Quiet Courage: Stepping Beyond Comfort Zones

Life is easy once we have established routines. Wherever we go, that uneasy feeling that is associated with being in a new environment starts fading once we detect a trace of predictability. I think we freshers have reached that state of mind by this point of time. We know what classes we have, what clubs we are part of, what work is expected of us and most of us are starting to feel like we could really fit in here. I know that’s how I feel. While that’s a good thing, I urge you not to get too comfortable. In fact, in my humble opinion, that should apply to everyone.

You see, the thing with getting comfortable is that it is surprisingly easy to get complacent without even realizing the difference. I don’t mean that being at ease is a bad thing, peace of mind is essential for all walks of life. I mean, don’t let the fear of unease, or the pleasantries of comfort stop you from trying new things. Because success lies outside your comfort zone. Success lies in pushing your boundaries, discovering new aspects of yourself and growing as a human being.

Who (and what) we become in life is totally up to us now. Everything depends on the kind of decisions we make, the kind of work ethic we inculcate, the kind of dreams that we have. It’s all on us. So make sure you keep trying new things everyday. Have goals, achieve them, keep learning new skills. Ultimately, it’s the busy people in life who are content. Of course, being busy can’t be easy. But here’s the thing: if sleeping a couple of hours less in the night can add some value to you or your life in terms of skills or experience (or both), then isn’t the compromise worth it? I think so. At the end of the day, we all want to be better people, right? Don’t let the fear of failure scare you off. When I say comfort zones, I don’t just mean some academic/ co-curricular skill that we pride ourselves on. Our comfort zone consists of our lifestyle and our environmental preferences too. Push the boundaries. Explore. It requires courage. Because bravery isn’t always about being the loudest or most courageous in the room, sometimes it’s about being in the room.

On the other hand, don’t lose sight of your goals. Don’t get pulled in too many directions. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I realize it’s a delicate balance, but I think it’s something we can all learn. Compromise only when it’s productive and the compromise is manageable. Don’t experiment with things that matter a little too much. And at the end of the day, we’re all humans. Learn to forgive yourself and accept your shortcomings. Learn to appreciate how far you’ve come and learn to believe in how far you can go. I think that’s the toughest part. But like Kate Voegele said, “In the wreckage of heartache and hindsight, a new beginning starts to unfold and if you let it, it just might save your life.”