Recently I went to Zimbabwe and I experienced things I never expected. See…I’m a city girl thru and thru. I didn’t plan on a safari because the thought of being with exotic animals was foreign (and a little bit unnerving).
I was visiting my daughter in Cape Town and took her to Zimbabwe. Under duress, I took the Lion Walk with her. That was on our last day before flying home. I was pretty sure my travel insurance wouldn’t cover me if the lions decided that I looked like breakfast. You may believe that the Lion Walk is herding of the lions while you watch from a distance in an enclosed space (that was my hope). The truth is that the Lion Walk is walking alongside the lions in their habitat. I went anyway.
I was the one in the group that everyone was making fun of, “You look scared…you’re sweating a little.” I was sweating. I kept thinking of that old joke about two campers coming upon a grizzly bear. You know the one…. Camper A saying ”I don’t think that we can outrun the bear.” Camper B yelling back, “I just have to outrun you”. I was a goner…. Everyone else was more fit.
Yet…. with all of that….It was amazing. Lions are truly magnificent creatures and I actually walked with them.
It made me start thinking about stepping outside of my comfort zone in other respects, too. My business, for instance…how many times do people stick with their routine and never venture outside of their norm? Isn’t that what growth is all about? We know that people gravitate to what they are comfortable with…. their routine. Changing that routine and trying something else may go against your instincts at first, but we all know what they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results, right? Granted, businesses strategize all the time on new ideas and continuous improvement but how well do they execute? Perhaps the failure comes down to the mindset of each individual tasked with making the change. If people are fearful about venturing into new territories, strategic objectives won’t be met with fresh ideas and innovation. Managing growth or encouraging change in your business is a lot like scheduling for the lion walk. It sounds petrifying but once you try it, you see that you are capable of adjusting and possibly even enjoying the process! So the next time you’re asked to try something that makes you uncomfortable, do it. You may find that it opens up a whole new set of opportunities that you enjoy.