Last week my boss asked if a coworker and I would be willing to take on some added responsibilities since she’s traveling back and forth between the two new stores that the company has purchased. My disagreements with the company aside, I jumped at the idea because: one, it’s a learning experience; two, I hate seeing her stressed out; and three, I thought it would be fun.
Well fast forward a week and I realized it has been a while since I have felt completely out of place in this company. Yesterday, as I gathered the information required to complete the task, I was overwhelmed with the idea I was out of my element. I was overpowered by my anxious nature of the need to do it right. I was engulfed with the idea I could fail.
I don’t fail. Ever. I may not succeed all the time but that isn’t failure. That’s not winning the battle. That’s learning. That’s experience. That’s an opportunity. Failure is giving up. Yesterday, I was so overwhelmed with the activities surrounding me, the weariness in my bones, the heavy hearted misery of missing my dad and being unable to spend my mom’s birthday with her, and the fact that I wasn’t quite sure how to complete the task at hand that I almost failed. I almost gave up.
I pushed through. It wasn’t easy. Every part of my being shook at the idea of failure and the stress of letting my manager down. When I finally completed the report I realized how it took me out of my comfort zone. I tell you, the easiest way to obtain self assurance is to do what you’re most afraid of doing. And boy, was I afraid of doing that.
It took me all day, but yesterday I realized life begins at the end of your comfort zone. There is a reason it’s called your comfort zone. It’s the place where you freely know your way around and you can move with great familiarity.
I know how challenging yesterday was for me. Here is a challenge for you. Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward, out of place, and so very uncomfortable when you try something different and new. I promise you – minus my anxiety attack – it was worth it. I was out of my element but I imposed my will to something intimidating and accomplished it like a boss.