Heard a great message from John Hambrick who is a psychologist. He was sharing about how people who are able should step up when they can help improve a situation.
He was asked why people hold back from addressing difficult situations. He said there are three:
First, he said people withhold help because it’s not convenient. To take a detour from a normal routine to help others can take you off schedule. It can cost you time. It may mean you have to delay something that’s fun. It’s sometimes easier to just move on.
My wife is a nurse. When we encounter an accident on the highways, she scans the scene to assess whether anyone is injured and whether that person is being attended to by a medical professional.
If she’s not satisfied there is help, we’re stopping. No question. Doesn’t matter where we are headed, who we are going to see or what time we are expected. The priority becomes the person in need.
It’s not convenient to stop. But, the situation calls for a bit of inconvenience.
Second, says Hambrick, it can be uncomfortable to weigh in. Comfort is ease. In our work settings, it can be easier to stay in your “lane.” Don’t offer suggestions. Don’t report shortcomings. Don’t volunteer for new assignments. Don’t try to learn something new. It’s comfortable to stay insulated from extra effort.
Finally, weighing in can be unpredictable. You can’t be certain your help will be welcome or effective. The ultimate lack of control nudges you to safety.
Failing to step up because it will be inconvenient to help is not happening to the world.
Failing to step up because it might be uncomfortable is not courageous.
Failing to risk stepping up because the outcome isn’t certain isn’t adventuresome.
Hambrick said this: “we will never meet the best version of ourself in the comfort zone. Comfort is boring.”
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