Episode 70: Why and How to Explore Outside Your Comfort Zone

How can you push your limits, take risks and explore your true potential? How can you develop the mindset, discipline and commitment needed for adventurous activities in life – both at work and beyond? This episode focuses on three key ingredients for making this a reality.

Sue Stockdale knows about adventure. She is the UK’s first female to ski to Magnetic North Pole, a TEDx speaker, executive coach and the author of several books, including Explore: A Life of Adventure. In it, and in our Humans At Work conversation, Sue shares her adventures to some of the remote corners of the world including the North Pole, Antarctica and Greenland. And, she explains why stepping out your comfort zone is key to living a fulfilling life and achieving your potential.

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Episode Highlights


What it means to "be uncomfortable"


Viewing conflict as a pathway to positive results


Switching from controlling to curiosity


Willingness to be uncomfortable opens up new career possibilities


Where leaders and teams play it safe


The power of switching from "me" to "we"


Challenges of skiing across the Greenland Icecap


Team dynamics and adapting when your lives are at risk


An unconventional approach to feedback for leaders


Getting the most valuable feedback in the least amount of time


The link between curiosity and success


Powerful teambuilding activity: the what-if game


What it's like at the North Pole


Ingredients to help us enjoy even difficult journeys


Overcoming mental challenges of skiing to the North Pole


Helping leaders and teams work through similar challenges


Neutralizing negative self-talk


Powerful reframing

Sue’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

“For me, it's connectedness…for people to feel recognized and heard, which therefore enables that connectedness to others. And I see things happening, I see activities happening, you might argue we all have these platforms where we can do instant messaging, of course, we're connected. But certainly do we really feel connected? Do we feel heard by our colleagues? And so I think it comes back to just having time for one another. Just like we're having this conversation today, Michael, you're looking me in the eye, you're engaging with me as a human being. And I feel connected to you in this conversation. For me, nothing beats that. And I just see that we could have some more of that in the workplace. I think that would help without our well being that we felt we were really part of something and being heard.”

What “working with humans” means to Sue

“Oh, it's a wonderful phrase. It's seeing people as in all aspects, Have their wonderfulness. So not a job title, you know, just themselves and everybody has a spark of brilliance. And I just love that idea that I always think about if you if you met your boss or the most senior person in your company, at a bus stop when you were waiting on the bus and there were just a person next to you and you were having a conversation with them. You would see them as a human being. And then all of a sudden we go into the workplace and we give somebody a big desk and a job title and put them as some remote person and all of a sudden they seem much more scary. At the heart of it, they're still a human being. And the wonderful thing of going to the Arctic is that it doesn't matter how much money you've got, how important of a job you've got. You are just a human being and you're surviving with other human beings. And that is wonderful thing about that phrase humans at work, that we are all just people.”


Follow: Sue's website
Watch: Transformation Begins in the Mind (TEDx)

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.