Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone, Something Great is Waiting For You
by Cielo Cloud
You would never guess that as a kid, I was very shy. Those that know me today, know that I have many friends and that I love to connect with new people every day online and offline.
I am a social media addict and an active networking professional . I am not afraid to share my opinion and I am not afraid to say what is on my mind when appropriate.
However, when I was between the age of 3 & 4, I was that shy kid that hid behind her mom at family gatherings and birthday parties. I was also that kid that sat at the bench and watched all the other kids play at the school yard. I hardly spoke to anyone unless spoken to.
My parents encouraged me to play but they didn’t really teach me how to make friends. It wasn’t easy for me to walk up to another kid and say, “Hey let’s play or let’s be friends”.
It frustrated me that most kids found it to be so easy and wondered why it was so hard for me. I secretly hoped that someone would approach me and ask me to play or be their friend.
I realize now that one of the main reasons why I was so shy was because English was my second language. I was the youngest of four kids and I was born in the Philippines. My family immigrated to the United States when I was 2 1/2 years old.
It was a huge turning point in my family’s life to leave our family, home and our country behind and move to start a whole new life in the USA.
I vaguely remember being terrified at the airport, seeing the huge airplanes and being in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of people trying to get to their destinations. I was really young then but I knew something major was happening; I could feel it.
When we arrived in the US, our family of 6 stayed with friends for a little while. After living with them for about a month or so, my father moved us into our own new house.
It took me a while to adjust because there were just so many changes. I remember feeling very out of place and intimidated by this big new world.
Eventually, I learned how to speak English. I received lessons from my parents and I also learned a lot from watching Sesame Street on TV. That seems funny to say now but it is true. I remember watching that show every single day.
I was practically glued to the TV because I was so fascinated by the other kids on it. I really wanted to be just like them; they were so friendly and outgoing. Everything I didn’t know how to be but wanted to be.
One summer day, my parents gave me a pair of roller skates and it turned things around for me. I don’t remember asking for them but I was ecstatic! The only people I knew that skated were actors on TV and they made it look so fun! I couldn’t believe that I got a pair. I eagerly put them on, laced them up and went directly outside to try them out but I remember hesitating because I was scared.
I was wondering if I would fall and hurt myself or wondering if any of the neighborhood kids would see that I wasn’t any good at it. I was scared but I went ahead and just did it!
It was not so easy at first but after many falls, bruises and cuts later, I started to get pretty comfortable with it and eventually started skating really well. I was so proud of myself. I wanted to learn so bad that it didn’t matter to me who saw me anymore.
Every day I practiced and practiced until the sun went down. I would skate in our garage, on the street and on the sidewalks going downhill.
I used to visualize myself as a professional ice skater. As I got better, my confidence grew more and more every day.
I seemed so fearless all of the sudden. People started watching me and I started making friends this way too. As a matter of fact, I met my very best friend this way!
It didn’t matter to me that my English wasn’t so good and my new friends didn’t seem to mind either. They liked me for me, who I was and how I was!
I had an AH-HA moment at that early age. I realized that it was really up to me to change things and if I wanted something bad enough. I had to make things happen for myself. My confidence grew because I found something I was really passionate about and I knew I was good at it.
You are probably wondering, “What does this have to do with me?”
Well, I wanted to make this as simple as possible for people to understand hence the story from my childhood. Today, I talk with people every day whether personal or business. Many people want to make some significant changes in their lives but they are held back by fear or lack of confidence. Their fear often translates into excuses on why they can’t do something even though they know it will help better their personal lives or business.
In my case, I lacked confidence in making friends because I felt my English was poor and I felt intimidated by all the changes from moving from one country to another but it wasn’t until I found something that I truly enjoyed, I was able to overcome my fear of making friends.
My desire to want to learn how to skate forced me to do something I wouldn’t normally do. It increased my self-confidence because I practiced and practiced how to skate until I became really good at it.
Even though I was just a kid, the bottom line is, I learned a very valuable lesson. If I didn’t find something that I really wanted to do, I would have never would have been able to step outside of my own comfort zone and take the chance to do something that helped me in more ways than one.
In life, most people don’t like change. We like to stay where it is familiar and secure. We like to surround ourselves with people that are like us so we can blend in or hide. We don’t want to be questioned or stand out. However, many of us are stuck in situations that are not always good for us. Change is what we need to become healthy, mentally or spiritually. We are limited by our own thoughts and fears.
In order to really be your best and reach your full potential, you have to step out of your comfort zone in order to grow or you will remain stuck.
- How will I ever know what I am capable of doing or achieving if I never give it a try?
- What is the one thing that I have always wanted to do but somehow I talked myself out of doing it and why?
- What is really holding me back?
- What are am afraid of?
- What thoughts do I think of to convince myself that it is not a good idea?
I am sure if you dig deep enough, you can answer these questions and add a few things to this list. Instead of the negative, answer them by giving the positive alternative.
One of my favorite basketball athletes of all time once said…
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan has been called by some to be the greatest athlete of all times. A few of his accomplishments include five MVP awards, six NBA Finals MVP awards, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
I challenge you to do something that you never have done before. Do something positive and great even if you will risk the possibility of failure. Don’t let fear hold you back.
What would happen if you decided to go for it? Could it change your life for the better?
You may not have this guarantee but wouldn’t you want to be able to say that you at least tried your best and that you gave it a shot whether you failed or not?
We will never know unless we try! Step outside of your comfort zone today! Something is waiting for you on the other side! It can be the one thing that would elevate you to the next level.
I would love to get your comments. Please help me out and take a minute to share your own story and thoughts with me.
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Cielo Cloud is a Mother, Wife and Entrepreneur. Gaining most of her experience in Corporate America as an Executive Assistant, she decided to go into business for herself and founded Virtual Outsource Concept in 2008. She serves as the CEO, Business Developer, Business Trainer as well as a Distributor for Organo Gold. She passionately trains, develops new Virtual Assistants and teaches Business Owners how to maximize their full business potential. Her vision is to ultimately empower other women to start their own businesses that work in alignment with their true passion and purpose.