If I could describe this year in one word, it might be “uncomfortable.”

It’s been a year of change, taking risks, and going out of my comfort zone. Some of these risks have resulted in some of the greatest rewards I have ever received. It’s been a tumultuous year filled with new experiences, new friends, and new lessons learned. I’m here today to talk about why I think you should push yourself to go out of your comfort zone. I encourage you to get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

I used to be the kind of girl who avoided doing anything that was scary. I didn’t like drawing attention to myself, I was too scared of what others thought of me, and I certainly wasn’t a risk taker. I liked to play it safe by all means. I did everything by the books.

Because safe often meant easy, in my dictionary.

I think about the “scary” things I have done this past year, and I’m so happy I took these risks, because they provided me with amazing opportunities.

The first thing that comes to mind is starting my internship. You may be thinking in your head, Okay, everyone has to start somewhere. How is starting an internship scary? I’ve talked with you guys before about my battle with anxiety and how sometimes just starting things can be difficult for me. In fact, I recall telling my mom a few months ago that I couldn’t think of anything scarier than starting a new job. My internship is a huge part of my grad program. I knew that my work at my internship would be a direct reflection on me and the relationships I would make would most likely help me find a job in the future. I didn’t want to mess it up. Some days I was nervous to go, but I became used to that discomfort, and pushed through the fears every day. Those of you with anxiety can understand how hard it is sometimes just to “show up.”

This year I also started a job that was wayyyyy out of my comfort zone, because I wasn’t sure if I could balance it with my internship, being a full time student, and managing a side business with this blog. Although the position didn’t end up working out, I’m proud that I at least took the risk. This has shown me that even when things DON’T work out, it’s not the end of the world. It’s okay to fail. Sometimes, failure teaches us the biggest lesson of them all. The lesson I learned from this experience was to trust my gut. My intuition told me from the get-go that starting this job wasn’t a great idea, but I wanted something to add onto my resume. Once the job didn’t work out, I was reminded why I need to trust my inner intuition. 

I also think about some of the difficult conversations I’ve had to had with people over the course of my year. Conversations with my fiancé, conversations with my old boss regarding quitting my job, and conversations with friends. I used to be the kind of person who would turn away from conflict and try to avoid the problem, but I have learned that not stating my needs isn’t productive whatsoever, and ultimately isn’t fair to myself. Part of “getting uncomfortable” this year has meant learning to have “adult” conversations and not shying away from conflict. It’s standing up for myself when needed.

When I think about the risks I have taken in my personal life, I am most proud. I made a goal this year to become more distinguished as a creative, and joined my local chapter of the Rising Tide Society. Going to the first meetup, I was scared as hell because I didn’t know ANY one who would be there, but I told myself that this was a wonderful opportunity to go out of my comfort zone. I’m SO glad I did. Because I got connected with the RTS, I met tons of local photographers that I ended up collaboration with, I went on the local news for a fashion segment, and I scored a feature in Green Bay’s fashion Magazine! It was such a cool experience finally meeting others who “get me,” and I’m so happy I went. Think of if I never would have went because I was so nervous… I would have missed out on so many amazing opportunities!

I also started a Monday workout class, which I’ve never been gung-ho for. In the past I preferred working out alone, but I’ve found that I really enjoy the company. It motivates me. And through the class, I’ve gotten to know other individuals and meet new friends. Going out of my comfort zone and trying something new has shown me that it’s okay to switch things up.

Do Something Every Day That Scares You

I challenge you all to do something every day that scares you. For real! As this blog post is titled, one of my favorite quotes is “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Once we give ourselves permission to work through the fear when we take risks, beautiful things happen. New doors open. We meet new people. We learn about our strengths.

We learn that we are so much more capable and strong that we give ourselves credit for.

I’d LOVE to hear from you guys. What’s a big risk you’ve taken this year? What uncomfortable challenges have you worked through? Please leave me a comment below!

Photos by Danae Herrmann Photography // Find her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram!

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