I’ve just got back from five days in Minneapolis, where I attended a conference on simple living.
I had an awesome time there.
I can’t even begin to explain it.
It was maybe one of the best times of my life.
I met so many people that I felt instantly connected to.
I made deep friendships in just a few hours.
(It’s amazing what you can get down to when you take away the “What do you do?”, and other standard conversation topics).
I laughed… I shared… I connected… and I welled up with tears at times.
I gained a whole heap of friends from across North America, who share the same mindsets and beliefs, and are just about the most welcoming people anyone could hope to meet.
It was possibly one of the most rewarding, fun, humbling, exciting experiences of my life.
Ah, there’s a but!
There’s something I have to tell you.
Amongst all of this amazement, I still had my usual panics, stresses, and worries…
Well, life’s not perfect, eh 🙂
I worried about taking the bus in the morning.
What if I couldn’t find the stop? Do I have the right money? What if I miss my stop? Or get lost?
I worried about turning up to an event that I knew no one at.
What if I’m the person sitting on my own all the time?
I worried about things I had said – and things I hadn’t said but wanted to.
There’s my perfect moment… take it… move on it… oh, and it’s gone. Come on, Claire!
Yes – I’m a worrier 🙂
In truth, for most of the weekend, I was totally out of my comfort zone.
I think probably the only time I felt within my comfort zone was when I was in the bathroom 🙂
But on the plane on the way back, as my brain flitted over the weekend and all that I’d experienced, I felt a grateful, powerful, overwhelming sense of pride.
Pride – and strength.
I’d done something I’d never done before.
I’d flown 1400 miles to a conference I didn’t know much about, with a bunch of people I’d never met.
I felt stronger.
Proud of myself.
And, well… different.
I had changed, ever so slightly, as a person.
And that – for me – is the wonder of life.
The thing I strive for.
Growth – and turning into a newer, stronger person.
With all my flaws and weaknesses.
So if you’re thinking of doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone, remember this:
Getting out your comfort zone will change you as a person.
(And that’s a good thing.)
Getting out your comfort zone – however or whatever that means for you – will make you grow.
In a good way.
You’ll come out of it stronger… braver… able to take on more… and accomplish more.
So any time you’re about to do something incredibly scary, know that:
You might have moments of panic, or fear, or “Why the name of Jesus am I doing this?”…
… but you’ll come out of it at the end with an armour.
An armour that distinguishes you from all the other people who are too scared to get out of their comfort zones.
That feeling of “Yeah, I just did that!” is so flippin’ powerful!
So this post is an encouragement to put yourself out of your comfort zone – every once in a while – and see what happens.
Every experience we have makes us a little stronger than we were before.
And the moments of “Why the hell did I sign myself up for this?!” are the moments that make us into the people we want to be.
So go forth.
And have some experiences that make you proud to be you 🙂