Who Encourages You When You Leave Your Comfort Zone?
You are venturing out into unknown territory.
And yes, you are way out of your comfort zone.
It’s a new stage in your life;
as a newly wed,
your first real job,
as a new parent,
transitioning to retirement,
as an empty nester.
You are full of excitement, anticipation…
(okay and a whole lotta fear).
What do you really need right now?
We all need an encourager in our lives. Someone who offers clear honest support. Someone who can truly set you free to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Someone to hold that space in your future.
Finding and connecting with that special person can mean the difference between going the journey alone and isolated or having a loyal companion who is by your side through thick and thin. This is different from a friend or family member who offers a high five or thumbs up to everything you suggest. Instead this is an ally that you can count on to hold fast to your dream, even when you feel you are losing it.
What are the characteristics of an encourager? There are three main types and you may or may not find or even want them all in the same person.
Three types of Encouragers
The Clone: This is someone who recognizes your new role and totally understands where you are coming from and what you are currently going through. Maybe it’s an experienced parent who understands the life of a new mom. Maybe it’s a first time entrepreneurial start-up like yourself who knows what it is like to feel so passionate about changing the world one minute and doubting your ability to make the business work the next. In any case, it is someone that you feel totally gets you to the core. They don’t just support what you are doing, they understand it and why it matters to you. Just being around them, keeps the fire burning and energizes you.
The Accountability Partner: This is someone who holds your feet to the fire and keeps you grounded. They are task oriented and they help you stay on schedule with your goals and dreams. They give you a gentle push when you get off track and they don’t let you wander far a field. Their support is concrete, dependable and based on understanding the steps necessary to create your future.
The Visionary: This is one of the most difficult roles to play and yet one of the most vital. They are honest but motivational. Careful not to stir up resentment, blame or ill-will they provide critical objective feedback all the while keeping your best interest and future goals in mind. They don’t discount the hard road ahead and the effort you will need to put forth, but they never lose sight of you and your potential. As one client said to me after a session, “I appreciate our time together because you make me think and look at things in a different way. While I love my friends dearly, they tend to sympathize with my problem and I leave just feeling even more sorry for myself. After I talk with you, I have a plan for changing the way I do things.” The visionary sees with clarity the future that is calling you and they hold that space for you even when you are most discouraged.
We all need a clone, an accountability partner and a visionary in our lives. Who fills that role for you?