting

Explore the balance between fear and excitement in pursuing new challenges and changes in your career, on this episode of Reimagining Success podcast.

In today’s discussion, Anna explores the intertwined nature of fear and excitement that accompanies any change in our lives, whether it’s a career pivot, new role, or business decision. Anna emphasizes the importance of leaning into the scary and exciting, finding the right balance, and embracing the discomfort that comes with growth. She delves into the evolutionary reasons behind these emotions and provides insights into managing fear, taking on new challenges, and seeking support. Join us as we reframe fear and excitement as positive signs and learn how to navigate change in a more enjoyable and fulfilling way.

00:00 Embrace growth and challenge your comfort zone.

03:59 Challenge yourself, derisk, and seek support effectively.

06:58 Adapting to changing environment, managing uncertainty and fear.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring – If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

Embracing the scary and exciting together in career and business transitions

You. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said this to clients, and I can only apologize if I’ve said this to you before, but hear me out. Please keep an open mind, because I think there may well be something new in the discussion today. And the thing I’m always saying is this scary and exciting tend to come together. And that’s intended to be reassuring. It may also be a little intimidating to recognize that any change, a career pivot, a new role, a new environment, a new situation, something new and exciting, challenging is always going to be a little different, a little difficult, and therefore a little unfamiliar and scary. And so I think when you’re experiencing those emotions together, that’s actually a good sign. Lean into it, embrace the scary with the exciting, and make sure that you’re getting the balance right.

So you don’t want the extreme fear and panic to set in. Consider the balance of, yes, this is exciting, it’s new and it’s challenging, and I’m going to grow from this and I’m going to get to where I want to be. I hope I’m working towards something that’s worth the fear, but I’m also managing the fear and the risk. So I’m not going to that crazy panic anxiety zone. So if you think about that comfort zone that you’ve heard people and probably me talk about in the past as well, your comfort zone is super comfortable. It’s not very scary, but it’s also not very challenging. It’s not very motivating. And in fact, I talked a while ago, a few weeks ago, about your complacency zone.

And that’s sort of the dark side of the comfort zone. It’s when you’ve become a little lazy. And I’ve been there, too. So I’m not calling you out by any means. I’m holding my hands up here and admitting that this is something I’ve certainly experienced and brought upon myself. So if you become complacent, there’s no fear, there’s no discomfort. Or in fact, the comfort becomes so comfortable that it becomes uncomfortable, if that makes sense. So it’s not very motivating, it’s not very challenging.

And there is a moment in life, a period, a season in life, when that’s nice to just kind of coast along. But there are many other moments, I think, when you want to get out of that comfort zone and to get out of that comfort zone, you want to get into your growth zone to grow, you need to challenge yourself, you need to try new things. And inevitably that’s going to be a little bit scary, perhaps a lot scary as you launch yourself into the unknown, but it’s also what makes it super interesting and fulfilling. So again, this duo is likely to appear together whenever you’re taking on a new role, a project, a career pivot, business, whatever it is. And unfortunately, there’s a scientific explanation for this, because it’s the evolutionary fact that the familiar was safe, the unknown involved, possible or likely deaf. We had to follow along what other people were doing. Belonging was really important, doing what others were doing, not sticking your head up in the animal world, the animal that doesn’t, the sheep or whatever, that doesn’t follow along with the herd, the pack is the one that’s going to be eaten literally by some predator. And although these days the saber toothed tiger is no longer an animal that’s going to attack us, it’s rather taking the form of a big presentation, a new set of a new job description, higher level of responsibilities, bigger team, unknown business environment.

Whatever it is, it’s not going to kill you. But there is a very scary, potentially painful fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of embarrassing yourself and fear of financial loss. Right. There is a possible financial risk involved in some of these career and business decisions as well. So again, the trick is to get that balance right. Too much scary and you go beyond your grace zone into panic zone, anxiety, stress. It’s too much, too soon and too little. You’re not going to get to where you want to be, and certainly it’s going to take way longer than you wanted to.

So as you’re considering your goals for this next stage of your career, ask yourself, how can you challenge yourself? How can you try something new? How can you experiment? How can you do things a little differently? Look for little projects, creative, innovative things to get involved in, maybe sidestepping into another function, upskilling in a particular area, taking on something that you might not have taken on in the past, to challenge yourself, to get into that growth mindset and the growth zone. So how can you challenge yourself? But then on the other side of the equation, how can you derisk it so that you navigate and you get the excitement? You navigate this change in a positive light, feeling a little exhilarated maybe, and stimulated and motivated and driven. But you’re not putting yourself in real danger. And hopefully there’s no saber tooth Tiger or Willie mammoth who’s going to trample on you. But even that fear and the financial risk can be very real, and the emotional and psychological risk as well. So how can you derisk this from that emotional, psychological perspective as well as from the financial perspective? And then how can you get the support structure in place? So whether it’s a coach or a mentor, having a peer support group, making sure that your partners on board, your family, and of course, looking at financial cushions and savings and whatever else, to manage the fear and to position yourself effectively. So you’re looking for scary and exciting. That’s sort of a given, but you want to make sure on the exciting side that it’s really worth the effort, that you’re motivated, that you’re working towards your definition of success, that you have meaningful goals and a vision of what you’re wanting to achieve, on the one hand.

So you’re getting more excitement, more meaning, more fulfillment on the one hand, and then on the other hand, you’re derisking on the other side of the equation, you’re reducing, minimizing the scary. So it’s not terrifying. You’re not completely traumatized and frozen in fear, you’re not running away from it because it’s so scary, and then you’ll just keep putting it off. So upping the exciting and decreasing the fear and the risk. And then again, how can you get the support in place that will help you to navigate these changes in a more enjoyable way? I suppose in a more comfortable way, perhaps faster, more easily than you would on your own. So, again, don’t be hard on yourself when you find it scary. In fact, it might actually be a positive thing. It’s certainly a natural thing that we all experience, whether we’re leaving a job to start a business or pivoting the business, or within the business, starting to work with a different kind of client or a higher level client or charging more money, we’re raising our prices.

Maybe we’ve been doing a lot of virtual online delivery, and now we’re going to do something in person. Maybe we’ve been in a particular department, and your manager has changed, the direction of the company has changed, the team has grown. The business environment is just different, as it always is in this VUca world, as they say, volatile, uncertain, complex, and somebody will remember what the a is. And so I’m obviously googling this as I write. Ambiguity, ambiguous, so volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous. That is the world we’re operating in, alas. And so within that, to be honest, it’s often going to be scary, right? So that’s the nature of the beast. But again, we want to manage the risk, manage the fear by making sure that we’re working towards goals that are really meaningful to us, that will bring us fulfillment, that are worth working towards, that are worth possible fears and discomfort and so on.

Along the way, we want to derisk it, reducing the extreme fear and danger and risk, whether financial, emotional, psychological, whatever, and look for support to help us to navigate that change. So again, you may have heard me say this before. I will say it again. Pretty much any call, whether it’s sort of a discovery call with a prospect, with somebody who potentially wants to work with me or a client that I’ve been working with, always when we’re discussing inevitably these changes and exciting new endeavors, there is that fear. And of course, that’s probably why they’re approaching me in the first place, because they are recognizing that, acknowledging that, and looking for support. So if you do want support, of course I’m here. You can find me on your favorite social media platform. I’m usually Anna SE Lundberg.

You can email me at podcast@onestepoutside.com and you can find me@onestepaside.com if you want to look into all my free resources, you can binge on this podcast, you can book a call, you can do all the things if you are looking for more support. But again, next time that scary and exciting appear together, lean in. This is a sign that you’re probably on the right track. So go with it. Embrace it. See it as a positive. And I can only wish you the best of luck. And I say the best of luck, but it’s not luck.

There’s an element of luck, but it is about you intentionally pursuing this path, leaning in when perhaps you most wanted to step back, lean back, and then finding a smart, sensible, but also a little innovative and exciting, a little bit pirate way of approaching this new project or role or challenge or whatever it is for you. So I’d love to hear from you as to the balance that you have at the moment. And of course, if it is more scary than exciting, then let me know and I’ll do everything I can to help you out. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.


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If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring

If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring.


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