Seth Godin put it this way:
Doing the best I can
…is actually not the same as, “doing everything I can.”
When we tell people we’re doing the best we can, we’re actually saying, “I’m doing the best I’m comfortable doing.”
As you’ve probably discovered, great work makes us uncomfortable.
And then there’s this from Paul Jarvis.
Only by experimenting with fear can we find our true limits – no the limits we think we have, because these are only assumptions until we try. When we push up against fear, we realize that our limits are much further away than we realized; sometimes those limits are so distant, we can’t even see them.
– Paul Jarvis, Everything I Know, pg. 78
Even the next layer beyond safe isn’t much threat. By “Risk To Reputation” I mean that it might hurt your image, you might lose some confidence, maybe your judgment will be questioned, but it’s more of a superficial loss. It appears to be a poor choice. But I’d rather know if and what you learned in those moments.
There are probably many more layers in this inception quadrant – and eventually if you get too careless you may actually hurt yourself or someone else. But the whole point is this:
We tend to live with a much smaller set of assumptions as to what choices we have available to us.
We live bound by our own insecurities, fears and comfort.
Maybe it’s time to see ourselves and others in a new light. With the possibilities of who they could be. And maybe we can be willing to step out just a little into more of the possible and available choices that we have in our work and day to day activities.