The best way to get out of your comfort zone is to eliminate any other options. I did this by scheduling work visits across the country. It was easy to set everything up, and once it was done I had no other choice but to follow through. Here is my review of the trip.
Last week I traveled to a number of our work locations. This is not something I normally do. I like my routine, and my home. So this experience was very uncomfortable in the beginning. But I made it. I traveled over 1000 miles, and met with at least 10 different people. It was extremely exhausting. Not only because of the long drives, but as an introvert I find all the interaction over stimulating.
But I am glad I did it, and even look forward to the next trip. Here are a few takeaways:
- Lesson 1: People like helping others. Now a lot of this could be because I work with these folks, but its still a good point to make. All the people I met went out of their way to help me. From logistics to tours, they made the whole process much easier.
- Lesson 2: People want to see you. I always feel like I am bothering people when I go to see them. But everyone I met was very welcoming, and a lot of them didn’t want me to leave. I kept trying to say goodbye(because I felt like I was lingering), and they said hold on let me show you one more thing.
- Lesson 3: Get out of your house. I don’t like traveling. I don’t like flying, I don’t like driving. But that is the only way to get somewhere. If the reward is greater then the pain, go for it. The rewards I will receive from the trip (experience, meeting people, showing initiative at work) far out weighs the pain of traveling.
- Lesson 4: Repetition is the mother of learning. I had 7 office visits. Every single time it got easier. The first visit I was afraid to walk in the door, I clung to the first person who said hi, and I ran out the door without saying goodbye to the Manager at the end. On the last visit I felt confident, had great conversations, and accomplished the mission.
- Lesson 5: You will get a massive confidence boost. I got back last night absolutely exhausted. Physically and emotionally. After 8 hours of sleep I woke up a new person. I have a lingering high from the trip. And although it will fade, it is a pleasurable reward to reinforce the action of taking the trip.
- Review: Write a trip write up for my boss to show how much effort I put in and demonstrate my initiative.
- Follow Up: Find way to follow up with the people I saw. Could be referencing something you discussed, or finding solutions to problems they shared.
- Start Scheduling Next Trip: Keep momentum going.