I’d like to think of myself of that person who lives by the mantra of doing one thing everyday that scares them. That person who isn’t afraid of doing something different because of what people might think of them or that isn’t scared of trying something and failing at it. Spoiler: The majority of the time, I am not that person.
Who is that person?
I put off creating this blog for ageeees because of what people might think and I also put off learning how to drive for years without even knowing that was what I was doing. I mean, I was at Uni, and time and money were also factors but it was largely due to being absolutely terrified of being hopeless (and veering onto the pavement).
Just because I’m a gal of the comfort zone more often than not, does this mean I’m failing?
The short answer to this question = no you’re not failing, piss off self-doubt. However, we are our own worst enemies and so it’s easier said than done. For instance, if any of my friends asked me this question I would hand-on-heart tell them that they’re not failing themselves or anybody else, do things that YOU are comfortable with and sod everyone else. Soooo, why oh why is it so different when asking ourselves the same question?
Nobody is perfect and even that person that you sometimes wish you were has difficulties and will doubt themselves at one point or another. What’s important to remember is that you don’t have to be pushing yourselves all the time; you’ll only end up burning yourself out and as a result you won’t be able to be as productive as you’re capable of being.
‘You need to push yourself a bit more’…
That is something I heard on maaaaany parents evenings at school; I know this was because teachers wanted me to reach my full potential and be a bit more confident, but I’ve never been the one to put my hand up and offer an answer in front of the class – picture a tomato and that’s the level of red I feel my cheeks going. I got myself really down at one point, I’d just moved sixth-forms and teachers would pull me aside and ask me why I wasn’t putting in the effort. I WAS TRYING SO HARD! I just felt so uncomfortable and really kept to myself, not wanting to step into the unknown. That’s when it was a problem; how do I say ‘It’s not that I’m not arsed, I’m just terrified!’ What I’m trying to touch upon is the conflict I had with myself and I knew that I wanted to change it.
I started to take baby-steps in doing something that scared me everyday; which by the way doesn’t mean hurling yourself out of your little zone of calm but rather stepping over the line for short periods of time throughout the day. For me this was getting more involved in class discussions and really pushing through the nerves. Gradually, I was able to achieve the admittedly cringe quote ‘do something everyday that scares you’, and by doing little things my confidence grew by the day. I moved to Leeds and started University, something I was never sure I could cope with. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE; I know Uni isn’t for everyone and it’s not the be all and end all, but for me it was worth the risk and I met some of the best people and got to live in one of the best cities. I’m not saying it was easy either, when my mum and step-dad dropped me off we went for a meal and the waiter asked me how I was feeling about the ‘exciting new start’… I had tears in my eyes, couldn’t speak for fear of bursting into tears and sort of mumbled my response, ‘yeah’. Fast forward three years and I’ve got a 2:1 in Psychology.
If you’ve got to the end of this post, congrats to you and thanks for sticking with me through my ramble. The main message I wanted to put across is that we are all capable of being that person. I stepped out of my comfort zone, stopped beating myself up about being scared and took some risks. I also realised that the comfort zone doesn’t have to be the place that you fear leaving, instead it’s there to tell you what’s on the other side and how a little step out can make you grow as a person. I still sometimes get overwhelmed but acknowledging the steps you’ve taken to move forward is something really important and we should all give ourselves some well-deserved credit.