If there’s one thing I love, it’s a challenge. This is both a helpful and unhelpful trait. On the one hand it pushes me to do more, achieve more and take on projects and tasks way outside my comfort zone. On the other hand, it means I’m always looking out for the next hurdle to jump, the next milestone to achieve. I’m never satisfied staying where I am, I need to find the next new and exciting challenge.
This is true for me both in my professional and personal life, which is why I want to tell you about something crazy I did last year and how it might inspire you to take a leap of faith.
Now, I’m not recommending that you do this, but for me it was exactly what I needed: I shut off my phone. Not just my phone. My laptop, my tablet and my Kindle and went offline. OK, now that doesn’t sound much but listen, not only did I go completely dark, I took myself off to somewhere completely remote and away from everything and everyone for two weeks.
I have to tell you it was a challenge. Forcing my brain to Stop. Thinking. About. Work, trusting my team to get on with their jobs and just listening to the sound of quiet, it was a remarkable experience. I read, I read prolifically. I did daily yoga and I reconnected with the peace and quiet of the countryside around me in the beautiful surroundings of the Turin hillside.
This might sound kind of ideal but for someone like me who’s hardwired for work and success, it was a challenge I hadn’t faced before. For the first few days I was desperate for news about home and work and just, news. I love knowing what’s going on in the world. After that the cravings slowly disappeared and I realised I had conquered my addiction to technology, it was so tough.
Being still, being quiet, it’s not me but for those two weeks I made it me. I reconnected with my body and gave myself time to pick up books I’d been meaning to read for months. It was a truly transformational experience.
Yes, I’m back now and firing on all cylinders but I’ve taken away some of the lessons I learnt during those two weeks. I won’t risk my health by working too hard, I will set aside some time to read and think. I don’t have to have to my phone right by my side day and night. It can stay off when I’m off.
This makes me a better businesswoman. I’m fully focussed and able to give my all, without risking burnout.
What about you? What does stepping outside your comfort zone look like? Are you willing to give it a go and come back a better, stronger version of yourself? I heartily recommend that you do.
All my best