One thing I’ve discovered throughout life is that there are times in our life where we start to do something, and we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Maybe it’s something like tapping our fingers on a table without realizing it or maybe it’s staring off in space. It could be that we have a specific way we eat or drink something. Whatever it is we most likely start these things without thinking about it, and then they end up kind of becoming a habit. I think at some point we do get hit with the realization that we do these things, and then it kind of becomes a choice of do we keep doing it or do we try to stop. For instance I’m bad about doing the first two things that I mentioned. So when I catch myself tapping my fingers or staring off in space I try to stop.
While those are things that I feel I can try to catch and do better about, I don’t feel that everything we do without realization has to be stopped. For instance, I realized towards the end of last year that I had started to do things to push myself out of my comfort zone. When taking time to really
think about it I realized it was something I had been doing for the past few years. After being hit with that realization I decided that since I was now aware of it I wanted to work on growing that action. I wanted to be more intentional about pushing myself to get out of my normal comfort zone. It came to my attention that when I did those things that pushed me I started to grow as a person.
In the past few years I played the main character in a play, took a public speaking class, started a blog, shared said blog with people who know me, and also shared a post about my mental health with the world. Those are just a few things that I did before the realization even hit that they were pushing me out of my zone. Since that realization, I’ve tried when I can to keep doing things like that. Sometimes the things that I do are what I would consider as a big thing, and other times they are more on the small side. Overall, they are all pushing me to grow as a person in some way.
After my “breakthrough,” I went on a trip to West Virginia. This may not sound like much, but for me it was a big thing. First, it was big for me because I was going on this trip with a group of people that I didn’t actually know that well. There were some that I didn’t know at all. For those who
don’t know me this in itself was kind of a big deal for me. Second, this wasn’t just any trip. This was a ski trip, and I’m not an athletic person. I trip going up stairs so doing sporty things are something I normally avoid. My goal was just to be able to stay standing up on the skis by the end of the trip. In the end, I didn’t really go down any hills, but I was able to get to a point where I could start and stop without falling. That for me was a big deal. All in all the trip pushed me as a person in multiple ways, and maybe I didn’t take every chance I could on the trip to push myself. I did take quite a few though, and so I consider it a success. I went to a new place, with people I don’t know well, and did an activity I’d never done before. I was proud of myself for doing what I did, and in the end I feel like I conquered my own
black diamond by going.
I even worked to push myself in my school life over the past few months. This maybe isn’t quite as big as the trip, but it was still pretty big. This past semester I took several classes, but there are two that got me out of my comfort zone. The first was photojournalism. I love taking photos, and
honestly I take a lot of photos. This class was a whole new experience though. First, I had to learn how to take photos without using the automatic settings. The whole idea of learning how to manually do it all was always something that scared me. I will say that in the long run I really grew to enjoy it, but it was definitely something that was scary at first. Second, I had to photograph people, and on top of that it had to be people that I didn’t know. As I already said, I like taking photos, but I like to take photos of
things. I like pictures of animals, scenery, food, and stuff like that. I don’t necessarily mind taking photos of people from time to time, but if I do I kind of prefer it to be people I know. So it was all very intimidating, but now here I am having just finished the semester. I can say that I did it, and I now know that I can do it. I also took a class where we all worked together to make a magazine. It was a class that I was always interested in, but I was too nervous to apply for it. A professor who taught the class actually
invited me to join, and it was then that I decided to push through my fear and take it. I also just finished that class, and I absolutely loved it. I’m so glad that I took it, and feel like maybe it started as a slight fail since I didn’t originally apply. It turned into an accomplishment though.
The last comfort zone accomplishment I’ll mention is something that is more on the small side. In fact, it’s something you may read and laugh about. Another thing that I’ve done this year to push myself out of my zone is to wear striped pants. I always wanted a pair of striped pants, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to feel completely comfortable to wear them. I finally found this pair that I really liked, and I bought them. I felt nervous about wearing them out in public, but I made myself do it anyway. You know what? In the end, once I got past that nervousness I felt great wearing them. In fact, now they make me feel confident, and I want more. They’re actually my favorite pants now.
It’s not necessarily about the size of the things that you do. It’s just about going and doing it. There are some things that you may feel nervous about doing. Some of those things are maybe things that you have a good reason to feel nervous about, and it may be something you need to avoid. There
are so many things though that if you can push past that nervousness you’ll find that you may really love something. Even if you don’t end up loving it you’ll at least be glad that you tried it, and can at least say you can do it.
There are definitely times where I fail, and retreat back into my zone. I try not to let it get to me though. Instead, I pick myself back up and I try to do better the next time. It’s not going to be perfect because I’m not perfect, but I can do what I can to try to be better. A few months ago I was listening to a
song that I really love, and a line from it really stood out to me. I felt that it was a great quote to motivate me when I’m working on overcoming my fear of stepping out of my comfort zone.
“I got two choices when I do this- make moves or makeAndy Mineo, “You Can’t Stop Me”
excuses Huh, if you know who I’m talking about, then you got me. My biggest enemy is me- and even I
can’t stop me”
You can make excuses if you want, and there are times where I’ll admit that I do. It’s really great if you can make moves though. From experience I can say that when you make a move it feels good. Starting to do the things that I thought I couldn’t do made me realize how much I’m capable of if I really
put my mind to it.
I think of getting out of my comfort zone as a bubble. It takes work to make it grow and expand just as it takes work to make a bubble grow and expand. Then when a bubble breaks away it normally starts to float upwards just like how your comfort zone breaks away and you start to push yourself up. Finally, just like a bubble your comfort zone pops. It pops when you start to do the uncomfortable thing that had you in that zone in the first place.
Overall, we all have our own comfort zones. Some of us have a comfort zone so large that it’s almost unnoticeable. Others have one that is so tightly drawn in that it’s very noticeable. I feel that I would normally classify myself as the second option, but I’m getting better. I want to take the time to
encourage you to try pushing yourself out of your zone. You can start small if you want. It could be something as simple as wearing pants with stripes on them or if you want to start big you can do that to. It doesn’t matter the size it’s just about getting yourself to a point where you aren’t staying trapped in your bubble. Let your bubble grow and eventually get to a point where it can pop. I encourage you to do this because you can grow so much as a person, learn so much about yourself, and also find that there is so much more you can do.
Finally learning that I had been slowly working on my comfort zone, and then intentionally starting to work on it has been such a great experience. Sometimes it’s rough, scary, and tiring. I’ve found the end result is always worth it though. Even if it didn’t go the way I thought it would it was just
the fact that I did it.
I hope everyone enjoyed reading, and I hope that maybe this post encourages you to try getting out of your comfort zone. I’d love to hear your stories on what you’ve done in the past or something you’d like to do in the future that pushes you out of your zone. Be sure to comment below with your thoughts and stories. Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a great weekend!