I went skiing with my wife this past weekend, as we do often. I've been skiing for longer than she has but we both strive to get better every time we go out. Go a little faster, turn a little harder, do something that scares us. This past weekend she leveled up. There was some barrier that she broke through and it was awesome. We covered twice the vertical feet that we normally do and skied some stuff that was previously off limits for us.
We were talking about the experience, the mechanics of it, why it happened the way that it did, and as most conversations with us, it eventually comes back to business. If you've ever owned a business or been in a business development role, or if you're just a Type-A overachiever like a lot of us, then you are undoubtably familiar with this occurrence. When you are passionate about something, it tends to creep into all aspects of your life. Anyway, we were talking about how in order to grow, to get better, to advance, we need to take risks. We need to do things that make us uncomfortable, that scare us a little. It is only then that we change. Not only do we change, but we create a new normal, or a new baseline. Once you break through a barrier, and you know that you are capable of running an 8 minute mile, or hiking a 14'er, or making $100K in a year, your mindset changes. That new achievement becomes the new baseline, something that you know you are capable of and now you can focus on the next level, a 7 minute mile, climbing Kilimanjaro, making $250K in a year.
It all starts with taking some risks. Sometimes, the first risk is just allowing yourself to believe you are capable of striving for such heights.