Tara Sophia Mohr (@tarasophia), founder of the women’s leadership program Playing Big, and author of Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message, observes that the behaviors we learned as girls in school— studying, preparing, performing, being “good students” —can be just the opposite of what we need in our careers, where we need to handle the unexpected, manage conflict and challenges, and improvise with confidence.
“We want to learn to be uncomfortable. So much of women’s playing bigger is really about learning how to be out of our comfort zone, have fear flowing through our veins, have a little adrenaline going, because we’re out of the status quo and familiar. We’re stretching. But we can get comfortable with that feeling of being uncomfortable. And that’s something that school often doesn’t train us for a well, because it’s so routine, and we can get into a certain comfort zone.”Tara Sophia Mohr
In the video at the Huffington Post article, Why Women Need To ‘Unlearn’ Classroom Skills In Order To Succeed At Work
Mohr was not talking about Aikido training, but what she describes is exactly what we practice on the mat. Aikido isn’t about being prepared with a constrained set of responses. Instead it’s teaches us to go with the flow, stay relaxed, and work with our circumstances as they unfold, even under pressure. We learn to be OK with uncertainty, a rush of adrenaline, and a little fear. We become less limited by our past conditioning.
Whether you are a girl in school (or a parent of one), a young woman just getting started in your career, or a more mature woman looking for more freedom and spontaneity in life, and grounded flexibility in your work, consider the benefits of training in Aikido. Expand your comfort zone beyond being prepared only for what’s expected.