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Change can be scary. Fear of the unknown and of failure are often the biggest deterrents to pursuing new opportunities, whether it’s a potential promotion, an ambitious program you’re implementing, or big marketing campaign. It’s true that a big change could end up being a failure, but it’s also possible that change could be a success and a major turning point in your own development.

The January/February issue of Community Rec features the YMCA of Greater New York, and its president and CEO, Sharon Greenberger. A major topic of discussion was turning points. Throughout her 25 years serving in a community service capacity, Greenberger has been presented with many new opportunities — but instead of seeing them as potential failures, she saw each one as a chance to grow.

“One thing that has been a turning point for me has been to always say yes,” shared Greenberger. “I realized early on the opportunities that presented themselves were chances to challenge myself, try something new and see where it would take me.”

That being said, saying yes doesn’t mean diving headfirst into something without thinking. It means instead of brushing off change and remaining comfortable, when a new opportunity presents itself, you objectively consider why it might be worth pursuing.

“Think about foreign travel — when you go someplace new, you can’t take anything for granted, you really have to think differently, and you have to ask ‘why’ a lot,” said Greenberger. “But if you have an open mind, it can be a great experience.”

A willingness to say yes helped shape Greenberger’s mindset, and it can shape yours. “The turning point was about being up for the challenge and adventure of trying something that might not have fit into the vision of what I thought my career was going to be,” said Greenberger. “I was willing to take that risk and step up.”

If there are any new opportunities you’re hesitant to pursue, let Greenberger’s example guide you. Be willing to take the risk and step up. It could be the next great turning point in your life.

Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the former editor of Community Rec Magazine.

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