Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable!

Author: Michael Hatton, Secondary Principal, Spurger ISD

We tell our students and personal kids they shouldn’t be scared of change or trying something new, but how many of us walk that walk as an adult when there’s so much risk involved?

Most of us operate extremely well in our comfort zone. Let us be…we like it here, but the question is, are we growing there?

Four years ago, I was faced with an opportunity that challenged that very thing. I was faced with making the move out of my coaching position (definitely my comfort zone) into administration (you guessed it…not my comfort zone). I have since served two years as an assistant principal and two years as a head principal at two middle schools. My 15 year career has been spent at the middle school level…until this year. This year, I stepped out of my comfort zone again and took a high school principal job. 

In a discussion with a respected friend, who has many years of experience at all levels of administration, I asked him if he ever took a position and felt fully confident that he knew everything about the job and he looked me square in the face and said, “No sir, not a single one.” That was pretty eye opening for me. I think many people get into the mindset of believing we have to know everything about a job before we are qualified to make the move. The imposter syndrome can hit hard causing us to doubt our ability to get the job done.

We have to find a way to keep that from happening. Take time to reflect on what is causing us to feel that way. Once it’s identified, take the necessary steps to overcome it. As leaders, we continuously encourage those around us. We must live out the encouragement that we give others. We must embrace being uncomfortable…it means we’re growing.

In the current book I’m reading, the author, Mr. Nelson Coulter, speaks of ambiguity as it relates to the principalship. I have never related more to anything I’ve read in a long time.  

I’ll leave you with this. A few weeks ago, I came across this saying on social media, and it has resonated with me ever since. “You’re suffering from self doubt while others are intimidated by your full potential.” Read that again. 

Just my thoughts…

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