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How to Get Out of Your Own Way: Or, Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone |  August 19, 2015 (0 comments)


Miami, Fl—I think we all held our breath when Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope stretched across the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and two Chicago skyscrapers.

His mojo is: people do not need to risk their lives, but you should push yourself to be greater and better. Nik also feels the world has just gotten too complacent. He wants to inspire people to step out of their comfort zone and do greater things.

One of the reasons we admire people who take risks is that most of us are scared stiff of taking risks ourselves.

“I could never do something like that!” Sound familiar? The “something” might be anything from starting a new career to learning how to cook. (I happen to be working on cooking now! Those who know me, do not laugh! It’s true, plus flower arrangements. When my husband comes home on Fridays, he is in shock!) The point is, it doesn’t matter what you try. Sometimes it feels like the only people who can take risks successfully, are the ones who have nothing to lose. When you have nothing left to lose, you have everything left to gain.

Most of us wouldn’t even consider taking such a monumental risk like Nik Wallenda did. That same fear that keeps you from taking a huge risk like skydiving can also keep you from that promotion you want. Or keeps you from taking a vacation you really need without checking messages every 45 minutes. (I am that person!)

You don’t call this fear but research claims it is. We all make excuses “I don’t have time” – “Is this really what I want” – “I have too many responsibilities already.” It’s amazing how the human brain works. We can be so effective in rationalizing as a way to avoid taking action.

In short, playing it safe is not the way to get ahead. (I know this too) Sometimes you just have to go out on a limb. After much research and study I’ve learned that risk taking involves steps, here are a few:

Know what motivates you: What do you really want to achieve? Don’t make major changes unless you are super excited about the change. You will work harder on goals that are important to you.

Define YOUR success! Figure out what you want to achieve. And be specific! You don’t have to count every possible scenario but you need to have a really good idea of the results you’re looking for. If you can visualize it, you can make it happen.

Look at the best and worst outcomes: Evaluate risks and rewards. What are the worse case scenarios? Is it worth the risk? How can you prevent that from happening? And vice versa… consider the best-case scenario too. And the big question…How will you recognize success? What will you do next? Mentally preparing yourself for all instances will give you a sense of knowing and accomplishment. You’ll be ready for anything!

Consider your timetable. Do you need to take a risk right now? How quickly do you need results? Don’t rush if you don’t have to. Breaking your plan down into individual segments can help you minimize the risks and learn what is needed to succeed.

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative! (if you can sing that… even better!) No pain no gain… you’ve heard this many times before. Yes, keep the possible negatives in mind, but don’t let them overpower you and keep you from moving forward. Keep your eye on the ball and concentrate on the potential outcome. Keeping your laser focus will help you stay on track even when things get tough.

Just “Do It” (like that famous brand says): Seriously, you can make all the plans you want, but ultimately you must make the first move. Step by step… determine what you need to begin, and then do it! When you’re in the midst of a struggle, your energy, will power and drive to succeed will be stronger than when you’re just getting ready.

How does it make YOU feel? Trying to please or impress someone else is not going to rock your world unless it’s something you truly believe in. What’s important to Nik Wallenda is most likely not on your to-do list. Definitely not on mine!

Just a few more words of wisdom that I love: “NO RISK, NO SUCCESS. KNOW RISK, KNOW SUCCESS.”

Always ask, there are no “Dumb” questions. The worst thing that can happen is someone will say no. NO? No problem! “No” means “Not Yet!”

Take the risks. They are worth it.

Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry.  Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.

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