This is one of my favorite patterns which is “The Deep End” because it talks about the importance of leaving our comfort zone and jump into the dep end. I love how this pattern explains the importance of being open minded and ready to confront anything because nothing guarantees that we will always be in a domain that matches our skill level.
Waiting until you’re ready can become a recipe for never doing a thing. Growth only happens by taking on the scary jobs and doing things that stretch you. There are opportunities that we will or may end up having, but they might be out of our comfort zone. Risks are opportunities seen through the half-shut eyes of fear. Meaning that taking that promotion or foreign assignment when it’s offered, even if the very real possibility of failure is staring you in the face. Being prepared to fail and recovering from that failure opens doors that the timid will never see.
Even though we advocate seeking out the most challenging tasks we are capable of, we still need to remember that if the water level is above our head, it means we’re drowning. Even in Enrique’s example, where he was changing his life in a big way, he was still moving to a country where he knew at least one person and could speak the national language. It is our responsibility to offset the risks of this approach by Finding Mentors and Kindred Spirits who can provide help when we need it.
It’s also your responsibility to Create Feedback Loops, so that if the challenging project starts to spin out of control you can catch it and get help immediately. Applying this pattern should feel brave rather than reckless. Willing to go and confront the difficulties and being ready to swim until we finally find the way out.