Grace Cho: Do What Scares You

June 24th, 2019

Grace recently joined our team as an Associate Strategist, Lean Growth. She’s a proactive leader, constantly seeking to turn learnings into actionable steps. She leads engagements with a keen attention to detail, while also seeing the broader, more strategic picture to ensure the business objective is met. Her BigCo experience with brands like Blue Moon and Huggies gives her deep empathy for BigCo leaders facing market disruption. Through running Sprints and helping to develop marketing strategies at MillerCoors and Kimberly-Clark, Grace gained deep empathy for the sell-in stories needed to pursue ideas with leadership after the engagement. Check out her experience pushing past her fear of the unknown and transforming it into meaningful action.

At one of our recent Courageous Minds Only Chats, one particular quote from Chris Boeckerman, leader of P&G’s Growth Works, really resonated with me. 

She said, “Do what scares you. That’s where you’ll grow the most.”

It set me on a path of reflection… For most of my life I’ve made decisions based on how well I could predict the future, which usually meant that I made choices that faced the least amount of risk. 

However, eventually I channeled this fear to drive meaningful action. Late last year, I decided to leave the comfort and familiarity of my everyday routine to take time off to rest and recharge – two things I knew I needed in order to be the best version of myself both in my job and in my personal life. At the time, I had zero idea of what was next and as you can imagine, this was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. But with the constant support of friends, co-workers, and leaders, I gained the courage to make the leap. 

During my time off, I volunteered, I read a ton of books (I recommend Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis!), got part-time work to help keep me accountable to a schedule, and spent quality time with friends and family. There were definitely days where I yearned to go back to my “normal routine” but I began noticing positive changes in myself. I grew closer to friends and family by being vulnerable. I started treating myself with kindness and compassion when I wasn’t going according to plan. And that “what if” voice in my head started to diminish and instead, I made decisions with confidence and rarely looked back.

By leaving my world of routine and familiarity and face my fear of the unknown, I was able to build the courage to be welcoming of uncertainty – something that’s inevitable and what I now believe is necessary to lead to growth. Instead of focusing so much of my attention to what could go wrong, I spend my time thinking about the possibilities that it could lead to. It also helped lead me to where I am today, at The Garage Group, utilizing the skills I’ve learned from this experience, as well as my BigCo experience, to help clients navigate uncharted territory with confidence. 

Below are a few tips that have helped me face my fears and I hope they’ll help others continue on a journey of personal and professional growth. 

  1. Create a support system – Whether it’s a friend, family member, peer, or boss, have someone in your corner. Use them as a sounding board for your thoughts and ask for feedback. 
  2. Use logic and intuition – Do your research but make sure to take your intuition into account when making decisions. Our intuition is built off of our past experiences and learnings, so that voice inside your head may already be telling you the right path.
  3. Have conviction – At the end of the day, you have to believe in your choices. By truly having conviction, it will help turn the emotion of fear into confidence.

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