We’ll keep this one short.  I know my email is going to get stuck between a million huge Black Friday deals!

I have been thinking a lot lately about learning new skills and gaining experience.  I believe most successful people fall into 2 categories – generalists which are people who know a little bit about a lot of things and specialists which are people who know a ton about one thing.  That’s quite a broad spectrum so I start wondering what was the action that allows people to become successful especially across multiple fields and over time.  I came across a really simple answer.

The key to success is simply putting yourself out there.  This seems obvious but its also very easy to avoid especially as we get older and have families, life circumstances, and our own doubts to hold us back.  Putting ourselves out there requires us to wrestle with the good chance that we will probably fail.  And failure hurts – its embarrassing (what will the people around me think?), and it causes us wrestle with our own doubts (what if I am not good enough?).

We live in a world today where we can go through our daily lives and never put ourselves out there.  We can stay inside our comfortable little box of what we know and just stay there.

I have found that when I am most unhappy is when I am living in this box.  We have an innate desire to seek improvement and that requires you being OK with failing because you can’t win every single time.  Putting yourself out there does not need to be huge drastic changes (although it can be).  It can be as simple as learning a new skill like learning to draw or sew.  It can be joining a book club to read more books or even challenging yourself and you significant other to have deeper conversations each week.  These are all things that create some kind of vulnerability in ourselves when we decide to do it.

This all sounds so simple when its on paper, but whats the last thing you did that left you feeling vulnerable?  My challenge for you is to think about a few things you would like to accomplish.  Pick one and create an easy goal to accomplish that will get you heading in the right direction.  Then just put yourself out there and make it happen.