The older I get, the more I realise that you should never get too comfortable staying in your comfort zone.
Over the past two years, I’ve been doing more and more things which have forced me way above my level of comfort, and I’m learning how to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Of course, that’s not to say I should always or will always find comfort in an uncomfortable situation, and that’s not to say I’ll always push myself out of my comfort zone at any given opportunity – however it is important to be conscious of just how limiting your comfort zone can be!
If you had told me five years ago, when I was a 14-year-old girl in high school who sat on her own at lunchtimes, had one friend, and never spoke to anyone else, that I would one day be working in a travel agency, answering phones all day, talking face-to-face with customers, or giving presentations to my peers in our training sessions, I would have said “no way, never!”
Now, I’ll talk to people much more confidently, and really enjoy having conversations. Now, I’ll call the doctors on my own to make an appointment, or call my bank to ask why my standing order didn’t go through.
If you had told me five years ago if I would get the train to Bournemouth on my own for three hours, stay in a hotel on my own for three nights, and travel home again I’d have said “definitely not, that’s stupid” – but I did it, didn’t I?
Over the years, my confidence has been climbing the ladder all the way up, but that is only because I’ve pushed myself.
Sometimes it’s been easy, and I’ve felt amazing afterwards. Sometimes, it’s been difficult, and it’s left me feeling embarrassed – but that’s all part of the learning process!
Moral of the story? Learn to step out of your comfort zone every now and then, even if the only steps you take are baby steps.