Hotel Leadership: Fake It Until You Make It
By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | March 2021
Uncomfortable? Become Comfortable and Embrace It
Think back to your days as a child; in your neighborhood, you may have had a community pool with a diving board that (especially in your youth) seemed about twenty stories tall. And each summer, during swimming lessons, the instructor would force you to you climb those stairs, teeter out to the end of the board, and basically push you off the end. Do you remember how that felt? Your whole being was screaming at you not to do it, because you knew that the inevitable would happen and you were most certainly going to plunge to your death. As you fell for what seemed like eternity, suddenly you would hit the water and have the realization that you had survived and, in fact, it was not that bad at all.
As children, our parents or our swimming instructors or our teachers were obligated to give us a gentle nudge over the edge. Embrace the fact that now, you are the only one who can take that leap of faith. We know how the story continues with those summers at the swimming pool; you throw yourself off the diving board once, and then realize that it's pretty fun and you actually enjoy proving to yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. You then jump off enough times repeatedly that it's no longer an intimidating challenge. So the first step? Embrace what makes you uncomfortable; professional growth comes from new experiences and often distressing ones.
If you want something in life that you have never had, you will likely have to do something that you have never done. However, knowing what needs to be done and understanding what is holding you back from doing it are two different tasks. It might be completely evident to you what the looming task or situation is; what you may not be able to immediately recognize is why you're feeling the way you are. What is it about the situation that is triggering the feeling of fear?
More than likely, it is a fear of failure or a fear of not being good enough. Simply summarized, most paralyzing situations stem from one of those two roots. Reflect on the uncomfortable scenario you envisioned when first reading the opening paragraph of this article; would you agree that the underlying originating fear is one of those two roots?