Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and Try Something New Today

Much as I am an extrovert, I can be an introvert as well. This goes for both in my professional and personal life. Sometimes things just have to get done without committee or brainstorming! But last winter a friend and I were talking about some of the things we were doing to help us getting stronger physically and professionally and that got me thinking – we need to get out of our comfort zone in order to grow in both respects.

So this year, professionally, I have several things in the pipeline from increasing my speaking engagements and workshops to writing more feature-length pieces for consumer and trade magazines. In order to get stronger at writing, I have to keep working on my craft.

Personally, my goal is to finally run that half marathon but rather than approach it by simply logging in more miles, I’m including fun workout activities since my personality feeds off of intense activities. In addition to my bi-weekly kickboxing training (which I love and have been doing for several months now), I’ve enlisted the help of my girlfriend and my spouse to carry out two more activities – roller derby and obstacle course races!

I will admit that when my girlfriend recommended roller derby I was skeptical – those girls can be hard core as they try to knock you down! But, rather than say no way, I got myself a derby name (I’m Smackajawea), got my skates fitted, and off we went! Here is a picture of us right after our first session last week! Don’t worry – I had my wrist and elbow guards as well as our mouth guard on the entire time – I just took them off before we shot this picture.

Then, this weekend found my husband and I in Wisconsin competing in the Tundra Challenge, a 4-mile obstacle course that takes place outside in the snow and ice. Although I have no problem running 4 miles at a respectable pace, running in the cold, and on snow and ice, was more difficult than I imagined. Here are pictures of my husband and I before the race began (yes, that hill behind us was part of the obstacle course!) and my husband trying to get himself over one of the walls (try doing that while your shoes are filled with snow and wet).

There are many ways to approach things in life and while we can approach them in the traditional way (like marketing our businesses or doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results), the reality is that there are so many different ways to try things.

So rather than sticking to that same catalog layout or direct mail piece, advertisements in the same magazines or reaching out to the same clients and prospects, try something different. Brainstorm with a friend who knows nothing about your business and see what she comes up with. Visit a different city and absorb the atmosphere and energy and see how you can apply that into your personal or professional life.

Not only will a new approach energize us, it may help us reach those goals that much faster.

OK – so what’s next? I’ve got fencing on the brain. I’ve never fenced before – what shall I expect, I wonder?


Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm that specializes in working with both for profit and not-for-profit organizations. She’s currently training for a half marathon by doing everything but increasing her distance because she hates running on treadmills in the winter. Professionally, you’ll find her first speaking engagement in New Orleans in April, speaking at a national conference for museum stores. 



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