#DebutGirl and writer Vicky Jones gets us thinking about what it’s like to be out of your comfort zone, and how it isn’t as scary as you may think…
As a kid, you hear things like ‘don’t go down that road, you don’t know what’s down there’, ‘you wouldn’t want to visit that country’, ‘I wouldn’t eat that if I were you’, ‘why on earth would you want to take up that hobby?’
But what exactly is this teaching us?
That it’s better if we just be – as we are – safe and sound? What happens when we just tip-toe out of the ‘safe’ bubble, and out of our comfort zone? In my experience you ask? Nothing at worst and exhilarating at best.
Don’t get me wrong, doing certain things can be dangerous and risky. You wouldn’t just wander around aimlessly in the middle of the night looking for danger. But, what if the ‘danger’ wasn’t death, but just …because it was different? Never been tried? Not known?
When I set off on my travels to North America, I had people tell me ‘Alaska? There’s nothing there!’ and most of all ‘Why would you want to travel alone?’ But you know what, Alaska has been amongst the best places I have ever visited. Also, travelling alone gave me so much confidence. I’m glad I didn’t listen. I’m glad I didn’t stay in my comfort zone. I’m glad I didn’t just ‘take the easy route’.
When we fear the unknown, we tell ourselves that the only outcome is bad. Then we become anxious at trying anything new and we never move outside of our comfort zone, never explore and never satisfy our curiosity. But, what if coming out of our comfort zone is when we actually feel alive? Yes it’s a risk, but I believe it’s a risk that’s worth taking. There may be a time, when we have to deal with life and death, but because we have never been out of our comfort zone, we wouldn’t have the skills to deal with it.
I’m writing a book at the moment, and of course, I’m not risking death by writing it. But I could stick to what I know and just talk about it. Or I could put myself out there and, quite frankly, fail. The book could absolutely flop. But I’d still be alive, and I would have satisfied a niggling curiosity. Then I would move onto the next thing that’s bugging or interesting me. Or you know what? The book may fly off the shelves and I could just become the next big thing (now this outcome is much more appealing) but if I never try, I’ll never know.
So, what’s the alternative? A lifetime of regret and not living to the fullest? Or a series of risk taking, and a whole novel of stories and memories to pick up along the way. You decide…
Words: Vicky Jones
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