I’ve always been the person who goes after what I want. If I’m not anywhere near what I want I, then ask myself “what I am going to do to get there.” Because I am a go-getter and ambitious, that does not mean that I don’t have a comfort zone as I’m still hesitant to put myself out there. Everyone is; everyone is always at least a little cautious to step outside their comfort zone. Even though I’m the person who goes after what I want, I don’t always step outside my comfort zone, but it is so important to do so. Why? Because that is how we can grow. Gaining new and different experiences is how we gain insight, skills from trial and error, and knowledge. We can move closer to our dreams when we step outside of our comfort zone and we can grow as an individual.
For those of you who don’t know, I work at a software company where one of my main responsibilities is collections. Yes that’s right, collections. If you didn’t know that, then you probably didn’t know that I actually started this job three years ago as part time when I was nineteen years old. At nineteen, collections was my main responsibility and honestly when I first started I was pretty uncomfortable. I didn’t want to talk to people older than me with their own company with way more professional experiences than I about their outstanding past due balance with my company. My boss helped train me and gave me tips with how to handle these conversations and guess what? I got pretty good at it; so good that I turned my part time summer job into a part time job for the rest of my time at college and then after I graduated, they offered me a full time position. Not only did stepping outside my comfort zone to perform the tasks of my job give me a full time job right out of college, but it helped me be more direct in all aspects of my life, as well as giving me the confidence to not let people walk all over me. Stepping out of my comfort zone to do this job has really made great impacts on my life today.
Another example of me stepping outside my comfort zone is this blog! I was so unsure of starting my blog before I decided to do it. I knew it was something I wanted but with all the negativity on the internet and hate other, more popular bloggers get, I was really nervous putting my ideas and work out there for people to read and critique. Despite this, on 03/28/15 I created Little Random Discoveries, whoop! Almost a year ago! I’m so happy I finally decided to go ahead with my blog. I’ve learned so much about blogging and have met some great other bloggers through twitter chats. Now because I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone with my blog I’m working towards giving it a makeover and rebranding it to be relaunched on Feb 24th!! Woo! Keep your eyes open for that!
The last occurrence of me stepping outside of my comfort zone was pretty recent. I started painting at home outside of paint and sip classes. I’ve found I have a hidden talent for it and really love it. In January, there was a period of time when I came home from work and painted every day. I was sharing my paintings with my coworker, who happens to be an incredible artist himself, and he encouraged me to submit my pieces to the gallery he displays his art at for their upcoming show. Their show was called “Inside Out,” which was perfect because I mentioned to him that I wanted to paint something “Inside Out” themed because that is my favorite movie and it really inspired me. (Side note let me know if you would be interested in reading a blog post about that). Finally after a lot of thought, I decided to do it! AHHH scary right? Me, someone who just discovered their love for painting, submitting their work to potentially be displayed at a gallery. If this isn’t outside my comfort zone I don’t know what else is!!! As of right now, as I’m typing this on Wednesday, I’m still waiting to find out if my pieces made it into the show. It’s slowing driving me nuts as I am not a patient person. Isn’t it just so stressful waiting on something like this? Regardless, this has been a great experience because I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided that I really want to embrace painting as a hobby.
UPDATE: Today on Thursday, I found out that my work didn’t make it into the show. I found that other people had received an email and I had not. I followed up to see, but it seems that they may not have even received my submission. Not going to lie, I did not take this news well at first, I had a really rough week and all I wanted was a win. I was constantly checking my email and I was pretty let down to find that out. However, just because the results were not what I wanted originally doesn’t mean I regret submitting my art to be considered for the show and taking that step outside my comfort zone. I decided to share photos of my artwork I submitted because I’m really proud of them. This is my first time attempting to 1) paint on my own without instruction 2) to paint something I completely thought up in my head 3) I didn’t draw it out first, I went all in straight paint to canvas. Honestly, as far as I’m considered I think these turned out incredible. The background is amazing and even though I didn’t get into the show I found my love for painting and discovered I really would like to dive into this hobby more and submit more art to be in galleries.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is not always an easy or pleasant thing to do but it’s what comes after that makes it worth it. Whether it’s a new skill, new opportunities, new adventures, or experiences, it allows us to move forward, learn, and grow. It can lead to accomplishing dreams or improving ourselves in some capacity. Even if you fail, you gain valuable experience and memories from what comes next and what you decide to do with those results. I felt inspired to write this post because of my recent stepping out of my comfort zone with submitting my painting. It’s super relevant to my life and I know that I should because it’s something that not only is refreshing but beneficial. I’ve found that when I do step outside of my comfort zone I have really been pleased with the outcomes. I’ll spend so much time debating whether or not to do it and finally decide to take the plunge, after I end up wondering why it took me so long to do. So now I ask you, when’s the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone? If it’s been too long you are do to take a little step outside of that zone of comfort. Let’s grow.