To grow change is necessary and to change means stepping out of our comfort zone. This requires us to do things which we have never done before. So unless we expose ourselves to new and challenging situations it will be nothing but status quo.
Especially as entrepreneurs we cannot afford to stay in one place and continue doing what we have always done. If we shy away from stepping into uncomfortable areas we will never know what lies on the untrodden path and what our true potential is, whereas if we are willing to try and experiment, believe me sky is the limit.
But how do we realize our limit, especially when the base and starting point of our life story is set by others, in terms of where we are born, our education, our environment? Also on a continuous basis there are external random forces which bombard us from all directions.
I believe that though a part of the story of our life is written by others there are plenty of blanks and pauses which can be made ours. The key is to identify who we are, what motivates us, what runs our life, what stops us, how and why do we behave the way we do. Start asking questions, especially the difficult ones, the ones which make you uncomfortable, which make you run away, for they will take you forward.
Most of the times we know what we don’t want but seldom do we know what we want. Spend some time with self, and ask yourself, “What do I want?”, “How do I want my business to look like in the next 1, 2 or 5 years?” This clarity will help you take decisions based on your plans for your business and not your present circumstances or constraints. The biggest challenge an entrepreneur faces is uncertainty and uncertainty leads to all kinds of fears past present and future coming right in front of us, ensuring that we freeze. Freeze…..no action or run back to our comfort zones. But the trick here is to create a story within the constraints thrown at us and expose ourselves to our limitations. Understand that change in behavior and our actions happen by design and not by accident. We have to work towards it. One of the ways to deal with change is to design our environment in such a way that we are pushed towards the change. Keep cues around so that we are constantly reminded and motivated to act the change.
Ultimately it is all within us to do things, but we have to make a decision, no one else can make it for us. Just wanting and affirming is not enough. The responsibility of tapping within ourselves and taking action lies with us. And the time to take action is NOW, not tomorrow or the day after.
Sometimes the best thing we can do to move forward is to take a step back. Life is a journey, take time to stop and check what has gone by and if I am where I would like to be. Take time to review and reassess whether I would like to continue on the same path or take a new path. We have to learn to embrace uncertainty, develop it as an art. Dealing with uncertainty should become a way of life.
And most importantly be gentle with self. It is okay to make mistakes. Key is to realize the mistake, take the learnings and move ahead and not let the error define who we are, and our dreams.
Make your own rules! Think Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Capt Gopinath, Aamir Khan, MS Dhoni….would they have reached where they are if they had followed rules as dictated by society and shied away from uncertainty?
Well said Deepti,
–be gentle with self. It is okay to make mistakes—
Guess here is where we tend to over-burden ourselves with guilt. We have been toned to “be right / do the correct thing”, so much so that we have forgotten the art of forgiving ourselves for the mistakes that we do in our learning curve.
Once the guilt leaves us, we feel so much lighter and able to approach the mistake we just made with a new-better-perspective, and moving one more step towards our untapped potential.
Truly inspiring, stepping out of comfort zone, making mistakes, asking ” what we want”.. Thanks Deepti for the quick recap
Totally agree Deepa. We spend our entire life in guilt and regret for doing or not doing things. And while working with women I have realised that this is one of the biggest barrier that prevents them from moving ahead.