A few years ago, I decided to try out Zumba.
I had heard it was great exercise and also fun to do. I never really thought those two words could go in the same sentence.
The thing is, I was a little hesitant about going. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with the moves and routines and what if someone was watching me?
I am the girl who trips up stairs and over her own feet, so the thought of going to Zumba, even though it sounded fun, was a little out of my comfort zone.
I have been going now on and off for about two years. Even though I am not the most coordinated person in the gym, I do come home having enjoyed myself and know that I exercised my body.
I have found throughout the years that in going outside of what I have found comfortable, I have grown and learned new things.
I have always considered myself a cautious, safe person.
I don’t like to take a lot of risks and new things can be overwhelming and scary to me.
I think the fear is that I may fail miserably, face rejection or something bad might happen if I leave that comfortable little box that I have made for myself.
But as I look at my life and the times when I have chosen to step outside of my comfort zone, it has been life changing.
I feel like every day we have opportunities to step outside of what we find comfortable.
It might be inviting a new friend over to your messy house for coffee, taking up a leadership position, volunteering at the rescue mission or going with a group on a mission trip to Mexico. The list is endless, but if it is something that you find difficult and you don’t do often – then it is probably outside of your comfort zone.
Yet the benefits and blessings of doing it often outweigh our fear and discomfort.
Sometimes going out of our comfort zone can come with a cost. For me, it meant leaving my family behind in Northern Ireland when I got married and moved to America with my new husband. I miss my immediate family and it does make life a lot harder not having them close by, yet I know that God is taking care of us and I would have missed out on so much more.
There are times where our life circumstances can often push us out of our comfort zone.
Having a child diagnosed with Autism has forced me to deal with issues I never would have thought about before, not all of them pleasant.
Yet in all of that, it has brought an understanding that I would have never known before and people into my life that I am richer for knowing.
That first step is often the hardest, but usually once we make the decision to do it, we realize we are a lot stronger and braver than we thought. It might be something a lot more serious than going to a Zumba class.
I have found in stepping out of my comfort zone there is a freedom to enjoy life, and also to allow God to grow me in areas and experience life to its fullest.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” -Unknown