LESSONS FROM A DAY OUTSIDE THE COMFORT ZONE
Here’s a small excerpt from a conversation that I always tend to remember when I am dangling at the edge of my comfort zone-
Me- “I just want to go home. I don’t like it here.”
Friend – “Have you ever been away from your home?’
Me- “Just for a while.”
Him – “Hmm, you are likely to face a lot of trouble when you move away.”
Very open ended a conversation indeed, but I was not too keen on providing my input or diving deeper since there was no way that I could resonate just yet.
It was only recently, that I began to fear the accuracy of the last statement. Although I was away only for a short while, I had never felt more out of place. I was in a city completely in contrast to my hometown, an office where my presence did not seem to matter considerably and amidst a bucket load of uncertainty which always made me anxious about whatever was to come next in the day, my first few days were probably the most challenging ones and I am pretty sure this is a common pursuit of many of us away from home. But anyhow, I could not help but write about some of the lessons that I learnt on my first day out of my comfort zone and how these learning-s ensured that days to come were better. So, here we go:
- Just go with it – As the day drew to an end, I realized that it was okay if the first day was not so great , and it is absolutely fine that when I walked into a room full of people, I saw and met for the first time ,they did not greet me right away.It is also not strange to feel out of place.Mostly because, this is what change is about and though it is supposed to be life changing, powerful, and positive, it can be real challenging at first. All that needs to be done is to ride the wave of time and face things as they come, instead of succumbing to your worries and fears.
- Except v. Accept – Though it would have been wonderful to not be disappointed after my expectations were let down , it was a wisdom procured at the end of a very disappointing day. Nothing seemed to be proceeding the way that I hoped it would. When I began to think about it , my expectations seemed unrealistic and an outcome of no understanding of how things would be. In order to survive your undelightful first day, it is only prudent to have no expectations and just adapt to changes as they come into the picture. I learnt I should be open to things I cannot change.
- Patience is the key– So yes, the first day in my workplace was not as productive as I had hoped it would be and there was little to look forward to. But nevertheless, I also realized that where I was might not be where I am meant to grow and even if it was, it was most certainly not going to happen within the first day itself. If this opportunity did not have much to offer on the very first day , did not imply that it will be stagnant throughout. Patience is a virtue one must learn to treasure.
- Keep in touch with people who make you feel at ease – At the end of the day(rather throughout), I was constantly in touch with my family and a few friends. It made me feel confident and relaxed , and I was able to go through the day without any nervousness or anxiety- though I had my moments from time to time. This opinion can vary for different people , relying upon the dependence on such relations or the urge of solitude, but for me, I was only looking forward to feel at home in a new city and workplace.
- Humility – In the midst of my uneventful yet a monumental day,I ascertained that no matter who I am, what I do or where my potential lies- no one can know it when they see me for the first time . It was more important for me to be situationally aware, be a listener and observe , so that I could get to know the place and people better.Staying humble was the only behavior I could inculcate in order to be able to assume responsibility and make the most of my stay.
As the day concluded, I reminded myself of a quote I had once read which said, ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ And as obvious as it sounds, it couldn’t have been more relevant at that point of time. I found myself awaiting new possibilities and embracing diverse experiences with resilience. At times, I did break down because of my failure to fit into the city, but at the end of the day, I believe that it only made me stronger than I was.