With the Winter Olympics in full swing, we’re sticking to this theme for our blogging – this time looking at what a person might consider if someone tells them they are skating on thin ice.
The phrase ‘you are skating on thin ice’ typically brings images of imminent disaster. Figure skaters are always skating on a layer of thin ice, but if they are doing it at the local arena there is typically a solid foundation below it. Even though, the skaters do always have the risk of failing and being hurt; in the arena they don’t have the risk of actually falling through. If not prepared for the jumps or spins they are going to attempt, bruises and broken bones are always a possibility. Hopefully it doesn’t go much farther than that. So, most figure skaters, can push themselves to move beyond their comfort zones and do harder and harder things, although the risks are not contained.
If we put that same figure skater on a frozen body of water and the layer of ice they are skating on is thin, then the risks associated suddenly become much greater. There is still the possibility of hurting themselves from a fall, but the risk of death from hypothermia if they fall through the ice is actually a much greater concern.
Truth is we all find ourselves skating on thin ice sometimes. We find ourselves faced with a task that seems either incredibly difficult or has a significant possibility of failure. We often feel ourselves pushed by our bosses or our clients to move out of our comfort zone, either to hit a sales performance target, complete an assigned implementation project, or work on any task that we were unfamiliar with or unsure of. Before we panic, we should take a moment to consider our position. Are we really skating on ice so thin that there could be a tragic ending or are we really more like the figure skater at the local arena?
Sometimes when we hear the comment that someone is skating on a layer of thin ice we simply need step back and ask ourselves whether a tragic end is really a possibility in this case or is the person in question just being pushed beyond the boundaries of their comfort zone?
Enjoy the rest of the Winter Olympics, especially the figure skating…..