I think one of the deadliest career killers is being comfortable.
That is why I push myself and the team to be uncomfortable (at least some of the time).
Breaking comfort zones and pushing boundaries is integral to our workplace culture. Of course, I try and lead by example. A few years ago, I found going deep underwater to be quite intimidating and it definitely made me unconformable, so I challenged myself.
I went deep sea scuba diving for the first time in my life and dived right into uncomfortable territory. I was irrationally worried beforehand but as soon as I went underwater the first time, I was hooked, and I loved it.
I didn’t stop there though as I wanted to extend my limits and boundaries even further and push my comfort zone even more. That’s why last year I went inside a shark cage on the coast of North Sydney. I was lucky enough to have a shark come so close to me that I could kiss it (I gave it a thumbs up instead). This was definitely another challenge for me, but the hardest part was the lead-up. The execution was heaps of fun and helped me grow my comfort limits.
This wasn’t the end, I had one more step to reach before I met the limits of my comfort zone. After taking the biggest leap of faith of my life by getting married, I decided whilst on my honeymoon in Cancun to ditch the cage and freestyle swim with sharks. As you can see from the footage I got up close and personal with some intimidating fish. While they were ultimately harmless, it was still a challenge for me and I’m immensely glad I did it.
Swimming with sharks was an amazing experience and one of the most memorable moments of my honeymoon. I would never have experienced it if I didn’t push my comfort zones that first time I went deep-sea scuba diving.
Life lessons like these are the type I try to implement in the day-to-day life of Devika. I like to push boundaries and challenge our comfort zones in everything, which has shown to yield good results when working with emerging technology. Our team might not be swimming with sharks daily, but when completing projects that have never been done before on new types of technology, the team is swimming in deep water.
Ironically, another thing that my adventures have taught me is that you can find yourself uncomfortable in unexpected situations. When I went stunt flying in an airplane I thought it would be more difficult than it looks. Even whilst doing barrel rolls and flips in the air, after practicing I found that even in new environments and situations you will find yourself finding comfort once you practice - practice - practice.
These experiences have taught me it is not the absence of fear, but the will to conquer fear which is what is important. To expect the unexpected is a lesson I relay to my team. In different ways each team member like to push boundaries and as a team it is great to share our will for expanding our comfort zones.