Leaving the safety of the nest

April 16, 2009

It’s always hard to take that first step in a new direction, to leave the warm safety of what’s familiar. What you’ve always done. The way you’ve always done things.

There are many ways in which this concept applies, but today I’m thinking about how we tend to do what we’ve always done in the way we’ve always done it. Relationship, work, friends–any or all of it.

We play in our comfort zone and sometimes that limits our impact.

Sometimes, we find there’s a bigger view if we walk to the edge and fly. A way to achieve our purpose in a new way.

A different way. Maybe a more nuanced way.

It may seem a stretch, but I’m reminded of a critique I got on an opinion piece I once wrote.

When I write opinion, I can be guilty of preaching to the choir. It’s easy to write something strong, that plays to people who hold my views. Slamming people over the head with powerful, dogmatic prose. That’s a safe place for me.

It’s harder to write to persuade people who might hold a different opinion of the merits of mine. To convince less directly. With a softer touch.

For me, playing the nuance game is not so safe. Out of my comfort zone.

But I know I should try it, because I might get further with those who don’t hold my view.

I think that’s true of for us all. We stay cocooned in our comfortable nests and are afraid to walk to the edge and fly.

And yet, some of the most significant personal growth comes from stepping off the edge.

The kind of personal growth that expands our impact in world. That allows us to achieve our goals more effectively.

It’s hard to see that when we’re standing near the edge. We don’t want to look down.

It take an incredible amount of courage to walk to the edge and fly.

And yet, baby birds do it all the time.

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