Not ignoring your weaknesses and stepping into your courage zone

I’m a big believer in utilizing a strengths-based philosophy and have written about it previously (see Discovering and Utilising Your Strengths ).

I have reflected however this should not mean ignoring your weaknesses if they are a crucial part of your goal.

As an example, I ignored focusing on my swimming for a long time as a triathlete which is a core part of the three-discipline sport. I wouldn’t get into any consistency of swim training focusing more on running and cycling which came more naturally to me. I got used to coming in right at the back of the pack in the swim and then playing chase in the remainder of the race.

After my recent foot fracture (Being brought to a standstill – literally! The power of reframing), I was forced not to run or cycle initially in my rehab which gave me an unexpected gift of embracing swimming and upper body strength for my exercise.

I got into a consistent routine of swimming four times a week in the ocean with pools shut in the Sydney lockdown and have really started to enjoy it for the physical and mental health benefits. I’ve had some Balmoral postcode pals as buddies for some of my swims and it has been great to have a new micro community. Whilst I still have a long way to go to be competitive in that leg I have grown stronger and more importantly developed a love for it.

What’s something you don’t love currently but by focusing on it could help you with a goal?

When listening to Dr Jim Loehr on The Tim Ferriss Show recently he talked about the power of journaling to help us achieve our goals and change our mindframes. I started journaling ‘I love Swimming’ and over time this has manifested to be true. Jim co-authored the HBR article ‘The Making of a Corporate Athlete’ and we’re super excited he will be dialing in to join us for a Tenfold Masterclass in October to explore mental toughness and managing our energy. 

In the business arena one of my mentors once said if you ever want to be a business leader you need to lean into the financials at least enough to be able to ask the right questions.

For me financials have been a bit like swimming, not a natural interest or strength so easy to ignore. For a long time, I let my personal finances tick along without much thought. One example being I didn’t get on top of my student debt when emigrating to Australia and let the interest accrue over years thinking I’ll sort it one day. I then decided to take accountability and take the plunge and pay it off in one go to become debt free and it felt so empowering.

Having always thought of myself as a spender and not the saver I hadn’t been disciplined with saving. I’ve now learnt I need systems to help me with this and have a fortnightly direct debit set up into an account I can’t access day to day. I’ve also started investing a little each week on the Raiz app as a little fun project to help automate savings.

From a corporate finance perspective, I took an online Wharton Coursera course ‘An introduction to corporate finance’ and had some mentoring sessions around the topic. I’d like to develop my study further and am interested to go through some of the AICD’s foundation courses as a next step. I’ve also started reading more about money and listening to some podcasts to help with my understanding. Whilst I still prefer to listen to Super Soul Sunday or Fortunately I’ve enjoyed having a balance to stretch my thinking in a new area.

Whilst I feel safer in the comfort zone of my strengths there’s a saying that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I’ve found pushing yourself outside it can make your goals even more rewarding when you hit them.

One recent example of this in swimming has been swimming from Balmoral Beach to Chinamans return which is something I never would have thought possible when emigrating to Australia ten years ago and not being able to swim 50 metres of freestyle.

I read recently that each quarter or sometimes each month Tim Ferriss has a fear setting session and cites it as the most valuable thing he does with his time. On this theme in a recent Tenfold workshop  Dr Peter Fuda challenged our C Suite leader community to try something each week that puts them out of their comfort zone.

My Wednesday lunchtime tennis buddy and I have taken this forward and started sharing something each week that will put ourselves out of our comfort zone and then supporting and holding each other accountable to that. This could be having the courage to have a difficult conversation, calling someone we’ve been putting off, entering an ocean swim or booking in something for ourselves.

What’s something you could do this week to stretch your comfort limits for personal growth?

You may discover pure joy emerging from the edge of fear 😊

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