I recently did a fun street interview where I asked random people questions. Read the answers here. This involved walking up to strangers in the middle of a blazing hot afternoon, during a massive gay protest and on the busy streets of Canada’s National Capital.
There were several reasons to not do this: a.) It wasn’t absolutely necessary, like say, a school project where marks were allocated. b.) It was a summer afternoon- think about all the other things I could be doing like, chilling at the beach c.) All the voices in my head that said no.
Voices like: “No you can’t.” “No one will answer you.” “Don’t be ridiculous.” “Forget it.”
The voices were there because this was not my comfortable, safe, bubble and it would involve me intentionally putting myself in situations that I always try to avoid (Small talk, a crowd, lengthy conversations.)
But is that corner really safe? Yes it is safe as far as being consistent but consistency can also mean being stagnant and not growing and that really, is what the comfort zone is all about. The reason why we may hang on to our comfort zone so tightly is because we are afraid of the unknown. I mean, this already works so why change it?
The problem with our comfort zone is, nothing ever grows there. I don’t think anyone ever woke up from a lazy day laying on the couch watching Netflix all day and said, “Wow, that changed my life.” To grow, you have to ditch your comfort zone and embrace your awkwardness.
The comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing great ever grows out of there.
What does your comfort zone look like? Perhaps it is shying away from public presentations or staying a week in the house avoiding human interaction or even, not being able to spend sometime alone. Whatever that looks like to you, make conscious efforts to do exactly what you are afraid of doing. Hate presentations? Make presentations. Scared of a big crowd? Go to a concert. It’s often not always as scary as it seems and you will learn from the experience. For our greatest fears bring our greatest growth.
Our greatest fears bring our greatest growth.
So, I am making a decision to go far and beyond, do things I wouldn’t have imagined doing and embrace inconvenience, awkwardness and new beginnings. What about you?
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Here are a few pictures from that sunny day in Canada’s National Capital.
This post is dedicated to my friend, Tomi Owolabi. I admire that you have stepped out of your comfort zone to share your voice with the world. Imagine if we didn’t get to hear that special voice of yours simply because you were afraid? What a miss that would have been! Keep shining girl, the best is yet to come. Listen to her amazing collection here.