I was honored to speak to 40 Georgia Tech Alumni last week about Living With Passion and Purpose. Again, the stepping out of your comfort zone topic came up. It always does in our career coaching calls with clients. 9 out of 10 people say they are their own worst obstacle to achieving their career goals.

2 client stories I wanted to share with you to illustrate this and its importance:

1) Client Linda in Washington DC has been afraid to pursue her dream of getting into the legal field years after getting her law degree. She sent this email to us:

Dear Hallie,
career-goals
Thanks for the advice the other day. Just wanted you to know that I got up the courage to petition the Chief Judge via the local court administrator to allow me to participate in the lawyer mentoring program despite the fact that I’ve been admitted to the bar more than 3 years (and hence don’t meet the normal criteria). I’m hoping for success!

Remember everyone, dreams don’t come true by just dreaming them and sitting on your couch. Making them a reality requires positive action, risk and stepping out of your comfort zone. You must get comfortable with discomfort and be willing to put yourself out there.ed you to know that I got up the courage to petition the Chief Judge via the local court administrator to allow me to participate in the lawyer mentoring program despite the fact that I’ve been admitted to the bar more than 3 years (and hence don’t meet the normal criteria). I’m hoping for success!

2) Client Catherine in Atlanta, GA applied for a job at the University of Charleston. We had talked about being assertive in her career search. After applying, she looked on Linkedin to see if there was anyone in that department she could connect with to learn more about it. She sent an invitation to a professor there who attended UGA as well, and whose dissertation was similar to hers. After reaching out, she realized – he was the chair of the department! She panicked a little. We talked, I told her it was one of the best career moves she ever made because it was assertive, but, that she had to let him know she’d applied for the job so he wasn’t caught off guard. She did-he wrote back and-gave her advice on how to improve her application! Here’s the most recent email from her: “I just turned in my application for the job – fingers crossed! The Department Chair and I exchanged about 8 LinkedIn Messages – each time he gave me more advice on how to craft my app! 🙂

Don’t be afraid to be assertive and ask for what you need or want. You never know what will come of it. Worst case they ignore you or say no. But every time you do this, you will not only build your confidence, but you will increase your chances of getting to a yes.

Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach and founder of HallieCrawford.com. Her team of coaches helps people find their dream job and make it a reality. She is regularly featured as an expert in the media including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and US News & World Report. Visit her website at www.HallieCrawford.com for more information about her teams career coaching services and to sign up for a complimentary consultation.