“In an increasingly competitive, cautious and accelerated world, those who are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards.” – Mary Warrell, Forbes
Fall has begun. Others are going back to school, projects are beginning and life is changing. In the midst of it all this change, I am (slowly) learning the benefits of stepping outside my comfort zone. Reflecting on the past, I am realizing how many opportunities I may have missed because I was too scared or wanted to “play it safe.”
We all have different comfort zones. Here are some honest examples of what I find challenging:
- Directions and new locations – I am notoriously challenged when it comes to maps, geography and everything to do with travel.
- Meeting people for the first time– this seems to push most people out of the comfort zone. It can take work to build a connection (or network) with someone you’ve just met.
- Asking for help – as I am just entering the corporate world, I find myself needing to ask for help.
- Reaching out – although I do enjoy the projects I am working on, I know there is more I can do to help my agency. It is nerve-wracking for me to offer my other skills and reach out to take part in new projects – especially projects that may not be directly related to my internship.
- Being the “only one” – sometimes, it feels safe to follow the crowd. I always hear people say, “well, I don’t want to be the only one, so…”
Although it may require taking risks, I have made a promise to myself to step out of the comfort zone every day. I’ve been taking buses all around PDX, making new friends, offering to join in on new projects at my internship and seeking feedback.
So far, the scariest experience has been learning how to reach out to others. As I have huge the passion for casting, I asked to be a part of a casting project at my agency. I worried about the supervisor shaking their head at my email and thinking “why would I have a silly intern help me with someone like this?” Well, I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked, because she gladly accepted my help. She put me in charge of the casting and then invited me to work on the next shoot! If I would have stayed in my comfort zone and never reached out, I wouldn’t have been able to experience this side of the agency.
Even though “playing it safe” has a time and a place… taking risks and putting myself out there this term has helped me grow. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t take your chances, someone else will.
– Adaira Floyd