Whats Scary you ask?
I am talking about getting out of your comfort zone.
Several times in my life I have jumped out of my comfort zone. I say jumped but a couple of them have been huge leaps, and not little steps. In every case it’s worked out awesomely and the benefits have been more than I expected. Sure it was scary and caused anxiety but I pushed through and it’s worked out for me.
I am sorry? You up the back there with the hand raised, what’s that you ask? What was the biggest leap you say? Well let me tell you since you’re so polite.
The biggest leap was a few years back. I quit my job with a company I had been working at for about 5 years, sold up everything and started packing up the family and moved to a new country.
I didn’t have a job to go to, I didn’t have a place to live. I arrived in country with 2 suitcases. That was very much outside my comfort zone.
When I landed, I knew my first job was to find a new job. I knew I had to treat this job search as my primary goal so I gave it a top priority. One of the reasons was I didn’t have a lot of money. I only had enough for about a month and half, possibly 2 months if I stretched it. I had to pay for a place to stay and food and I needed a rental car to go to interviews and such.
I had gone by myself and left the family to finish packing up the house so I had no distractions and that’s how I planned it. It was lonely but this helped me focus.
Was that scary? Yes. At times it was bowel clenching scary. What on earth was I doing? Why on earth did I decide to do this? What was I thinking in making this leap of faith? And you know, when it came down to it that’s exactly what it was. It was a leap of faith in myself.
I knew that I was good at what I did and knew I could make others understand that. I had made a decision that I wasn’t going to fail. I think that was one of the most important decisions. I was going to make it happen.
My first task was to search the jobs online, then arrange interviews. These are all things I did. It was all I focused my days on.
Did I take the first job I could get in my field? You betcha. The money wasn’t great, and it was a long drive from where I wanted to live but that didn’t matter. Money was coming in and at that stage that’s what mattered. I knew that once I had the money coming in I could take the additional time to find something better that paid more.
I look back on those days and see the lessons I learned during the time and I see how the skills I gained have helped me elsewhere in life. They helped me grow as a person and helped me understand myself better. It helped me understand others in my life and how they reacted to my changes. I could see in some of them how their fears and ideas of what they thought were ‘real’ were holding them back.
This is what getting out of the comfort zone will do for you. It will help you grow as a person and will allow you to gain skills and perspectives that will help you for the rest of your life. You don’t need to go as extreme as I did, but take a leap of faith in yourself and what you can do.
Of course, if you have the chance to live in another country for awhile you should take that chance. The things we can learn about ourselves and the society we have lived in all our lives are tremendous and life changing. You will find the world is much larger than your backyard and the world is vaster than you thought.
So do something today to get out of your comfort zone. Seriously. It’s good for you.