Step out of your comfort zone for career growth

When faced with a challenge in your career, do you seize the moment and embrace the challenge or do you hesitate and stay in your comfort zone?

If you find yourself hesitating, holding yourself back, or even hiding under a bushel at work feeling anxious that you may be discovered as an impostor, rest assured you are not alone!

So many people lie awake at night worrying if they are really “good enough” to achieve the kind of success they dream of.

If you find yourself plagued by self-doubt, don’t despair.  According to Psychology Today, a study by the European Institute for Leadership and Management revealed that 50% of female managers and 31% of male managers admitted to experiencing self-doubt.

What you do about that feeling is what matters.

carpe diem, seize the day, embrace challenges, comfort zone, career challenge, careers, jane jackson, career coach

For personal and career growth we need to embrace challenges and enjoy new experiences. As an example, let’s take a look at those who put themselves in the public eye with full knowledge that they could either make a total fool of themselves or they could really impress.

We could look at politicians, corporate leaders, speakers … but today, let’s take a look at reality show contestants …

Beauty and The Geek

Embracing unusual challenges is what the contestants of Channel 9’s Beauty and The Geek Australia (Series 7) rise to in each heart-warming and uplifting episode of this popular reality show that pairs Beauties with ‘Geeks’.

The premise of this show is that “Beauties” (people — typically women in this show — who rely on their attractiveness and outgoing personalities) and “Geeks” (people — typically men in this show — who rely on their intellect, not social ability) pair up to compete in challenges to survive episodic elimination.  

The show is billed as a social experiment, in which each contestant gains valuable life skills from their teammate.  It’s also an opportunity for contestants to experience a potential a career in media.

In Series 7, the 2021 revamped format for Australian television, the focus is on friendship, support, humour, warmth and personal growth.  The feeling is that the contestants genuinely care for each other, collaborate, and learn a great deal from all the other couples too.

Each week the couples are presented with a challenge that takes one member of each pair completely out of their comfort zone with hilarious results.  They seize each challenge with open arms, allow themselves to be vulnerable, and embrace the situations with good humour.

This was also an opportunity that Endemol Shine Australia and Nine offered me when they found me via Google and LinkedIn when they were looking for a career coach to lead their corporate challenge and be a guest judge in episode 9 of Beauty and The Geek.

Did I hesitate when they made contact? Yes (I have never been on a reality TV show before, so had no idea what to expect).

Did I question whether I would be suitable for this challenge? Yes (I assumed, as a rather ‘mature’ career coach, that I might not be a good ‘fit’ for a show appealing to a younger demographic).

I realised that I was experiencing the typical ‘impostor syndrome’ feelings as I felt out of my comfort zone, and making inaccurate ‘assumptions’ and creating my own negative narrative.

I realised that, if the producers approached me for this opportunity because of the research they had done to find me, then who was I to refuse something that would be an amazing (and fun) opportunity?

So, did I embrace the challenge? Did I seize the day? I took a deep breath, and before I could change my mind I said, ‘Yes’. What I told myself was, “Why not?”

And what an enriching experience it was. Meeting host of the show, Sophie Monk, was a delight, the crew of Beauty and the Geek were professional, friendly and efficient, and the contestants threw themselves into their challenge with such bravado, good humour and enthusiasm.

I loved their positivity. Every couple performed incredibly well with little preparation, no prior knowledge of many corporate buzzwords and methods, and danced in the moment when unexpected images popped up on their PowerPoint presentations in front of a live audience. 

Their presentations were humourous and enlightening.  The audience initially were incredulous as they believed they were attending a ‘real’ corporate lunch & learn afternoon.  However the penny soon dropped and they settled into enjoying the unexpected experience.

My role was to guide and assess the performances and after deliberating with Beauty and The Geek host, Sophie, we chose the winners of the challenge. Josie and George were the deserving winners of the night’s challenge as they overcame additional unforeseen difficulties quite elegantly.

What did the contestants learn by seizing the day and embracing the challenge they were tasked to overcome? 

They gained experience in presentation, communication, collaboration, teamwork, positive body language, and how to dance in the moment when thrown the bizarre and unexpected.

And, judging by their performances, I reckon they would all do well if given a stand-up comedy challenge one day!

What did I learn by saying yes to this opportunity?

I learned that I am never too old to embrace a new challenge, that I have skills and knowledge that are valued by all generations, and that I’m up for a laugh and a bit of fun.  Here’s my motto to live by:

“If you’re not having fun, you’re missing the point!”

What was the benefit of this?  Being able to tick something off my bucket list and enjoy the knowledge that I, too, seized the day. Carpé diem!

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently? What challenge will YOU step up to today?

To watch the replay of the corporate challenge in episode 9 (season 7), and other episodes for a boost of warmth and positivity, watch on 9Now



If you need support to embrace the challenges in your #career, book a complimentary career clarity chat at: www.janejacksoncoach.com
or get support within VIP membership of The Careers Academy: https://www.thecareersacademy.online

The Careers Academy, Jane Jackson, Career Coach Australia, top career coach, career coach Sydney, career coach London, career counsellor, top coach,


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