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Do Something Different

By Ryan Lambert -- Published July 29, 2013

When was the last time you did something that made you a bit uncomfortable? I don't mean uncomfortable like when your AC is broke in July in New Orleans, or talking with that uncle you really don't like; I mean something that you were a bit unsure of, that challenged you a bit, or something completely new and different. For me, that moment was five days ago. I'm on a personal mission to challenge myself which my job already does naturally, but I want more. Yeah, I might be a bit odd.

A few months ago marked the end of a professional development program I had been a part of for the 9 months prior. We met one Friday a month every month for a total of nine sessions, during which time we had a wide variety of speakers who came and spoke with us about a whole gob of topics relating to leadership. It was a great program that helped me grow and learn extensively -- much more than I expected. (My boss said "You should do this program". I said "Ok!", so my expectations weren't high... I don't mind being wrong!)

My Challenge

Anyway, the last session consisted of the 30 of us in the program each giving a short presentation about our takeaways from the program. I decided to use this presentation as a way to challenge myself in a new way. My "problem" was that I have given presentations in front of large audiences, I have performed on piano, guitar, drums, and bass starting when I was seven, and generally, I'm not a person who minds being in front of others and talking. So to challenge myself I decided that I would "wing" my presentation by using a flip chart, sharpies, and no notes. I did draw two stick figures, not even good ones. This scenario did have the effect of actually making me a bit more nervous than I anticipated, but it still ended up being a great presentation, or so I'm told.

Looking Back...

In hindsight, I'm not sure that was really much of a challenge for me but it did feel like one in the moment. It also made me want to find more ways to challenge myself because even if I don't think I am a better presenter today compared to last week I would be a tad more confident if I found myself in a similar situation. The other great thing is I'm now more motivated than before to continuously challenge myself (and others) in an attempt to never stop growing and learning. So I ask you again, when was the last time you did something that made you a bit uncomfortable?

By Ryan Lambert
Published July 29, 2013
Last Updated July 29, 2013