Don’t Get Comfortable!
Ever heard the saying “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”? I hear it daily, and not because someone else is saying it, but because I’m saying it.
For me, this has been my mantra over the last few years and it all began when I went away to university. Of course, every other student is in the same boat in those first few weeks; you don’t know where you are, who anyone is, if you’ve moved away from home you feel lonely – the list is endless. It was a terrifying experience, one that I didn’t fancy embarking on alone as an 18 year old and as I sat in that lecture hall for the first time looking down at our speaker as they welcomed us they uttered those 9 magical words; “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.
Suddenly, the timid, shy me who wouldn’t even hold eye contact for more than 10 seconds was introducing myself to everyone, signing up for clubs and joining conversations with people I’d never met before! What had happened?! I’d personally like to think I’d turned into some super-networker overnight and lost all my nerves, but in actual fact, all I’d done was started to say those words to myself every day. Every morning before I went out the door, I said them, every time someone suggested doing something new that I wasn’t sure about, I said them, and every time I could feel the word ‘no’ forming on my lips, instead, I said them. Some would call this confidence, my friends called it stupidity.
I was putting myself in physically and mentally stressful situations way outside of my C zone, and for what? Well I got a degree for one! I sure as hell didn’t obtain it through being in my little circle of comfort for three years! By pushing myself out of my comfort zones and into (what I think are) dangerous waters, I’ve allowed myself to grow, develop and learn things that before wouldn’t have been obtainable.
Doesn’t that sound lovely? All because of 9 words. Nine! And they don’t just apply to education or everyday life, but also in the work place. It can be quite easy to fall into the routine of staying in your little bubble.
So next time you feel yourself standing on the edge deliberating whether or not to take the step– say those 9 words (whether it’s in your head of out loud it’s up to you) and go for it! Say good morning to that person making coffee next to you, go to the event even if you’re co-worker can’t make it anymore, drop a comment in a discussion online.
Remember that donkey tale about how it shakes off the dust and rises, do that. Get off that couch and drop a CV somewhere, read a magazine or a book, invest in yourself, hit the gym, greet the bus driver in the morning, say hi to the watchman after a long day and any day – whatever it is, just make sure you’re not spending your days stuck in your C zone.
Life DOES begin at the end of your comfort zone – so don’t get comfortable!