Pressing into Something New

Starting a new thing can be tough. It can stretch us, alter our thinking and heighten our emotions. That’s not a bad thing. That’s growth.

Recently, I started a new project. It included dusting off an old skill I haven’t used in a while as well as stretching into areas where I’d never ventured before. One moment I was thrilled and the next terrified. All the while trying to stay calm, cool and collected!

This situation tested my abilities, my capacity and my confidence. It didn’t take long for me to realize the learning curve is more like a roller coaster. It took me a bit, but I did find my footing with the help of a few colleagues who reminded me that it wouldn’t be growth if it wasn’t a little uncomfortable. 

“The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things.”

~ Carol S. Dweck

When we are in that uncomfortable space, it’s helpful to remember that the Lord is our confidence and we can tap into that amazing confidence to move through the stumbling that naturally occurs when we are growing and learning.

For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

~Proverbs 3:26

When that new thing becomes a little unwieldy and your footing isn’t certain, it can be helpful to pay attention. That might be the moment to pause and press in to see what you are noticing. I did just that and noticed a few things that were important in the process for me.

Notice what You Need

When faced with something new that is bound to stretch you, it can be helpful to step back and notice what it is that you need in the moment. We assume we need information and time to engage in the new thing. We may also need space to take a breath, walk away from the computer or from meetings to detach or think. Sometimes we might need to block time to get things done and gain some sense of accomplishment. Stepping back and asking, “What do I need right now?” can give us the perspective and mental resources we need for the moment.

Engage Wise Counsel

It’s easy in that uncomfortable new space to put our head down and start doing and doing and doing. However, this is exactly the moment we need to seek out others who can offer perspective and support in those uncomfortable moments. We can recruit people we admire and learn from this. I recently talked about this in the Side by Side Podcast episode Can Comparison Be Good? Guest, Amber Cullum, shared with us some great insights and practical tips for ways we can actually leverage comparison to fuel our growth. 

Pray for Wisdom

Isn’t it interesting how often Jesus went to a secluded place to pray? There is something we can learn from that regular routine. And often after difficult conversations or situations, that was the routine Jesus engaged. In new situations we often need that secluded space that fuels our soul. Check out Connecting with God Your Way for a few ideas on the unique ways that we can do this aligned with how we are wired.

Next Steps

If you are facing something new, take a step back and think about what you need, who can advise you and pray for the wisdom you need. Then, share with me & the other readers. What is it that you learned as you pressed into the new thing you are doing? What would you add or change from the list above? Let’s encourage and support one another in the new things God has for us. Comment below or send me an email!

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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center for Coaching Excellence.

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