Exploring Possibility: Trying Something New at Work
The idea of trying something new at work can be as daunting as it is exciting. Whether learning a new skill, adopting a different mode of communication, or employing a novel approach to a project, stepping out of your comfort zone requires a blend of vulnerability, bravery, and curiosity. Brene Brown, a research professor and bestselling author, has extensively explored these concepts in her work, providing invaluable insights into how we can explore possibilities in our jobs and overcome the fear of failure.
The Power of Vulnerability
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome,” says Brown. At work, being vulnerable often means being willing to try something new, even if the outcome is uncertain. It’s about being open to learning and growth rather than being paralyzed by the fear of not being perfect.
For example, imagine you’re asked to lead a project using a methodology you’re not familiar with. The vulnerability lies in admitting you don’t have all the answers and are open to learning. This admission can lead to collaboration, support, and, ultimately, a more robust, more effective outcome.
Vulnerability is the sidekick of courage; as you bravely step into your zone of the unknown, you will feel the discomfort of your vulnerability. Brown states, “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot have both.” In the workplace, choosing courage might mean speaking up with a new idea or feedback, even if it goes against the grain.
Consider a scenario where your team is stuck in a rut, using the same old strategies that no longer yield results. Proposing a new, untested approach requires courage. It’s about being brave enough to challenge the status quo and risk failure for the possibility of success.
Curiosity is the driving force behind innovation and learning. “Choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable because it requires us to surrender to uncertainty,” Brown explains. In the professional sphere, curiosity propels us to explore new skills, ask questions, and seek unfamiliar experiences.
Imagine you’re a traditional marketer who’s only worked with offline marketing strategies. Embracing curiosity might lead you to delve into digital marketing, a field rife with unknowns. This exploration not only broadens your skill set but also opens doors to new possibilities and opportunities.
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
Often, what stops us from trying something new at work are our own limiting beliefs. These are the stories we tell ourselves about why we can’t or shouldn’t step out of our comfort zones. Brown suggests, “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” By addressing these limiting beliefs with compassion and challenging them, we open ourselves up to new opportunities.
For instance, if you believe you’re not a “creative type,” this limiting belief can prevent you from contributing innovative ideas. By redefining this belief and understanding that creativity is a skill that can be developed, you create space for your ideas to flourish.
Possibility Leads to Personal Growth
These micro shifts in mindset—embracing vulnerability, mustering courage, and fostering curiosity—can lead to significant personal and professional growth. By applying these new ways of thinking, we not only expand our skill sets, but we also enhance our contributions to our teams.
Trying something new at work starts with the courage to welcome uncharted territory. This open mindset not only enriches your own work experience but also contributes to a more dynamic, innovative, and collaborative workplace. As Brown wisely puts it, “When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.”
Imagine who you would be if you stayed open to the endless possibilities and said “yes” to what unknown lies ahead.
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