Once upon a time there was a young woman. A very creative, very intelligent young woman she was. And she was trying to find her place in this world. She knew she still had a lot to learn.
So she ventured out into the wild, looking for advice.
Behind one especially big tree she spotted a tall man in a fancy suit.
"It's a guru!" She recognized immediately. And she was right.
The guru gave her a book. A MARKETING book!
She gratefully took it, and when she turned it over, she saw multiple speech bubbles containing very kind words about the guru in the suit.
She lit up. She knew - she was about to be let in on big secrets.
She sat down on a tree that had fallen during a recent storm, and started reading. The words were very bold. And very convincing. They instructed her exactly on what she had to do.
"You must dress for sucess." "Do this." "Don't do that"
And above all: "Leave your comfort zone!"
There was just one little problem with that. Outside of your comfort zone it can be really, really uncomfortable.
Still, our heroine wouldn't be our heroine if she didn't at least try to be good and do as she had been told. And she stepped into the dark. It was cold there. And it smelled funny. And she got scared.
Her heart was racing. Her mind was completely occupied with all the horrible things that were possibly about to happen. She advanced even slower than when she had stayed in her comfort zone. And she froze. She got so paralyzed, she couldn't take one more step.
So the young woman thought to herself. "Maybe, just maybe, I must not step all the way into what frightens me. Maybe there's another place I can step into."
And she turned to the owl who had been sitting on a twig above her head and watching her for a while, and she asked it for advice.
"Owl, can you help me? I know I need to leave my comfort zone. And I did. But now I'm stuck. Horribly stuck. I cannot take one more step."
And the owl looked at her for one moment, tilted her head, and responded: "Little girl. You've got a lot to learn. Don't take any guru's advice and stop using your own judgement. You already know your answer. What good place lies outside your comfort zone?"
And the young woman lit up again. "My courage zone!" She blurted out. "That doesn't feel so bad. It feels quite exciting, actually. Yes, I will go find my courage zone!"
And she shoved her feet, and took a little jump.
The owl smiled, spread her wings and flew off. She knew she wasn't needed any more.
And the young woman? Ran off into the world, avoiding the very dark places, jumping from one exciting adventure to the next and got further than she had ever dreamed. And she lived outrageously ever after.
And the moral of this story: Your courage zone is the place to be. (That almost rhymes! And anything that rhymes... is good!)
If you too want to find a better way to go about your marketing and building your creative career but haven't had the good fortune to meet your own personal, wise owl just yet, check out what we could do together here. I'm no guru and I wear no suit.