When I went to Alaska for a post-college summer working at a B&B, I already knew I loved to bake pies.
I had no idea that I'd meet some brilliant mountaineers, wonder what the fuss about the great outdoors was all about, get over my fear of peeing behind a tree, and find myself trekking in the Himalayas three months later.
Insight said, "Yeah....I'm not a big nature girl."
Outsight said, "...yet."
"Outsight," according to the brilliant Herminia Ibarra, "is the fresh, external perspective that comes from doing new and different things - plunging ourselves into new projects and activities, interacting with people outside our daily routines, and experimenting with new ways of getting things done."
Outsight is forward-looking. It gives you access to the parts of your identity and potential that are still waiting to be discovered...or created.
Insight, in contrast, is backwards-looking. It's based on what you know about yourself already, from your experience of everything you've been or done in the past. Insight helps you zero in on values and strengths. But basing career decisions on insight alone means basing them on your past...not your future.
In other words, don't let insight put you in a box prematurely.
There's a lot more "YOU" to be discovered by getting outside of your comfort zone.
The best part about outsight is that you don't have to wait for it; you can meet it head on. Ask for a challenging stretch project to learn about who you are in an experience you haven't yet encountered, or volunteer strategically to find out what capacities you draw out in a new working environment.
As you develop your outsight, chances are strong that you'll discover career options that you never considered (or never knew existed!) along the way.