Over the past little while, I’ve had a chance to get to know myself pretty darn well. In August, I moved to a new state, started a program at a new school, and made a whole new set of friends. I was forced to get out of the comfort zone that I had grown to know so well and create a new kind of comfort–comfort in the unknown, comfort in the uncertainty, and comfort within myself.
I think that a lot of time, we find comfort in routine, habits, and stability. We find comfort in the things we’ve always known, the people that have always been there, and the places we have grown to know like the back of our hand. We build this cookie cutter life that is predictable, safe, and most of all–comfortable.
But I have learned over the past few months that some of my best moments happen OUTSIDE of this “comfort zone” that I create myself. The times that I am scared out of my mind, take a huge risk, or try something new even though I know I could very well fail are the times that I usually feel the most accomplished, the most pride, and a whole new way of comfortable that I think I could definitely get used to.
I think that a lot of us live our lives talking about “somedays.” Someday I will do this, someday I will do that, I couldn’t possibly do that now but I will do it someday….
The problem with this is that soon “someday” turns into “yesterday” and before we know it, our somedays are gone. We spend so much time waiting for the “perfect moment” to so something, rather than making each moment perfect. Our dreams take the back-burner and one day we wake up living a safe life surrounded by our safe choices and only reach a certain level of “safe success” in fear of stepping outside the caution tape we unintentionally wrapped ourselves with.
The other day I found myself wondering why my life has taken the course that it has. How do we get where we end up, anyways? Do we have control over where we are going, or are we just along for the ride? I started thinking about all of the wonderful opportunities, people, and memories I’ve been blessed with. I thought about situations where I took risks and situations where I chose to play it safe, and the accomplishments that first come to mind when I think about the times I felt the most proud of myself.
It became so clear to me that my most favorite memories, most cherished experiences, and most vivid successes all had one thing in common–my comfort zone was nowhere to be found. The times where I knew I could fail, but did it anyway, the times where my voice shook but I chose to speak anyway, and the times where I wasn’t sure how far away the ground was, but chose to jump off the cliff anyway–those are the times that I remember the most.
It’s so easy to get lost in our comfort zones. To become so scared of the world around us that all we want to do is take comfort in the things that we know. But life isn’t supposed to be comfortable. Life isn’t supposed to be easy. Life is supposed to be tough, and you’re supposed to show life that you are even tougher.
Every challenge, every dream you make a reality, every failure, every wrong turn, every leap of faith–those are the moments that matter the most, and those are the moments that make you into the person you want to be.
You aren’t going to get anywhere by staying exactly where you are right now, and although you may feel the desire to resist change on a day-to-day basis, if I told you that in 10 years your life was going to be EXACTLY the same as it is right now, I’m sure you would be disappointed.
So rather than resist change, I am going to try to embrace it. Rather than take the safe way out, I am going to take more risks. And instead of spending so much time hanging out in my comfort zone, I am going to explore life outside my comfort zone for all that it has to offer.
I know that I am going to fail, but I also know that I am going to get back up again. I might encounter bumps in the road, or setbacks, or giant herds of alligators…but I won’t even get the chance to test my strength if I don’t take the first step to move forward.
There are so many reasons why we shouldn’t try something new, why we should be afraid to chase a dream, and why we should learn how to be content with where we are. But instead of focusing on the many reasons why something WON’T work, think of even more reasons why it will. Think of all the amazing possibilities that await you and all of the great lessons you will learn along the way.
So if you’ve been waiting for a sign, an answer, or a “push”… this is it.
That thing you’ve been wanting to do? You should go do it.
That dream you long to chase? You should capture it.
That goal you set? You should do everything in your power to reach it.
After all, if your dreams don’t scare you…they’re not big enough.
Til next time,