“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” ― Shannon L. Alder
So, I used to be the queen of “Living within your comfort zone club”, if you know what I mean. I always felt at home within the walls I had built for myself and didn’t want any disruption of my life style….. a boring one, if I might add.
But the kick of it was that I longed for new and challenging experiences. I knew I wasn’t really happy with my life then and wanted something more….. I wanted something exciting and interesting but I was so scared to make a break for it.
I feared what was in the world and with stories I had heard of people getting hurt by letting their guards down…..well, I wasn’t ready to put myself in the line of fire.
However, I braved up and decided to let my guard down but not completely. I still was too scared to allow myself become totally vulnerable; to put myself at the mercy of the world.
With my guard down a little bit, I got my heart broken, I experienced pain, regret, sadness and loneliness.
But I couldn’t put the wall back up completely……I didn’t want to. I had experienced life within the wall and I wasn’t happy with it. With the wall half down, I had experienced pain and hurts but I felt a certain kind of strength that refused me to put the wall back up completely. I wanted to……no, scratch that. I needed to experience the world and understand life better.
And now I can confidently tell you, ” There is great life, fun and amazing living outside the walls of your comfort zone”. Remember the saying, “what doesn’t kill you make you stronger”? Well, that is one of the truest mantras that exist in the real world.
Let me share this story I came across on http://www.storyoffaith.blogspot.com.ng:
An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze. “Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked. She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. “I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends.
Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.
She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium.
As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!
There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability.
The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”
She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
Having read this story, how do you feel? As for me, I get the chills and the deep encouragement to actually live my life to the fullest so I would have no regret when my time on earth is done.
Many a time, we lurk in our shadows and hide beneath phrases like “I can’t”, “I won’t”, “I wish I could” etc. forgetting that we actually CAN DO anything and everything we set our hearts…..not for any other reason but for the sole fact that WE JUST CAN.
“We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.” ― Pandora Poikilos.
We hide behind our sense of inadequacy and fear that we limit ourselves and our potentials. Take courage and step out in style.
Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us”.
Now, I ask this:
Why can’t you be talented? Why can’t you be brilliant? Why is it OK for others to be and not us? Why do we feel admiration of others is good but not admiration of us? You do no one, not the world or yourself any good with your small thinking or limited dreams.
Fulfill the purpose of your existence. You don’t have to have wait for something bad to happen to you before you decide to see life from a totally different perspective. Step out there and live your dream. You are good enough and you will succeed.
I say, “If you are comfortable crawling, you would never learn to walk and if you are comfortable walking, you would never learn to run. If you are comfortable running, you would never learn to jump and if you are comfortable jumping, you would never learn to fly”.
There is always a bigger step to take once you accomplish a milestone. Do not sit there and rest on your oars thinking you have arrived. There is still so much you can do. So go out there and do it.
You could be safe in your comfort zone but that is all you would ever be – safe. You would not learn anything new. After a while, your routine is going to seem mundane and you are just going to live an all-so-boring life.
“The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.” ― Benedict Cumberbatch
There is a bigger world out there and it is so fun and interesting. Agreed, it has its challenges but that is what makes it life. Break free of your limitations and bask in the freedom of this amazing life given you.
You cry, you laugh. You experience joy, you experience pain. You feel happy, you feel sad. It is the opposites of life that makes it complementary. How can you value greatness if you do not understand the lowlife?
St Paul tells us in Phillipians 4:12 -13: “I know what it is to be in want and what it is to have plenty. I am trained for both; to be hungry or satisfied, to have much or little. I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME”.
Of course, we can. We have what it takes to move mountains and level the hills. All we need do is BELIEVE...
How can you understand the worth of a smile and joy in your heart if you have never felt pain? How can you understand the price of laughter if you have known no sorrow?
So dearie, step out there and live a little. In fact, live much. You are way more than you see yourself. Take off the veil that hides your pretty face. Break down that wall that hides your real self and potentials.
We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.
Thank you so much for reading this amazing write-up. I trust you found it every bit interesting and beautiful. Kindly leave your comments in the box below as I would really love to read your comments and contributions on this topic.
Remain your DAZZLING, DASHING and DARING self.
Have you ever pushed yourself beyond your supposed limits? How has it helped you become better?