Turning Stepping Out, Into Stepping Up.

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You Are Here:Turning Stepping Out, Into Stepping Up.

We have all been there before a place that your not familiar with, somewhere new, something different, sometimes it makes you uneasy, sometimes it make you scared and somehow this is a crucial part of self development. Some of you may have guessed it by now its called a lot of thing but most commonly known as the comfort zone. Today I would like to share how stepping out of your comfort zone can help you step up with personal/professional development.

Hi my name is Stephen Taylor and as a huge believer in practicing what you preach I’m going to share my latest adrenalin charged experience and what I learned. Not a stranger to water sports and a lover of the out doors I decided to give kite surfing a go and started out with few lessons.

First Lesson 1hr: So pumped for this lesson I was ready to go in there grab a kite and a board and hit the water as it turns out we had everything except wind. In my mind it was over but no I spent the next 60mins with my instructor talking about setting up a kite safety and for a brief time got to use a training kite to learn kite control. I had no idea there were so many things to think about when using a kite, Wind window, kite adjustment, the power zone (which I thought sounded great) where you never want to place the kite, Safety procedures like self rescue and so on. So my time was up and I was ready for lesson 2

Second lesson 2hrs: This time the weather was perfect with a strong constant wind sun and if I needed any more prof that the conditions were perfect I could of asked any of the million other kite surfers on the beach. After a quick run through with my new instructor we got one of the big kites up in the air. Always explaining the reasons and principals of the kite it was my turn to give it a go. WOW just wow the power generated by the kite was a force that I have never experienced before it was so smooth and at the same time ready to rip you off your feet and throw you at the nearest person, object or what ever got in your way. After spending a good 1.5hrs getting dragged through the water sucking down more salt water then I thought possible I was ready to grab a board and give this thing a real shot. I got the board on and was passed the kite handle by my instructor who said ” Ok, its all yours are you ready?”. That’s when it happened the moment I was waiting for when was truly out of my comfort zone. Those fleeting seconds where everything I had learned in 2.3hrs was to be put into practice. I felt so alone like I had been thrown in the deep end strapped to a board, kite hovering above just waiting to catch the wind and show me what it could really do.

The voices in my head questioning me “Are you really ready?”, “What if this goes wrong?”. There was a decision to be made and I was the only one who could make it. So I went for it dropping the kite down into the wind window (where the kite catches the wind) and was ripped out of the water with such a force that in a split second I was standing then flying forward then falling face first drinking even more sea water with the kite plummeting back to earth. Time and time again this happened with small improvement each time and at one point I was doing it for at least a couple of seconds. Just as I was starting to think I can get this it was time for my lesson to stop and return to the shore. My instructor said that I did really well and I was learning really quick and all I needed now was to practice and before I know it I could call myself a kite surfer.

So how does this experience help me Step up you ask? Reflecting on my experience I have a better understanding of how knowing the theory and understanding the dynamics of situation or skill is one thing but actually executing it is another. I believe that this is not exclusive to kite surfing but is a crucial part of learning and developing. For me personally this has taught me the real value and importance of practice and persistence with everything I value be it a new project a new skill of even relationships. Do the homework, do the research and when it comes to putting it all into practice I know that its going to be hard its going to take persistence and that there is no substitute for the all important practice.

We all learn from our experiences as we take away different views, ideas, thoughts and feelings. So whats the next thing you are going to do that will aid you in stepping up, whats your next adventure? You may have read this and thought Does this really work can I step up by steeping out? Well let me tell you YES you can you can learn more about yourself in one day then ever before if you are willing to go into the unknown, the uncomfortable, to step out of your comfort zone. Why not give it a shot? what have you got to loose? what have you got to gain? Here are some quick questions that may help get you thinking of your next adventure?

  1. When was the last time you really stepped out of your comfort zone?
  2. What strengths, attributes, qualities or values may I discover?
  3. Is there an activity that you have always wanted to do but had second thought about?

Is it time that you stepped out in order to step up?

Written by: Stephen Taylor,kite surfing soft

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