For the longest time, I have always struggled with doing things differently from the crowd. I never saw myself as a leader, and consistently had a terrible time making hard decisions, even if it was solely for myself.
Stepping out of my comfort zone has always been incredibly hard, but undoubtedly worth it in the end.
It all started way back during my freshman year when I immediately knew that becoming an Early Education major was not for me. I always loved to use social media and to write, but never considered Communication and Media as a potential major. I was constantly told I would never get a job if I were to have switched, and feared that I wouldn't find something I was actually passionate about. After fearfully making the decision to change majors, I completely fell head over heels in love with everything related to the media, and my new major, and have never once regretted my decision. That small decision and courage to step out of my comfort zone led me to not only eventually become a Content Creator for Odyssey, but also hold two internship positions related to my field, as well as other communication-based leadership positions on executive boards in various nation-wide organizations.
What I am trying to say is, if I initially did not step out of my comfort zone and change the path of my education, I would have never ended up where I am today. I would have never ended up finding a career path I would dream of working in, or hold positions I never imagined myself having. That small act of courage freshman year essentially changed the rest of my life. If I could have told myself way back then that I would be working in NYC as a social media marketing intern the summer before senior year, I would have never believed it.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy, and it never will be. It is something that will continuously hold you back from doing things you actually want. What is the point of becoming successful if you don't do something that scares you? Letting go of that initial fear can help you break free of your comfortable every day life and do the things you actually want to do.
One thing that continuously stops me from breaking out of my comfort zone is the fear of being judged. I have always had a fear of not being liked or respected by others for what I pursue. Whether it is not being supported, or being made fun of, I have continuously kept certain aspirations to myself or specific people in my life knowingly other people in my life would not wish me well. This has been a major set back for me, but I have learned through time that I should not care what others think of me, especially those that do not support me, and to go after things that I want and not watch them slip away just because of my fear of what others would think.
When we set a dream or goal for ourselves, it can be scary. It can be a complete failure, and the 'what if's' will continue to race through our mind regardless of the situation. But in the end of it all, if you don't even try to go after what you want, you never know how it will end. Yes, maybe you can fail, or maybe you can rise so high and succeed so much that will lead you to a completely different path that you were meant to find, on your own.
Do what is best for you and never let fear stop you from believing in your dreams.
A quote from 'The Office' feels appropriate to end this article, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky, - Michael Scott.