There’s a skate park at the local YMCA. Whenever I watch the young people using it, I’m always struck by often they wipe out and how much it must hurt.
And yet, they always shake it off and keep trying.
From what I can tell, there are tricks to be mastered and no scratches or even the risk of broken bones will keep them from trying.
Imagine having that much determination and persistence as you take on new challenges at work. Do you accept the assignment, knowing darn well you are going to fall and likely hurt yourself? I bet you don’t.
What’s the difference? Both situations involve:
- New challenges
- Real consequences for failure
It comes down to this. The kids at the skate park know that nobody is going to tear into them when they fall. I don’t know it, but wouldn’t be surprised if super-big crashes are even somehow rewarded.
At work, we fear people just waiting to pounce on our mistakes. The consequences seem much more serious than broken bones, although it would be hard to argue that they are. So we play it safe.
Growth requires venturing into new territory, and doing so almost certainly means mistakes. Are you willing to make some? Are your coworkers willing to tolerate a few?
To make yourself better, you’re going to need to take a few tumbles. Don’t forget your helmet and elbow pads.
Image credit: Jeff Dongowski via Flickr (cc)