My wife and I recently went zip lining in a scenic location in the mountains of North Carolina. For those of you unfamiliar, zip lining is a popular outdoor recreational activity where you are harnessed to a cable hundreds of feet off the ground and “zip” along the line at high rates of speed between landing stations. I have never actually heard of anyone falling from a zip line, but that reality quickly escaped us the first time we stood on the platform.
Before the first launch, we were so worried about doing something wrong, worried whether this thing would hold us up, worried if we would make it across, that we really didn’t enjoy the first zip at all. It was complete fright and worry.
The good thing was that the first two zips were short and not too high (they were setting up for some of the big ones). But that little bit of experience made the next zip seem less intimidating and soon we emerged flying out of the canvas of trees only to see that we were on a 900 foot zip line that was at least 300 feet above the canyon below. That was a life flashing moment for sure. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and by the last one my wife had gained so much confidence, she hopped right on platform with no hesitation. Amazing what a little confidence will do for you!
Why do I share this with you? Zip lining reinforced the fact that we are at our best, our most energized and grow the most when we are out of our comfort zone. Zip lining certainly did that for me. After some experience, it became second nature and an amazing experience for us both. Watching my wife go from sheer terror to first in line made it all worth the time, energy and risk. She took the chance because she had support and encouragement.
As leaders, we need to encourage our team to take more chances, to step out of their comfort zones and realize the endless growth opportunities. Let’s lead by example and show them how rewarding it can be. What will you step out of your comfort zone and experience today?