By Dr. Jason Carthen
2015 is upon us and with the New Year, there are temptations to create goals or follow a course of action that may appear to take us out of our comfort zones. In contrast, there is also the tendency to keep going down the same familiar path without taking any risks just to maintain status quo. I want to share with you today that feeling stretched or taken out of your comfort zone is a good thing and waters the seeds of expectation in your life. It is when the ordinary or status quo effort and existence is shaken up that true growth can begin to take place. Years ago, during my journey to complete my Ph.D. there were so many moments of being stretched and taken out of my comfort zone that I eventually lost count and simply became open to the possibilities and even developed an expectation for growth. This openness to possibilities and cultivating expectation would come to serve me well.
Be Aware of Your Capabilities
Furthermore, I learned several things about myself during the process of cultivating seeds of expectation. One of my learning takeaways was that I was not fully aware of what my capabilities were until my effort had to line up with how badly I wanted to achieve my goals. You see, expectations create mental images of a preferred future and then the subsequent effort to achieve goals for that preferred future have to be considered. In other words, if I wanted something badly enough, I had to consider if it was worth the hard work that it was going to require. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory calls this “Valence” or the belief that if I behave or perform a certain way, then I will most likely achieve my goals or rewards.
As you hit the ground running and begin to grind out 2015, be mindful of the need for all of us to be stretched and come out of our comfort zones in order to reach new levels of growth an development.
How are your cultivating the seeds of expectation in your life or in your followers’ lives?