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What would your banner say?

What would your banner say?

As I walked down Kapahulu Avenue in a very sunny Honolulu this morning, I passed by a gas station with an attached convenience store and snack shop. Open for business, but not a single car in the lot or at the pump. You could see a clerk through the window, elbows propped on the counter in front of her, wistfully looking outside and probably wondering if anyone would ever stop by.

The station had been stripped down to the basics in a recent ownership change; no posters taped to the windows for coffee, donuts or some hotdog special, no newspaper racks or ATM signs outside— nothing. The only adornment on the entire building was a large yellow banner with red lettering that said, “UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.” The place was clean and newly painted, but in this case, clean came off as barren. If I were the owner, I wouldn’t be so anxious to advertise the change yet.

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The longer I stared at that banner, the more it began to bother me, and the more I felt for that lonely clerk inside. The whole picture was so stark and unpromising. “UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT” was beginning to sound like serfdom in the making. I stood there for a while doing the mental gymnastics of a silent brainstorm; surely the new owner could’ve picked something more exciting and hopeful to say on that banner. The words he’d chosen could have been a much better self-fulfilling prophecy.

My hope with the Managing with Aloha mission, is that a business owner would instead choose to hang a banner which would say something like, “WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GREAT MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP —AND THRIVING!” Yeah, it’s long, but so what? What customer wouldn’t want to walk in the door and be served in a place trumpeting that announcement? What job seeker wouldn’t excitedly race in and ask, “Do you have any job openings?”

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Instead, people choose stock sayings and banners and go for the boring and uninspired. And it’s just a rotten choice all the way ‘round; no one wants to think of themselves “under” any management whether old or new. Working with is way better than working for.

There are a lot of choices between “UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT” and the banner I’d hang, motivating myself to make the words come true. When hung over the door where you work, what would your banner say? What are you doing each and every day, whatever job you hold, to earn the Managing with Aloha banner I want to hang from the rafters for you?

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I also like, “WORTHWHILE AND MEANINGFUL WORK FOUND HERE!” Sounds good for all of us I would think, wouldn’t you?

Related Articles:
Ho‘omau and your Language of Intention
The Most Underutilized Tool for Effective Communication

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Rosa Say is the author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog. She is also the founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership. For more of her ideas, click to her Thursday columns in the archives, or download her manifesto: Managing with Aloha on ChangeThis.com.

Rosa’s Previous Thursday Column was: Reinvention: It’s something you can do.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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