Episode 134

Change: Breaking Barriers and Stepping Out of Comfort Zones with Lori Adams-Brown

In this episode of A World of Difference, host Lori Adams-Brown discusses the importance of embracing discomfort and living outside of your comfort zone. As she notes, "The more we push ourselves, the more we grow and evolve as individuals."

Breaking Barriers: Stepping Out of Comfort Zones

Looking to become a better global citizen, leader or simply step outside your comfort zone? Then, don't miss A World of Difference podcast hosted by cross cultural expert, Lori Adams-Brown. This episode is all about stepping outside your comfort zone, which can be scary but the benefits are immense. Lori shares her experience of crossing cultures, reminding listeners to embrace vulnerability for personal growth and tackling important skills like empathy and adaptability. To help her audience, Lori suggests different methods like taking cooking classes, going to cultural festivals or using Duolingo to learn new languages. The podcast ends with a reminder to embrace differences and to keep making a difference in the world. Don't wait, subscribe now to A World of Difference and join the conversation about diversity and inclusion!

Lori Adams-Brown, "One way to expand your horizons is by immersing yourself in different cultures, and this can be through travel. It could be attending a cultural event. By talking to people from different backgrounds and exposing ourselves to different ways of human life."

Timestamps

[00:00:02] Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

[00:02:58] The Value of Cultural Exploration

[00:06:18] The Importance of Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone

[00:09:40] Benefits of Vulnerability in Cultural Learning

[00:13:03] Embracing discomfort for growth and connection

Episode Links

Best Quotes

[00:00:06] This is a podcast for those who are different and wanna make a difference


[00:05:33] So what if I told you that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to personal growth and a greater understanding of the world around


[00:06:30] But also, we change in the process of learning from other people. We become better versions of ourselves when we expose ourselves and open ourselves up at vulnerability in our minds to change of how we might learn from someone else


[00:08:58] It's not always easy to step outside our comfort zones because if fear and the unknown can really hold us back, and it can be difficult to even know where to start sometimes



[00:02:58] But if that's outside of your comfort zone, maybe that's the kind of situation you're thinking about today as I think as we talk about being outside your comfort zone


[00:06:48] Stepping out of our comfort zones can also help us develop important skills such as being adaptable. Empathetic. We all know that empathetic leaders are the best kinds of leaders


[00:08:58] It's not always easy to step outside our comfort zones because if fear and the unknown can really hold us back, and it can be difficult to even know where to start sometimes


[00:01:53] We have so many voices and perspectives that we wanna hear from and want to join together to collaborate in this effort of us all around the world, so please leave us a review


[00:11:16] Culture around the world dance so differently, and we can learn a lot about culture by just learning to dance


[00:03:38] Going outside of my comfort zone would be probably sitting with a bunch of women learning to do crafts or knitting or sewing or something of that nature I don't know what he does about that, but it's just really outside of my comfort zone


[00:05:33] So what if I told you that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to personal growth and a greater understanding of the world around


[00:00:06] This is a podcast for those who are different and wanna make a difference


[00:06:30] But also, we change in the process of learning from other people. We become better versions of ourselves when we expose ourselves and open ourselves up at vulnerability in our minds to change of how we might learn from someone else


[00:02:06] My question is, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were outside of your comfort zone?


[00:04:56] And for many of us, being in an unfamiliar territory can be intimidating, even scary


[00:09:30] This can be a great way to connect with other people who are also interested in learning about other cultures


[00:07:50] So, it's not just about gaining knowledge, it's about stepping out of our comfort zone and developing these new skills, learning to be flexible and handling changes that come our way and challenges in ways that we're better able to not cope with, but to embrace and learn from and overcome those obstacles and move forward


[00:10:40] Duolingo is a great app if you're wanting to learn another language, but also it could be just taking cooking classes


[00:01:15] Either way, this podcast is gonna have something for all of us to learn


Here are three tips to help you embrace discomfort and grow:


1. Start small: It's easy to get overwhelmed and anxious when facing something new. Start with small, manageable steps that push you just outside your comfort zone. For example, strike up a conversation with someone you don't know at a networking event or try a new hobby.


2. Celebrate your successes: Acknowledge and celebrate each time you step out of your comfort zone. Whether it's a small or big win, take pride in your progress and use it to build momentum for your next challenge.


3. Learn from failures: It's okay to stumble and make mistakes. Use these experiences as opportunities for growth and learning. Ask yourself what you could have done differently and how you can apply these lessons moving forward.


If you're looking for motivation to embrace discomfort and grow, this podcast episode is a must-listen. As Lori says, "The more we get out of our comfort zones, the more we're living life to the fullest."

Here are three key takeaways from the episode:


1. Discomfort is necessary for growth: In order to grow and develop as individuals, we must embrace discomfort and push ourselves to try new things. This can be scary and intimidating, but it's the only way to truly expand our horizons.


2. Failure is not the end: Stepping outside your comfort zone inevitably means you will experience setbacks and failures. But as Lori points out, "Failure is not the end. It's simply an opportunity to learn, grow, and adapt." Don't let fear of failure hold you back from taking risks and trying new things.


3. Embracing discomfort can lead to greater fulfillment: When we stay within the confines of our comfort zones, we're limiting ourselves. By embracing discomfort and taking risks, we open ourselves up to new experiences and opportunities that can lead to greater fulfillment and satisfaction in life.


If you're ready to step outside your comfort zone and embrace discomfort, this podcast episode is a great place to start. As Lori says, "We all have the power to change our lives for the better. It starts with being brave enough to take that first step."

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Transcript

Transcript

Lori Adams-Brown:

Welcome to the A World of Different's Podcast.

I'm Lori Adams Brown, and this is a podcast for those who are different and wanna make a difference.

Today, we're doing something a little bit differently.

I did a live live stream on LinkedIn this week about getting out of our comfort zone.

So we're gonna play that as the episode this week.

Lori Adams-Brown:

If you missed it, you can check it out on LinkedIn.

But in that many of you are wanting to be brave and cross cultures for your wanting to be more inclusive of other people's voices, or you're wanting to just build your own career and gain new skills, and all of these really lend themselves to being more open to getting out of our comfort zones.

So I really hope you enjoyed this episode.

And let me know what you think.

Hello.

Lori Adams-Brown:

Everyone on LinkedIn.

We are going live with the award of difference podcast today.

Thank you for joining us.

Today, for the award of difference podcast, we're gonna be talking about how to get out of our comfort zones.

So if you are in a comfortable place or you are really excited and risk taking and just ready to get out of your comfort zone and live outside of your comfort zone.

Lori Adams-Brown:

Either way, this podcast is gonna have something for all of us to learn.

Before we begin the, I wanna remind you to subscribe to our podcast on your preferred platform, so you don't miss any of our upcoming episodes.

We have some really exciting ones coming up this week.

We're gonna have Earth Day.

We have some different authors.

Lori Adams-Brown:

We're gonna be talking about why toxic masculinity is not okay by an author of a a new book that's coming out.

We're gonna be exploring all kinds of topics and have some academics and scholars and people who are making a difference around the world on some upcoming episodes.

If you enjoy listening to their world of difference podcast, please leave us a review to help us reach more listeners all around the world.

We have so many voices and perspectives that we wanna hear from and want to join together to collaborate in this effort of us all around the world, so please leave us a review.

I hope some more people find us.

Lori Adams-Brown:

Now let's dive in.

My question is, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were outside of your comfort zone?

I think most of us have.

Whether it's getting on a roller coaster for the first time.

This is on record right now because my family just got back from Universal Studios this weekend.

Lori Adams-Brown:

We live here in California and Silicon Valley.

But our 15 years and my husband and I have prevented Universal Studios here in Polycom.

We've been to the 1 in Singapore many times.

We lived there for 10 years and we had annual passes.

We've never been to the actual universal studios where you get to go to the actual studios where movies are made, and it's a lot of fun if you haven't done it.

Lori Adams-Brown:

My boys especially enjoyed the new Nintendo world.

We got reservations that still come to Bay, which are really hard to get, and, of course, a great potter world.

It was a lot of fun.

But if you're the kind of person who doesn't like rollercoaster, would not be me, or anyone in my family, we love roller coasters.

But if that's outside of your comfort zone, maybe that's the kind of situation you're thinking about today as I think as we talk about being outside your comfort zone, or maybe it's crossing into another culture, whether it's in the place where you live, going into an area of town where people eat different food or speak a different language or have very different ways of living, or it's actually the really hard thing for some of us.

Lori Adams-Brown:

That's just getting on a plane and going across the world.

That was not hard for me.

My parents raised me in another country from where our passport swore.

I went to international school, and I met people from all over the world growing up.

But I know that there were some people crossing cultures can be a little bit tricky.

Lori Adams-Brown:

Going outside of my comfort zone would be probably sitting with a bunch of women learning to do crafts or knitting or sewing or something of that nature I don't know what he does about that, but it's just really outside of my comfort zone.

I'm not good at that.

I don't enjoy it.

I find it really just awful.

I'm just gonna be honest.

Lori Adams-Brown:

Or maybe it's for you meeting someone from a different background at work or in your neighborhood At the A World of Defense Podcast, we are all about diversity.

You know this about us, but we're also about inclusion inclusion of other people's voices into our lives.

That help us be more understanding, more empathetic, and more collaborative as we come together around the world to make a difference.

We don't all have all the perspectives in our brains.

We need other people's perspectives speaking into us.

Lori Adams-Brown:

So Let's think about a moment, maybe you are traveling to a new country, attending a cultural event, or just meeting somebody from a different background.

And how did you feel?

And where did you feel that in your body?

Did you feel something like oh, just butterflies in your stomach?

Did you feel overwhelmed in your brain?

Lori Adams-Brown:

Did you feel that your kinda legs were shaky and you were just nervous?

Where did you feel that in your body?

And for many of us, being in an unfamiliar territory can be intimidating, even scary.

We tend to gravitate towards what's familiar.

This is human nature.

Lori Adams-Brown:

My undergrad is in sociology.

We studied this quite a bit when I was in college and this is something that has not changed over time for us.

Humans.

We want to be with people who are like us.

That feels comfortable in our bodies, our brains, and our thoughts, and just the way we live and move in the world.

Lori Adams-Brown:

I mean, look at your average middle school cafeteria in the United States, people tend to sit by the people that are like them.

But we miss out on beautiful experiences when we only are around people who look and act and think like us.

So what if I told you that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to personal growth and a greater understanding of the world around us and can even help you and your career to bring more aspects of yourself into your leadership, into your skill set because you have opened up your brain and your mind and your body to new experiences.

1 way to expand your horizons is by immersing yourself in different cultures.

And this can be through travel.

Lori Adams-Brown:

It could be attending a cultural event.

By talking to people from different backgrounds and exposing ourselves to different ways of human life.

And by doing this can gain a better appreciation for the diversity of human experience and it helps us understand our own humanity differently.

And this is the part people often miss.

It's not just that you're saying, I'm gonna give you the pleasure of speaking into my life if I am so generous as to give you my time.

Lori Adams-Brown:

No.

No.

I mean, yes.

Let's be generous with our time.

But also, we change in the process of learning from other people.

Lori Adams-Brown:

We become better versions of ourselves when we expose ourselves and open ourselves up at vulnerability in our minds to change of how we might learn from someone else.

But it's not just about gaining knowledge.

It really isn't.

Stepping out of our comfort zones can also help us develop important skills such as being adaptable.

Empathetic.

Lori Adams-Brown:

We all know that empathetic leaders are the best kinds of leaders.

We perform better.

We trust more on our teams when our leaders are empathetic.

You wanted to grow in your leadership and all of your career, this is something that you can really add to your to your skill set as being empathetic.

And it helps in our communication.

Lori Adams-Brown:

The company I work in, we're always working to get better on cross cultural communication.

We're a global company.

How we communicate really varies depending on whether we're a low or high context culture.

Are we expecting people on our team to read the air or be we being more direct?

Americans in general are very direct, and Japanese friends of ours are much more in the air.

Lori Adams-Brown:

And there's everybody in the world is somewhere in the middle of that spectrum every other country.

So how we communicate really matters, but we get around people who communicate differently.

Us understand how to communicate more across culturally.

So, it's not just about gaining knowledge, it's about stepping out of our comfort zone and developing these new skills, learning to be flexible and handling changes that come our way and challenges in ways that we're better able to not cope with, but to embrace and learn from and overcome those obstacles and move forward.

So, of course, it's not always easy though to step outside of our for Simmons.

Lori Adams-Brown:

I wonder if any of you would put in the comments a moment where you tried to step outside your comfort zone.

It was just really, really hard.

I'd love to hear from that.

I'd like to interact with you on the chat about this.

But 1 way like I said to to do this is to immerse your in another culture, so I'd really love to know if any of you have ever traveled to another culture, especially if you've been an expat and lived in another culture like I did in Asia for 20 years.

Lori Adams-Brown:

I spent 10 years in Indonesia and 20 I'm sorry, 10 Singapore, 20 took total in Asia.

But I would love to hear more about any of you who've crossed cultures for work or maybe volunteering for a summer or a couple of weeks and what that was like for you to come into another culture.

Yes.

It's not always easy to easy to step outside our comfort zones because if fear and the unknown can really hold us back, and it can be difficult to even know where to start sometimes.

But the good news is, there are resources available to help us.

Lori Adams-Brown:

So 1 way I recommend is to start seeking out organizations or communities that celebrate diversity we hear at the World of Defense Podcast, that's what we love to do is celebrate diversity and be very inclusive of voices around us.

Seeking actually new voices to speak into our lives.

This can be a great way to connect with other people who are also interested in learning about other cultures.

And who are just sort of dipping their toe into this vast ocean of what that means.

So you're in the right place.

Lori Adams-Brown:

If you're listening to the world of different podcasts, Another way to step out of your comfort zone is by taking classes or workshops that teach you about different cultures, whether it's at your local community college, whether it's an online course, watching documentaries, there's all kinds of resources.

You could go to your local or in, ask your librarian to help you out.

It could be anything from language classes.

Do Olingo.

I have a great friend here in Silicon Valley that was leading their marketing, Adiolingo, for a long time, and it's a great company, great app.

Lori Adams-Brown:

I myself have used it to brush up on my Arabic when I was headed to Abu Dhabi recently on Qatar Airlines, but my kids have used it to work on their you know, learning Korean or crushing up on Japanese, it's it's just a great app.

Do Olingo highly recommend it and know they don't sponsor the podcast, but if you are from Jolingo and you're looking for a place to advertise, we'd we'd love to help you out here at the World A Different podcast.

This is just for free, though, for now.

Deolingo is a great app if you're wanting to learn another language, but also it could be just taking cooking classes.

I do not like to cook.

Lori Adams-Brown:

This is not a secret but I love to eat food from around the world.

So if you're near me and you're taking a cooking class, please invite me over.

But it could be anything from language classes to cooking classes to dance classes.

I grew up in Latin America, dancing salsa, and Medenge, and I lived in Asia for a long time.

And when I saw the dances they did, it was And Northern Sematria where we lived at a province, they did a lot of body percussion, where they would hit their body in different ways.

Lori Adams-Brown:

And so cool and so beautiful.

Culture around the world dance so differently, and we can learn a lot about culture by just learning to dance.

Another way to step out of your comfort zone is just to clean festivals in your area.

So you're in Silicon Valley.

We're really blessed all the major religions have different festivals that happen here with the cultures from South Asia that have you know, Indian festivals.

Lori Adams-Brown:

We have Chinese cultures like Taiwan and mainland China.

Hong Kong, the Singaporeans who are Chinese Singaporean.

So there's always, you know, Chinese New Year celebrations of all kinds.

We have a lot of Latino cultures here in Silicon Valley that celebrate all types of different holidays and have festivals and food.

It's it's just Take a pick.

Lori Adams-Brown:

So if you live in an area where that doesn't exist, please come to the bay area, look up our festivals, and attend some of them we have so many to choose from.

And it helps you gain a deeper understanding of values and traditions from another part of the world.

And it takes you out of your own sort of structured environment.

It helps learn to be adaptable.

Ultimately, I just wanna say that stepping out of our comfort zones requires a willing be vulnerable.

Lori Adams-Brown:

This is not easy for me.

It's not easy for most of us.

But I have learned in my experience that being vulnerable taking that risk, taking that leap of faith with someone in trusting that it's gonna be okay, can help us to learn and grow.

And that's been part of my experience to help us to embrace the unknown, develop friendships, develop new ways of thinking, and living, and being in the world, and making a difference.

The rewards can be significant.

Lori Adams-Brown:

I I some of my best friends in all different countries around the world by being vulnerable in this way.

And it helps us to be more open minded and better at deep friendships in general.

We gain a better understanding of the world around us as we develop a greater appreciation for the diversity of the human experience.

So your billing stack in your comfort zone.

Take a deep breath and and out and try something new.

Lori Adams-Brown:

You never know.

You might discover.

I'd love to hear the new thing that you're trying, how that changes, benefiting you, and maybe what you're afraid of.

What you're afraid to be vulnerable of.

And hopefully, we can all encourage 1 another to take that risk, be vulnerable, step out of our comfort zone, and Who knows?

Lori Adams-Brown:

What will happen?

We just don't know until we try.

So thank you for listening to the overall the difference podcast today.

If you enjoyed this episode once again, please leave us a review.

Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss an episode.

Lori Adams-Brown:

We have some really exciting ones coming up.

And as always, keep an open mind and embrace the differences They make our world a more interesting and vibrant place.

Hi, everyone, keep making a difference wherever you are.

About the Podcast

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A World of Difference
A podcast for those who are different and want to make a difference

About your host

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Lori Adams-Brown

Lori Adams-Brown is a combination of business executive, international speaker, and podcast host of a top 5% global podcast, whose over 20 years of leading global teams have made her a strong and inclusive leader of teams who exceed expectations. As a former international relief & development leader, she has led diverse global teams in multiple cultures where she learned to speak six languages. Lori improves systems, motivates teams with relationship building, and achieves global results. She is a culture connoisseur and a people-first global manager. Her happy place is sipping a flat white coffee while having a deep conversation and enjoying either a beach or mountain vacation with the love of her life, Jason, and their 3 teenagers.