Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beyond Comfort

Last weekend someone asked me how I came to be a more confident person today than I was in years past. I paused for a moment looking out of the window and rather than pretending to know with a quick reply, I simply answered, “I don’t know”. For the past few days I have given the question more thought and realized that I have been fortunate enough to have a family and a group of people in my life who support and challenge me to expand my comfort zone on a regular basis. This has been significant in the building of my own esteem and confidence. Going beyond ones comfort zone isn't quite the same as building self-confidence but they do go hand in hand - one begets the other. Getting myself out of my comfort zone over and over has been integral for my self-confidence and overall personal growth.

I have met so many people in the course of my life who feel like they are stuck in a rut, being bored from the same routine and have low self-confidence. It is the same people who do nothing that get themselves out of their safe and comfortable routine into something different and which may even hold a bit of risk. Newsflash people: Taking risks is one of the most important things to do to get yourself where you want to be.

Most will not take any risks, stay comfortable for too long and even their whole lives because there exists an underlying fear that reaching out beyond that cozy life created will lead to falling flat on the face and looking foolish. This fear stops people before they even make an attempt. If you fall, get your ass back up – simple as that. Stepping out of your comfort zone enough times will eventually lead to greater self-confidence and what once was feared will become nothing. You will actually begin to wonder why you ever doubted yourself – and this is perfect timing to step outside of your comfort zone again. Don’t let it end with the mentality ‘ahh, I am finally comfortable’ because each time you cross that line into the unknown you are setting yourself up to learn more about life and yourself. Whether you succeed or not isn’t the main concern but what you learn along the way. Life is about living and learning. Live to learn and learn to live – make an attempt at least.

moving to Europe in 2001 to try and start something new. I did not fail completely but instead had to back track to Halifax to think up some new ideas. This was simply going back to square one (lost time) to then come up with a plan B because I knew Halifax wasn’t for me. Vancouver was that plan B so I went west and I have been here for 4 years and have been blasted into many uncomfortable situations and have learned so much (I think I could even get another degree for what I have learned doing what I have been). For 3 years in Vancouver I have done a lot but one big thing I have been afraid of is saying I want to start a business. I realized this and I also realized that I have been in a place that is relatively comfortable. Though I take on challenges each week, month and year that have led to a lot of personal growth, I have been pretty comfortable and have not taken on any huge risks as of late. I have chosen to go for something big now which may move me again. Yup it is scary to think about being uprooted again but it is where I want to go - outside my comfort zone for sure and I may fail. But I am not going to concern myself with failure instead focus on how I will be a success and just do it because I will never know what I can do if I don’t try. I will dip my pen in the blackest ink and not be afraid to fall in.

“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
-Wayne Gretzky

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