A crucial aspect of being an Assistant is that ability to organise everything backstage so that others can shine. We are so used to being that support for others that quite often we are stuck in a bit of a rut with our own personal and professional development. I wonder if it stops us from putting ourselves forward and grabbing the spotlight now and again. It gets to a certain point in an Assistants career when we know the role well, and we are sitting comfortably inside the safety of our comfort zone. The problem is that inside your comfort zone, there is the possibility to disengage from any challenge, to find yourself unmotivated and bored. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve worked hard on getting to a point where you are comfortable but if you feel like something is missing. If you want to do more and seek more challenging work, you should get out of your comfort zone right now. Here is why.
We grow professionally and personally if we do things that make us feel a bit scared. Set yourself a goal, something that will stretch you. Write it down, define what it is that you want to achieve and go for it!
We get to know what we enjoy in life. If we don’t try new things, we may never know what hidden skills we have, what we are good at, and what makes us happy! I bet the last time you felt giddy with happiness you were at least a little outside your comfort zone!
We will answer those pesky “what if” questions that so often arise and come of nothing with actual real evidence of action. You don’t know what you are missing until you try it!
Finishing something that we initially fear will result in a real sense of achievement. The first time I got up on stage and spoke to an audience about Practically Perfect PA I was so scared I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. But I did it. I keep doing it, and when I get a round of applause at the end of my presentation, I feel like I have achieved something because I am so far removed from my comfort zone.
Breaking habits are a good thing, stepping out of our comfort zone might introduce new practices, but at least they are unique! There is no better way to grow than doing the things that cause you to fear, breaking through that barrier will always lead to growth and a new understanding of what you are capable of doing.
It is easy to get bored in a comfort zone; you will miss adventure and excitement if you stay where you. Remember that each time you hit a milestone, you will have a ton of memories, experiences and knowledge to pull from next time you encounter another challenge.
It is a lot easier to say yes to more exciting work when you have put yourself out there. Once you’ve pushed your self forward, you never know who is looking and trust me some people are doing the work you are scared to put yourself forward for, with much less skill and talent than you. You’ve got this, go for it!
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take so even if we move slightly outside of our little box it is one step away from always doing what we still do, which isn’t good! After you take the leap, you will stand taller, you will have more confidence, and you will feel pride. All good things!
Don’t play small! The possibilities for Assistants are endless, and you should never play small because of what you do in your career. You are not inadequate so never play small in your life. As Diana Ross once said, “You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.”