Staring at the screen with my slides before my presentation, I thought to myself, “I never thought in a million years that I would be public speaking, or that I would be sharing my story, or that sharing my story would be my job.”
I’ve realized over the years how many times I have had to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I used to hate the idea of public speaking, but my desire to help others feel less alone felt stronger than my fears. But still, I never thought this would be my everyday life. I was comfortable in terrible relationships that made me feel bad about myself but finally was able to walk away and find my inner strength. For years, I never thought I would be able to leave those relationships. I’ve had to readjust to change constantly, and I’ve always hated change. I’ve done things that have terrified me and pushed me to my limits, but all of those things taught me beautiful lessons about myself.
Now, being faced with the challenges of coronavirus, I have been forced to be pushed out of my comfort zones yet again. After becoming so comfortable speaking in public, I am now forced to speak and share my story with a screen, with people behind the screen that I have to imagine are engaged. Speaking virtually is more nerve-racking than speaking in person. And it’s because I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and doing something that scares me. But I am realizing that I have found ways to be creative at making an impact virtually and to keep people entertained throughout.
What I am realizing is that our comfort zones feel comfortable for a reason, but if we stay in those comfort zones, we will never realize how wildly talented or creative we can be when pushed to try something new.
Being pushed out of my comfort zone allowed me to find my passion. And I know I will continually be pushed into new uncomfortable zones, and although they may be scary, they will help me to grow and mold me into an even better version of myself.
I think every time we take a step outside of our comfort zones, we are proving to ourselves and the world that we are capable of a challenge, and we are allowing ourselves to embark on a journey of change and growth. And that is what self-love is all about, being able to love ourselves while still seeking self-growth and self-exploration. It’s about forgiving yourself when you step out of comfort and mess up, and finding the inner strength to still celebrate yourself because you even took that step in the first place.
Our comfort zones are comfortable, but what would happen if you took that first step into discomfort? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that when I took that first scary step, my life changed for the better and gave me opportunities and experiences that I would have never dreamed of. Right now, many of us have been forced out of our comfort zones even though we weren’t prepared. But what if this experience outside of your comfort zone changes your life, and molds you into a stronger and more resilient you? I truly believe that outside of our comfort zones is a beautiful journey of growth, and you are so deserving of that experience.