Two things I’ll be discussing and sharing my experiences with you are:
Getting out my comfort zone and not waiting for people to explore (They kind of intertwine)!
These two things are extremely important to me, because I learnt that when I started to take these things on board (in Germany), it really helped me adapt, settle in and just experience new things. I was where the magic was happening (I love this phrase, and you’ll see that I willl use this often, just to emphasize how good life is outside the comfort zone haha!)
The Comfort Zone
- a situation where one feels safe or at ease.
- a settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.
You see the term I just defined above – RUN, FLEE, ESCAPE, JUMP, out and away from this “zone” as far as you can. Doing this will help you develop yourself as a person, grow in different areas of your life, being open to new things which can yield new opportunities, meeting new people who can be useful in the future, adapting to new environments. The list is endless!
Getting out of my comfort zone meant that I had to do things that were new to me and made me feel uneasy. A prime example for me was speaking German (in my silly British accent lol, you can imagine how uncomfortable that is). This was not an easy task, because I tend to be a perfectionist = I didn’t want to make mistakes, I wanted everything to sound perfect and most importantly I didn’t want anyone to laugh at me.. soo that meant I chose what was comfortable for me and I spoke English. But because of this mindset, I was trapped in my comfort zone and I was hindering myself from being in that place “where the magic happens”, which for me was developing my language skills and being confident speaking German. Recently, I was in a situation where I was forced to speak German because the customer service advisor only spoke German (In my head: How can she not speak English? What’s all this?). Usually when people tell me this horrific line, I don’t even give them the time of day, I’m just like bye Felicia. BUT this time I stayed on the line (Mate, I ordered new products and I didn’t have time for it to get sent back). If you heard our conversation you would’ve laughed. I was stuttering, I was piecing sentences that I learnt in my German class together, praying it made sense – fam I was sweating (BUT, I came out of my comfort zone just to rescue my products being sent back haha!). As our weird conversation went on, there was this sudden feeling of victory, fulfilment, confidence, knowledge and wisdom (All in one, I tell you!) because No.1 I just had a flipping conversation in German pat yourself on the damn back Temz, well done! No.2 GUYS SHE ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD ME! She even said to me in German “I thought you couldn’t speak German, your German is good”, No.3 I rescued my babiessss from being sent back into the wilderness of the DHL supply chain! I was where the magic was happening baby!!!!
But going back to my point, clearly it was fear that hindered me from recognising my own ability to hold a conversation in German and put it to use! Since then, I’ve gradually tried to get myself out of that zone permanently and speak the language as much as I can, even if I sound silly or make a mistake – because I was always corrected and I just learnt from this!
From this experience I can boldly tell you that, once you get out of your comfort zone its like life just starts flowing. You become more open to try new things, meet new people which makes it easier for you to adapt and settle into a new environment (especially abroad). You kicked out the spirit of fear, and in came the spirit of confidence which has stopped you from doubting your knowledge, skills and abilities. Going back to the 2nd definition of “comfort zone”, once you get out of this, you stop yielding average/barely acceptable results and you begin to yield unimaginable results and have new opportunities! It is easier said than done, I for one know this, there may/will be bumps along the way but you can only learn from these and carry on.
EXPLORE: DON’T WAIT!
Someone: *SHOCK HORROR* You’re going XYZ place (usually a restaurant) on your own?!!
Someone: ON YOUR OWN???? Rahh you’re on it boy or wow, I could never do that
Seriously guys lol you need to stop asking me these questions in such shock. So because I have no one to go with me to eat or do things, I should now stay in my room?Do not rely on other people to have fun, to explore, to go out, because if you do this you are only going back into the forbidden comfort zone.
For e.g. Let’s say there’s this meet and greet event or something of the sort going on and you reallly want to go, but your friend doesn’t want to go. Do you also say you’re not going? Let’s say you don’t go, and the next day you find out there was someone important there who was giving people the opportunity to… I dunno, get some experience with them (or something sha you get my drift!) That’s an opportunity just missed there (there will be more of course, but you never know when the next one will come)
Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity
If you want to go somewhere/do something don’t have the mindset that you need someone there with you (Unless you’re going on a night out, and its unsafe lol). Learn to be independent, especially when you’re in a new environment (because most of the time you won’t know anyone or have friends). You really wanna see or do something, make plans for yourself and if someone else wants to come along then heyyyyy why not? Just don’t make your plans solely based on whether or not you have someone to come with you.
I’ve missed quite a few opportunities being in Hamburg, it hurts, but now I’ve realised where I went wrong. The two points I just mentioned above is where I went wrong and it’s still a working progress for me but I’m really encouraging myself to get out of my comfort zone and not waiting for people to go places so I can open myself up to new experiences and opportunities. I hope this post has been helpful in someway!
Till next time x