Countless studies show that the natural human state isn’t fragile, but tough. You thrive under pressure, you innovate in the face of failure and you think big and bold when faced with constraint – if only you can be brave enough to step into your discomfort zone.
CONSTRAINT BREEDS CREATIVITY
Lack of resource is uncomfortable. But sometimes that’s exactly what you need to make original breakthroughs. It’s called a constraintive mindset, and it can help you do brilliant things.
Set yourself deliberate constraints. Cut the time limit on a task, reduce the number of people available to help or limit yourself to using one or two of the resources you have at your disposal. As uncomfortable as it will feel in the beginning, it may well be the answer to kick-starting that idea that has stalled.
FAILURE FOSTER INNOVATION
Most people have been brought up to believe failure is something to avoid at all costs. The result is a culture with a deep-rooted fear of messing up. But ‘failure anxiety’ is the death knell of success, because by fearing the discomfort of bombing out, you miss vital opportunities to grow.
There are two types of failures. Failure that stems from carelessness or laziness is the bad kind; but failure that comes about by taking bold risks on the frontier of innovation is to be encouraged. Fail early and fail intelligently. In other words, the minute something goes wrong, stop and analyse it. Ask yourself ‘why’ several times until you have dissected the issue at hand. Why did this happen? What could have been done differently? What can you do to stop it happening again? Take the blame out of failure and you’ll begin to see it as an opportunity to obtain a piece of information that no one else will have.
FEEDBACK FUELS GREATNESS
No one likes to hear what they’re doing wrong. And no one likes to be the one telling someone what they’re doing wrong. It’s a fear as old as mankind; a deep tribal instinct that protects us from being discarded from ‘the group’. But feedback – from the right source – is the quickest way to unlock your true potential.
Seek out a ‘care coach’ – someone who knows and understand you, and therefore understands what’s possible and what’s not (telling an introvert to be bolshier just isn’t going to cut it). Plan regular feedback sessions, no more than 30 minutes at a time – remember, this is hard, so don’t prolong the discomfort. Ask them for three things you want critical feedback on, and be specific. the more on point you are the more they will be.
TRIUMPH AFTER TRAUMA
At some point in your life, things will fall apart in some way, and you will find yourself mired in true discomfort. It might be the loss of a loved one or the end of a job you never saw coming. It will feel traumatic and you may, at times feel like you’ll never recover.
Journalling is a great way to help process what you fear most. Pick apart what went wrong, one step at a time. The more you analyse the situation, the more your understanding will grow in terms of how to deal with it, should it ever happen again. Start with, ‘how did it happen?’ Follow it up with ‘why did it happen?’ Then finally chase it up with, ‘what can I do should it ever happen again?’
Courtesy: Women’s Health magazine