When I was younger, I went to a camp every summer – Camp Brebeuf.
It was definitely the first time I learned what it meant to step outside your comfort zone.
There was a high ropes course about 50 feet in the air, where you would be harnessed in and have to climb around the obstacles.
I remember the camp counsellors would draw a square and begin by stepping inside.
They began to explain that this square is your comfort zone – a safe, familiar place.
They then stepped out and told us you could only grow when you are willing to feel uncomfortable, feel awkward, and try something new.
They inspired us to take the leap (literally).
So we all stood there in our little boxes, asking us who was ready to step outside their comfort zone.
Most of us didn’t move or say anything until the first person jumped out, where we then all nervously and eagerly followed along.
I know doing a short course like this may sound silly, but this is the first time I remember understanding the concept.
Every summer, I would go back alone and do a harder course, try new things, and do activities I never thought I could.
Lessons like this not only helped my personal development while growing up but taught me that sometimes those things that you think are scary or can’t do are all in your mind.
You have to trust yourself and know that you can do anything you set your mind to – and I did, I crushed those high ropes.
Your comfort zone is where you spend most of your time and feel safe, comfortable, and in control of your surroundings.
It is when you continue to do the same things and same routines because you would instead feel at ease, then feel stressed or have to take a risk.
Though even when nothing is changing, it feels like so much of your time and energy are used, but you are in the same place.
You are continually making excuses for taking that leap and scared of the opinions of others.
It is when you do step outside your comfort zone though that you begin to learn new skills, grow immensely, and do things that you never thought were possible.
Going after your dreams isn’t easy, but it’s a risk that you have to be willing to take.
It is a risk that is going to make you so unbelievably happy and fulfilled.
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A lot of times, people become so comfortable and familiar with their surroundings.
This turns into feeling uninspired, emotionally drained, and unsure how to navigate through life.
You become so accustomed to the familiarity and your environment that years begin to pass.
You’re still in that job you hate, or you still haven’t started your own business.
Or you still haven’t started that YouTube channel because you’re afraid of other’s opinions.
Secondly, for many of us, FEAR is what stops us from doing that ‘thing’ – the thing you know will make you the happiest person.
The thing you know you were always meant to do, or be.
My favourite quote that I take everywhere with me is, “My faith is stronger than my fear.”
Have faith that you are ready to take that leap and succeed.
Envision yourself where you would be or how you would feel if you stepped outside your comfort zone.
It’s not always easy, but would you instead continue to live with the thought of what if?
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Stepping outside your comfort zone and into the unfamiliarity is an incredible feeling and fundamental for your personal development.
It will help you to move into that next phase of your life.
It won’t always be simple but sometimes exhausting and time-consuming.
Still, when you learn to take responsibility for your own life, you begin to awaken your soul and see life a little more thoroughly.
Think about starting a new job and how you feel on that very first day.
You feel excited, but anxious and stressed as does coming with a new job.
But that job months later, you have grown so much in your career, and you have acquired a new set of skills.
Think back to one of your most significant accomplishments and everything it took for you to get there.
Recalling times like this will make you remember that you do have it in you, and you are courageous.
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My challenge for you is to do something this week that you wouldn’t normally do.
Write down how it felt doing it and what stepping outside your comfort zone felt like.
Learn to recognize the feeling and how you felt to help you go inward and learn about yourself.
Your comfort zone is a great place, but you won’t grow there.
Take that leap, and I promise it will be worth it.
Through honesty, compassion, and real-life experiences, I help women learn how to be independent and confident.