Comfort Zone=Dead Zone!

Welp…what a great week it has been!  I started my amazing new job last Monday and it has been more than I could have ever imagined.  BUT…it has also taken me so far out of my comfort zone!  I’ve spent the past week of my life sitting in the front of rooms, asking questions in lectures, sharing my opinion amongst strangers, having lunch with new people, constantly talking about my academic background and career aspirations while networking, and walking around in business attire and suits every single day!  I have stretched into new territory!

Interestingly, despite being overwhelmed by all that went on this week, my anxiety level has not shot through the ceiling.  Instead, I find myself excited about the growth that I know will take place over the next two years.  In fact, in a mere 5 days, I’ve already seen tremendous growth in my mindset.  That’s really all the next two years of my life will be about…I’m confident that I can do the work.  I can read and learn the policies, I can take classes that will teach me the core concepts…but the most valuable thing that will happen through this program will be a changed mindset.  I was reflecting on a job I had a few years ago with a boss who I thought took be an overachiever to a new level, and found myself having a new appreciation for him.  I remember getting so irritated with him because he never wanted our lab to have casual Friday (mind you, all of my coworkers in other labs came to work dressed casually every day).  HIs view was, we never knew when/if we would get called to go to a meeting downtown.  I didn’t understand what the big deal was, despite what he thought, I knew the White House wasn’t calling for me…I came to work, sat in an office working on a computer all day most days, I was on a research team, and research folks wear jeans and t-shirts, and work flexible hours.  In my experience, as long as one got their work done and attended lab meetings, people didn’t get too caught up on other things.  But over the past 5 days, I’ve come to appreciate that boss in a new way.  In this week, I’ve discovered that even if I never get a call from the White House, I have no idea who I may encounter on any given day, so I need to be comfortable outside of my comfort zone.  I need to be sure I’m always performing at my peak and always carrying myself in a professional manner.

A friend said to me last night, “Our comfort zones are our dead zones.” I found that statement to be so true for me right now…if we only do the things that are comfortable to us, we stop growing and essentially decide our dying place.

Until next time…

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