” A ship is always safe at shore, but that’s not what it’s built for.” Albert Einstein
Comfort zones… we all have them huh? Good…
Mine begins with lying on my bed, eating something which might not even be healthy (lol, mostly sweet stuff), watching a movie, laughing at comedies or just pressing my phone and it ends abruptly at public speaking or when it’s time to engage in a conversation in a room full of people. Lots of things might go through my mind at that time: fear of judgement, fear to be wrong, to make mistakes, to be misundersood, to be seen as uncultured, not passionate and all the tralala you can think of. So typically, rather than taking chances and speaking up, expressing myself, learning to know people I prefer staying quiet in my corner, laughing on occasions and being lost in my thoughts right? There could be some conversations which don’t necessitate my participation but I’m sure you understand what I mean right? Great!
Before coming over to Canada, my mom enrolled me in some hair-dressing classes and I remember how uncomfortable it was going there every morning surrounded by other hairstylists who were already good at doing their job and me sitting at the corner practising on a doll’s hair..ughh I just felt so dumb, little, like I knew nothing but truth be told, I knew nothing then. Reasons why I needed to learn, to practice, comfortable or not, I needed to get through it. So on getting here, my sister knew I had learned a trade and so she asked if I could place weaves. Not very sure of my skills (insecurity), I’ll always say “I’m not too good or I never learnt enough” so I’ll always choose braids since I was good at it. I can’t do braids all my life huh? Maybe but I mean, as a good hair-stylist, you gotta atleast know how to place weave or crotchet or cornrows etc. So one day, one of my friends actually wanted the weave and I said to myself “If I don’t try, how will I ever know I can make it or not?”. And I took my guts, put my fears aside and started her hair. In the end, I came up with a very beautiful style and it was great. I recall my sister saying “Wow Sammy, this looks so much like saloon work. See how you did that closure? Like a real pro!” I was happy but mostly proud of myself. And that’s how I got to being good at putting weave, being better with braids and even learning how to do crotchet, cornrows and doing my hair all by myself! With a simple TRY.
This is a very basic example but it could be applied to any part of our lives. Nothing productive comes out of our comfort zones. It kills creativity and we tend to say “It’s not meant for me”. If it’s not meant for you, then what is? We feel we have limitations but sincerely, we’re just addicted to what we already know and have so we don’t want to lose it hence refuse growth. So this is what I understood: killing your comfort zone is about living a life of continual curiosity. It’s about not giving up when things seem hard, but persevering in the name of growth. It’s about having the conversations you feel you can’t, and trying the things that voice in your head says “you can’t do that”. Because that’s bullshit, and it’s time you started unbelieving it.
Identify the things that scare you. Make a list if you have to. Then start saying YES!. To the things you’d normally avoid and the opportunities you’d normally dismiss. Sometimes you won’t feel like getting dressed or putting your best face on and seeing people. You just won’t. And yet you should. Go to the event. Sign up for the networking opportunity. Apply for the role you’re not quite “ready” for. Embrace anything that makes you feel a little scared and uncertain. So often, the things that scare us are the things that change us for the better. When it feels like you’re awkward and unsure, that is when it matters. That’s growth, right there.
I have the chance to write poems, short stories or express my literrature skills at school but I always slack whereas it could be an opportunity for me. Well, I’m deciding to explore more, try new things knowing what could be bad for me so, go out there and grow. Let yourself to be renewed. There’s no fun to be found in leading a life that’s less than the one you’re capable of. There’s no growth to be found in always staying home, doing the same old things. You, with your brain, your body, your soul and your creativity, were built to live your best possible life, not a sheltered one. God bless.