Let’s be honest, no one enjoys stepping out of their comfort zone. Because being comfortable, means you’re safe. You have control, and you feel at ease. Being in uncomfortable situations leaves room for vulnerability and sometimes feeling insecure. But what if I told you good, no, great things can come from stepping out of your comfort zone! Walking into an uncomfortable situation can positively change your life, and the lives of others. Now, at this point you’re probably thinking what on earth are you talking about, but stay with me, keep reading and let me explain.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Ever since high school, I’ve tried to live by this motto, I not only think that it’s important to step outside of our comfort zones, I truly believe it’s the only way we grow as humans.
Though Tyler and I have both been blessed with amazing parents and upbringings, throughout our lives, we’ve also put ourselves in situations that have pushed the limits of our comfort zones in order to do good by others or those in need — Sometimes it has been as simple as talking to a stranger on an elevator, or walking into a crowded room without a single familiar face. Or in some situations such as moving to Nashville without knowing a soul, building houses in Mexico for our spring breaks, going on mission trips to Honduras and Guatemala, and most recently visiting some of the most rural and poorest areas in South Africa. It’s being able to help others and change lives (including our own) that is the driving force behind stepping out of our comfort zones and leaving all of the comforts of home and familiar faces.
Whether it’s being in an uncomfortable situation somewhere across the globe, or simply in a crowded room, I believe we can grow as individuals and if possible do good for those around us.
During our recent trip to South Africa, Tyler and I spent some time in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world with a devastating and ever-growing issue of AIDS. Going to Malawi, Tyler and I knew that we might feel or be put in some uncomfortable situations. However, with our desire to help where we could, we knew that no matter what situations might arise, we would have each other. Being in uncomfortable positions, circumstances or places and getting to work together as a couple, and to see each other through it is what’s important. We were able to lean on one another when the circumstances got tough or the accommodations were really rough. But it was watching Tyler have open arms to everyone and seeing his huge heart impact others that made it all worth it. We enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people and ended up coming home with about 20 new and AMAZING Africa friends and contacts.
It was when we chose to step out of our comfort zones that our eyes and hearts were open to the people of Malawi. This experience allowed us to grow as individuals and as a couple.
However, traveling to distant locations is not the only way to push your comfort zones, it can be as simple as saying hello or complimenting a complete stranger. I would encourage everyone, to do one thing every day that scares you just a little, or that takes you out of your comfort zone. I’m not saying go sky diving if you’re deathly afraid of heights, but simply say hello and smile to people that walk by. It could even be as simple as striking up a conversation with someone you wouldn’t usually talk to, just to ask them how they’re doing. I know that might sound silly, but for some people, that might feel awkward or uncomfortable. The truth of the matter is, the other person most likely feels just as uncomfortable. We’re all human. So be the one to break the ice and make someone feel welcomed. A simple hello could be just what that person needed to turn their day from bad to good.
There are so many amazing people waiting to get to know you, and so many wonderful places you haven’t yet discovered. Step out of your comfort zone and see what wonderful things can come from doing so.