I once saw a quote by Neale Donald Walsch that said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” These words have changed the way I view new opportunities and challenges; it has encouraged me to live outside the confines of fear.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is NEVER an easy thing. It is intimidating and it causes a stir of emotions within you. You are forced to go somewhere you never have before, talk to a perfect stranger, or complete a task you have no idea how to do. It can be tricky and extremely frightening.
As humans we are wired to want to stay within our bubbles. Life is easier that way and less negative emotions are brought upon us. Starting a new job, moving to a new city, introducing yourself to the cute boy across the hall- it is all enough to make you close your eyes, take a big gulp, and turn around.
But, what if we never did any of those things. What if you never moved across the country and started your life in a new city? You would have never had the opportunity to see so many incredible new places, meet an endless amount of people, and try the delicious restaurants you are now a regular at. What if you never got the courage to say hello to the adorable soccer player across the hall? You would not be spending spring break exploring his hometown with him, you would have never learned how to be a better cook, and you would have never learned to love in a way you knew was possible.
In my life I have been faced with endless instances where I had to make a choice to step out of my comfort zone or stay where I knew was safe. The week before college started I was petrified. I wanted nothing to do with moving away from home and I certainly did not want to make new friends and start a 4-year journey with countless new encounters. I was happy where I was and I was distraught about leaving everything I knew to further my education. But, I did it anyways and looking back on it I am so grateful I made that leap. I would not be in the job I am today, in the new city where I live, I would have never made the lifelong friends I will always cherish, and I would have never made the mistakes that led me to grow as an individual.
After college I had a decision to make. Do I stay in my hometown and find a job with my degree there, do I pick a place on the map and apply to jobs there, or do I move 12 hours away from everything I know to be with my now fiancee? Eight months ago I moved to Nashville and it was one of most self-challenging experiences to date. I knew very few people, I had just started a new job, I was living with 2 girls I had never met before, and I was 12 hours away from my family and friends. It was hard at times, but without that move and without those hard times I know I would not be experiencing the life I am now. I have the ability to travel and see so many incredible new places, I meet new people every single day, I have built friendships that are unbreakable, and my once boyfriend asked me to spend forever with him. Moving away from your hometown is one of the most rewarding and positive experiences I think anyone can do for themselves.
It is the most frightening things in life that make for the most rewarding endings. So, next time you are invited to an event you know no one- GO! Next time you have the opportunity to go on a missions trip and make a difference in other individuals and expand your understanding of the world- GO! And next time you see that cute boy walking by you in the park- say hello and ask him to go get coffee with you! I guarantee if you start saying yes to more things you will live a much more enriched life. If you start living outside the walls of your comfort zone you will not only learn and see so much more of this world you will also learn so much more about yourself.