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April 12, 2018carrierweb.png

Push yourself out of your comfort zone

Cassie LaJeunesse, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

I’m a very cautious person. I always have been. My brother criticized my driving as being “too cautious” before he’d ever been behind the wheel of a car. I’m scared of heights, I’m scared of dark places, I’m scared to talk to strangers more often than not. I’ve been the one to sit out of activities more times than I could count because I don’t want to take the risk. 

If I had to pick a life lesson that I’ve learned in college, it’s that stepping outside of your comfort zone can lead to incredible results. Berry itself is far outside my comfort zone: I’m six hours from home in a different state, and I came here not knowing anyone. 

Stepping outside of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be leaping into something that terrifies you. For me, it has occurred in very small, often miniscule steps, but because I was able to take these steps, I have had some new experiences that I never thought I would. 

Over Easter weekend, I was convinced to attend Canterbury Club’s Communion in a Cave event. I had several concerns about this event: caves are dark, they’re underground, they often involve small spaces and low-hanging things that greatly increase my potential for injury. However, a few trusted people in my life convinced me that the benefits of this venture would far outweigh any of my reasons not to do it. The experience of participating in the traditional communion service in a cave on Good Friday was beyond incredible. I left feeling more connected to my faith, wondering why I was nervous in the first place and very thankful to the friends who had convinced me to go. 

If you’re a worrier like me, I have some advice for you. Listen to the people who care about you. If they know you and know your limitations but are still trying to convince you that everything will be fine, there is a very good chance that everything will, indeed, be fine. Find these people who know you well enough to convince you to do things that make you uncomfortable. I don’t think you’ll regret it. 

Because I’m perpetually worried about things, my initial response to stepping outside of my comfort zone is to overthink every worst-case scenario that could happen as a result. However, I don’t think this is a bad thing, because often, the answer to the question “What’s the worst that could happen?” really isn’t that bad. 

I’ve learned that taking baby steps outside of your comfort zone can lead to great things. Reach out to a new person, visit a new place or try an activity that is completely unknown. Pretty soon, I think you’ll find that your comfort zone is expanding.

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