Individual Leadership

Jumping outside your comfort zone

Written by Faith Bartell

4 Min Read

Taking risks is scary. But for Brieann Capecci, Finance and Operations Manager and Chief of Staff at Siegfried Advisory, leaning into discomfort is how you keep life interesting and move towards a more fulfilling future, both personally and professionally.

Recently, Brieann decided to put her reservations aside and push herself to cross off a longstanding bucket list item – skydiving. Alongside her childhood best friend, Jackie, Brieann vowed to go skydiving one day, and the personal milestone finally came with the pair’s birthdays.

“One weekend after our birthdays, Jackie said, ‘We just have to book it and go,’” explained Brieann. And without much time for fear or uncertainty to set in, she soon found herself at a skydiving facility in New Jersey, preparing to finally make the 14,000-foot jump.

Taking the leap

The ride up to 14,000 feet was made longer and more daunting by the fact that Brieann was the very last of her 17-person plane to jump, with some passengers jumping around halfway, at 5,000 feet. “That elongated the flight time, or the anxiety time,” Brieann shared.

But the excitement of the moment was transcendent, and as it finally neared Brieann’s turn, any fear of the associated risks was pushed to the back of her mind. “You think a lot on the plane ride up, and once the instructor starts moving you toward the door, you’re maybe afraid for a half a second. But then you’re out, and it’s so exhilarating. You’re so in the moment, and the adrenaline kind of balances out the fear.”

The high-speed free fall lasted for about a minute before her parachute opened. From there, the descent to the ground was a tamer 60-mph, 5-minute float. “The free fall is the thrill of it,” said Brieann. “I had a photographer with the instructor and I, so it was the three of us falling together, which was an out-of-body experience. And once the parachute opens, your emotion changes from any nerve you may have had to relief – you really have time to calm down.”

It was a crystal-clear day, allowing the photographer to take some stellar shots and the instructor to point out different sights on the way down, including the Philadelphia skyline not too far in the distance. By the time Brieann reached the ground, she was calm yet excited, happy yet sad, fulfilled yet wanting more, all at the same time.

“It was a huge bucket list item that I got to throw a big line through. And I was happy and sad that it was over simultaneously,” Brieann reflected.

Getting comfortable being uncomfortable

Doing things that make you uncomfortable, especially when you find yourself simply going through the motions, is what gives life meaning and interest. And according to Brieann, stepping outside your comfort zone in any way – from the larger risks, like going skydiving, to the small tasks, like asking yourself difficult questions – is something that you should make a regular effort to do.

“Without going outside of your comfort zone, life would get really repetitive,” said Brieann. “It would be boring if you’re just doing the same thing every day. So, you need to ask yourself, where’s the thrill? Where’s the excitement? Where’s the change?”

This concept applies both to your personal life and your career, and Brieann has taken the same courageous approach to her time at Siegfried Advisory. By facing uncertain situations with confidence, Brieann has found professional success and fulfillment.

“When I first started with Siegfried, I was in our tax compliance group, but after a while, it wasn’t making me excited any more. Looking at my five-year plan, I realized I didn’t want to continue in that direction.”

Brieann was looking for a change, and knowing that she had to take a risk to move toward fulfillment, she approached her leadership team and explained her goals for the future. With their guidance, she shifted to a role in Siegfried Advisory’s internal finance group, and she could not be happier with her new path.

“Siegfried Advisory has changed so much in the past two years in terms of structure, size, and goals, and being at the forefront of all that in my current role is really exciting. If I didn’t step out of my comfort zone and discuss my dreams with my team, I would be in a role that was no longer fulfilling me, still feeling frustrated and lost.”

Leaning into uncertainty

People tend to avoid experiences that seem scary or risky without considering what exactly is scary about them, or if the potential rewards outweigh the risks of their pursuit. But Siegfried provides employees like Brieann with the unique opportunity to make these assessments, encouraging everyone at the Firm to enter their growth zone.

“Siegfried gives us the time to think about our growth. Our MY Journey® program makes me rethink my life and what’s important to me, which leads me to take action,” shared Brieann. “It just helps us be more interesting. And the more interesting we are, the more interested people we’ll attract.”

Becoming intentional about leaning into risk and discomfort can open you up to new experiences, connections, and opportunities that you might never have had exposure to otherwise. And now that Brieann has felt the satisfaction of overcoming a fear, she’s ready to tackle the next meaningful goal on her list.

“If you never took risks, what would your life be today?” Brieann reflected. “Your life is a culmination of the different risks you took and things you did that weren’t on your normal radar. You may not have woken up Monday and thought, ‘I’m going to do something crazy this week,’ but it might’ve happened, and the whole trajectory of your life could change.”

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