I'm sure you've been told before that you need to step out of your comfort zone, so why haven't you? I know it's hard, embarrassing, unknown. I hate being in uncomfortable situations just as much as the next person. However, I've found that the more I go out of my comfort zone, the more I'm learning and the more grateful I am that I took the leap of faith in the first place.

If you know me, you know that I'm not much of a risk taker. I've never been. I've always wanted to stick to the straight and narrow path. I fear going out of my way to talk to people or trying new things. I don't even try new foods at restaurants most of the time because I'm too scared I won't like it. That's how much I hate going out of my comfort zone. The essence of 'new' seems enticing and exciting, but you don't know what lies ahead on the other side of that. Staying within your comfort zone only allows you to repeat the same life cycle and never allows you to experience the things you'd thought you'd never enjoy.

I like to stick to what I know. When my comfort zone gets the best of me, I avoid many situations if they involve new circumstances. Oftentimes I have to fight the urge to cuddle up in my bed, watch my favorite T.V. show and tune out the world. I have to resist it because it's the easiest way out.

Every time a new experience surfaces, my gut says no. It says retreat. But each time I force that feeling away and take that leap of faith to do whatever it is that I was uncomfortable with, I'm instantly happy I did it. I grow as a person when I try new things. I learn more and more about myself every time. I'm proud of the new version of myself. I'm proud that she's taking leaps of faith. I'm glad she's meeting new people, adding new experiences to her life, and I'm glad she's enjoying every second of it. Life wouldn't be fun if we weren't challenging ourselves, or if we weren't growing. So grow with me. The next time one of your friends asks you to hang out, the next time you're given a challenge, face it and I promise you'll learn something new about yourself.