The other day I was reading this post on Paige Schmidt’s blog (if you don’t know her, you have to check her out. She is AMAZING and she has helped me so much) about stepping out of your comfort zone. It inspired me to write my own post about his topic as it is something I love talking about.
I used to be a person who absolutely hated stepping out of my comfort zone. It was basically the worst thing I could think of. I wanted to stay where I felt safe, where I would be good at what I was doing, where I already know everyone and I wouldn’t feel awkward. Doing something uncomfortable scared me and I stayed as far away from it as I possibly could. Trying out a new gym class? No way! I might look stupid! Speaking in front of people? Not unless the teacher forced me to and I had no other choice. Skip the dieting? Not a chance! I would lose control and gain a ton of weight. Starting my own blog? No, people might think I am stupid. The list could go on and on and on but it’s a boring list and you get the picture so we won’t talk more about it.
When I went to university to study journalism, I very slowly starting moving outside my comfort zone. Journalism school in itself was way out my comfort zone. I didn’t know a single soul at the school or in city I had moved to in order to study. Living on my certainly help me moving outside my comfort zone.
But honestly it wasn’t until my boyfriend passed away in November, I really knew what it meant to be pushed outside my comfort zone. Until then moving outside my comfort zone had in a way always been a little comfortable – I had my parents to help me financially, and in general they just did a lot for me (they still do). I always felt I had something or someone to fall back onto.
When my boyfriend passed away I was shaken. The foundation I was standing on was not just shaking, it was falling apart. My whole life and world came crashing down on me with no warning or asking me if I was ready for this. Life simply threw me a million miles outside my comfort zone in one moment.
At first I had no idea how to start rebuilding myself and finding myself. This was very uncomfortable ground for me to be on but it was also an opportunity. It was an opportunity to find myself – I honestly don’t think I truly knew who I was, what my values were or what I wanted to do until he passed away. I am still working on finding myself but I am much more aware of who I am now than I was before he passed away.
This is my opportunity to truly connect and find myself. And I intend to make the best of it and truly listen to my inner voice, follow my heart and do what feels right to me. Perhaps for the first time in my life.
Now I realize that being thrown out of your comfort like this is extreme, and I don’t hope this will happen to any of you. I do, however, encourage you to step outside your comfort zone in less dramatic and tragic ways – which I have also done since he passed away.
I went to the US Virgin Islands with my little sister for two weeks just six weeks after he had passed away. And let me tell you this – it certainly was a little outside my comfort zone. I had to plan everything, make sure our VISAs were approved, I had to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve thousands of miles away from my home country, I had to be on a flight for 13 hours with a bunch of other people without falling apart or start crying and I had to deal with my grief on top of all that. Phew! But you know what? I managed just fine and the vacation was good (as good as it can get when you are grieving), and I felt safe because my sister was there with me all the time.
I also moved to London two months ago, to start an English internship. While I do have family here whom I live with, I was still moving to a different country and a job in a foreign language (Danish is my mother tongue). However, I felt safe about stepping out of my comfort zone this time because I knew I had my family here in London to support and help me.
I have also decided to finally let go of my disordered eating and getting some help. I know I will be safe about this as well because I will have my coach guiding me. And I have my friends and family. But still it is outside my comfort zone.
There are many more – much smaller – things I have done these last four months that have made me step outside my comfort zone. Like telling new friends about what happened with my boyfriend, starting this blog and interviewing people in English.
When you step outside your comfort zone, you grow as a person. You realize who you are, what your values are, what kind of life you want and so much more. The magic happens outside your comfort zone – not in it.
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” – Caroline Myss
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Unknown
Are you stepping outside you comfort zone? What are your thoughts?
Love & Happiness,