New Year, New Comfort Zone

Natalie Beaver

Happy New Year!

Last week, Jamie and I met to discuss Pinwheel Gift Company’s 2019 goals and objectives. First on my list was to rename “Goals and Objectives in 2019” to “Get ‘Er Done in 2019.”   If you are scratching your head as to why this was important to me, that’s okay. A little history, if you will. When I left the corporate pharmaceutical world to start Pinwheel Gift Co., I eschewed any terminology that would remind me of what I was required to do within the corporate structure. I flinched at words and phrases like deliverable, one-off, bandwidth, let’s take this offline, etc. Funny thing is, I complain more about it now than I did when I was working in the pharma industry. I don’t get it either, but it obviously hits some uncomfortable trigger points.

So, it’s a new year and time to evaluate what worked last year and what did not and what we can do to continue to grow. As most of you know, if something doesn’t work, you need to do it differently. Some people say think outside the box, but more recently, it seems the popular phrase is to get out of your comfort zone. I love it in my comfort zone. It’s like snuggling under my favorite blanket with a good book, blissfully stress-free. I know, I know, nothing is going to get done if I stay nestled in my happy place. I realize there are more happy places out there, but why does my anxiety level climb several notches thinking about a foray into unfamiliar territory? It’s not as if this is the first time I’ve been presented with a challenge or new experience. According to Abigail Brenner, M.D., getting out of your comfort zone is necessary for growth (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-flux/201512/5-benefits-stepping-outside-your-comfort-zone).  She states, “Challenging yourself pushes you to dip into and utilize your personal store of untapped knowledge and resources. You have no idea what you’re made of unless and until you venture outside of your own familiar world.”

For Jamie and me, former science nerds with introvert leanings, we are stepping up our networking game and stepping out of our comfort zone. This is hard. There’s no hiding at Pinwheel headquarters (aka Jamie’s house) where we enjoy our online business with electronic communication, primarily. No hiding behind social media posts, which are critical, but by no means require our physical presence. Networking means we don’t miss out on meeting new people, sharing stories, learning, listening, and having new experiences.  It sounds a lot like going to a party where you may know one or two people and they introduce you to other people who may become someone you want to know better, and so on and so forth. Looking at it that way, I guess I’m ready to party.