Getting Outside Of Your Comfort Zone Is Often How We Grow

I am very excited to be writing our first blog post for 2013. Regardless of whether you traveled or enjoyed the comforts of home over the holidays, I hope you have all had the opportunity to take a break and get rested and refreshed for what the upcoming year has to bring.

Many of us begin a new year by reflecting on the previous year and establishing our goals for the year to come. Are you setting your wheels in motion? Have you set a time frame to achieve these goals? Not to say that there is anything wrong if you haven’t, but if you are putting off making any progress because you are worried about change or ‘rocking the boat’ then you may have difficulty achieving those plans you set yourself as the clock ticked over to bring in the new year.

I see all around me many of my friends will be embracing change in 2013. I have friends that will be travelling the world, getting married, and having children this year. I also have friends who are taking on new promotions at work and others who are taking the plunge and taking on a completely new career.

I tend to find that whenever change takes place in our lives it often isn’t something that we can completely plan for. We can have a general idea of the direction that we may be going in but you can never have a foolproof plan regardless of how organised you are. One way or another you are going to have to step outside of your comfort zone to stretch and mold yourself into you want to be.  It’s part of our life experience.

For me, the New Year was spent climbing to Gokyo Ri (5357m), Cho La Pass (5300m), Everest Base Camp (5360m) and Kala Plattar (5545m) in Nepal. I had spent over a year saving for it, buying the right clothing and gear, and training like crazy for it, but having never experienced altitude before I still didn’t know what I would be feeling or what I would experience in a society/culture that was so different from my own.

The memories from this trip are something I will take with me for the rest of my life. The guides were very experienced, the food was good and plentiful and the weather was sunny and clear the whole time. With that said, the altitude did make me feel like I had emphazima, especially over 5000m, sleeping was difficult, and some of our walks were 7-8 hours on end. It was hard, probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, and that negative voice inside my head would sometimes tell me to go back and give up. But turning around was never an option unless I wanted to fly out by helicopter! If I had actually listened to that voice and gave up on any of those difficult climbs, I would have absolutely regretted it.

Now this was my personal goal, I am not saying climb a mountain to get outside of your comfort zone, but you will have goals that will challenge you or situations that you will have to face that might make you feel uncomfortable. But you may be surprised with what you are capable of once you tackle those situations head on. When I am often in these moments where life takes a turn, I often reflect on those difficult moments and think to myself, ‘ I’ve made it through those situations in the past this will be a walk in the park!’

How do you feel when you have achieved your goals? I have to tell you, when I completed my Nepal trip I felt overwhelmed, satisfied, relieved and tired. But overall at ease. No one else had those exact same feelings at the time but me, and that is the same for you and what lies ahead in your journey.

So if you haven’t put a plan into motion, before your year begins to fill with your to-do lists, tasks and deadlines, start defining your path for your road ahead this year, get the ball rolling and enjoy the ride. Life is too short to be held back wondering ‘What if?’