The Lone Leader Weekly
2nd August 2023
The Comfort Zone
Where opportunity suffocates.
#1. Being Afraid Is Not Weakness.
It means that change is present.
#2. Energy Is Everything.
Good creates good, and bad creates bad.
#3. Ditch The Baggage.
That bullshit story is the problem, not the situation.
As I write this, I am in the UK, jetlagged and with a stomach bug, which means my day started at 3.30 am!
But those are the difficulties we experience when stepping out of our comfort zone. It’s been 6 years since returning to my motherland and nine years since I have seen my dad. A difficult relationship that broke down after the death of my mum.
Something neither of us has recovered from and hung on to the pain way too long. As you can imagine being on the other side of the world makes it much harder to repair such trauma, real or imagined.
This trip has been on my mind for a while, but I put it off as I wasn’t prepared to step into the unknown and deal with what I needed to by stepping out of my comfort zone. Living my quiet life in little old NZ, the problem was out of sight but not out of mind.
We know as lone leaders that our growth only comes from challenging our boundaries and the markets we operate in. But when emotions take over, then shit gets squirly real quick.
The week before travelling, I was very anxious, creating little stories that only pressed on my pain rather than embracing it. But with that said, as the day to fly came closer, I started to reframe the trip. It was going to be something full of excitement, discovery and healing.
All while trying to understand what each party needed from the trip.
As any good leader, I jumped straight in with a few days in London. Now that was a shock, the pace, the intensity and the people. So much energy, so much movement, so much choice.
It’s not a city I have spent much time in, but I was in love within hours. So much history and so many diverse people and languages, and the visual stimulus was off the charts. All filled my tank up while we walked over 30,000 steps a day.
This is when I realised that we all fall into the trap of routine, the mundane, business as usual. But it’s only when you step outside that space you realise what’s possible.
I found myself inspired by leaders of the past that we saw cast in bronze, the blue plaques that showed locations of some of the most influential people in history, all while surrounded by 100s of new languages.
While there are many moments of overwhelm, this all fueled the sense of – what if?
There have been many moments of fear while being here, of safety, of being away from my family, of allowing myself to call this a holiday while still working, of the unknown with my dad. Still, they are all moments that brighten the future, of a renewed energy for life and humanity, the good and bad.
Today will be another big step for me. Visiting where my mum’s ashes are in North Wales, a place that I hold dear to my heart but have never been to say hello to her—something my dad shared with me only yesterday. I hate that she’s gone and that it makes me feel alone, but that doesn’t mean I am alone, and it doesn’t mean I can’t move forward and make her proud.
We all need to step into the unknown, pain, and discomfort to remind ourselves we are ALIVE.
With all my anxiety about seeing my dad again, I lost sight of how he may have felt. But quickly, I found out. The moment I saw his mates, they all said he does nothing but talk about me and what I am doing in life, some of which I think may have been stretched with a little bit of dad pride as I seemed to be some rock star from NZ.
But this isn’t the case. I am simply living the life my dad and mum taught me to live. To test, challenge, be brave, and ask new questions, even if you don’t like the answer.
So much of my fear was in the stories I created and allowed myself to believe to be real. But being here wasn’t about me; it was about my dad, about showing him I cared and that I love him by getting on the plane and leaving my family because his needs are greater than mine right now.
My discomfort has provided comfort for another, and that’s the choice we must make sometimes to ensure that we live our lives and not stay stuck in easy, comfortable and uninspiring.
While I am only a few days into the trip, I feel like I have moved mountains, which is only done in small steps.
And my final thought for this week is for our co-pilots in life, our best friends, our wives/husbands, sisters and brothers that are there for you no matter what.
They are the angels that pick you up, dust you off and say you can do this. Thank you, my angels, for your support in getting me to this point.
The Lone Leader steps up and deals with life, with the triumphs and the disasters, not just HR and P&L – hence why I share this very personal story with you today, as I know that all of you are on your own challenging journies that are not always what you want them to be.
But, if you want the life you deserve, those paths must be walked.
And if you need a little help, join the free Lone Leader App here.
Until next week, all of your successes are on the other side of fear.