Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Say NO to Comfort Zones

So many of us spend our entire life in our comfort zone, clinging to our habits and friends as security blankets. How many of you could claim that you are adventurous, but really mean that occasionally you try a new coffee shop or make a pinterest board of the places you'd like to go. 

This year I challenge you to get uncomfortable in the best way possible. Push yourself to do things you would never imagine you could do, talk to people you would have never spoken to before. At first leaving the known can be a bit intimidating but I can't explain how enriched your life will be after you take that first step. 

Before college I was content with my small hometown and limited world experience. Now I can't wait for all the adventures I'm going to go on. My plans for after graduation are to live abroad for a few years something I never imagined myself ever doing before. 

My real inspiration for this life change and this post have been all the incredible people I have met being an RA (resident assistant) at my school. You don't realize the number of stereotypes that you have let fill your head until you face them head on. Unfortunately, due to my lack of exposure to other cultures I believed some negative stereotypes to be true. 

When I was told I was getting residents from Saudi Arabia my first thought was that's the country with the worst record for women's rights, they aren't going to listen to me. I'll admit I was a bit wary of them. But when I went to introduce myself to them I received the warmest welcome I think I've ever gotten. Not only were they respectful and polite they were so genuinely kind! 

I do realize that making generalizations about a whole culture isn't good but I can say that I have yet to meet a Saudi Arabian that wasn't extremely polite and sweet to me, wanting nothing in return but your friendship also. 

I've since become what I would consider close friends with several of these guys (the only women that come to school out the country come with their husbands so they typically live off campus) and have encouraged my friends, despite their reservations to give them a chance also. To their surprise they loved them also!

Clearly this is just one isolated example and you may not have the same kind of cultural opportunities around you. But the point is that you can't let your opinions or your desired level of un-comfortability hold you back. You have no idea what you are missing out on till you take a chance and see. 

I challenge you to this time not just say you want to do that or are going to be more adventurous but to go out and do it right now! No matter how big or small your adventure I'm sure you will get something worth your while out of it. 

As always, stay classy

PS. Let me know what kinds of adventures you go on!