At the start of this year my psychologist gave me the goal to get waaaay out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I have slowly been getting out of my comfort zone over the years but this year she really wanted me to push myself and not be afraid to take chances. To be honest I had no idea how to go about this, because I like my comfort zone and it was going to be a challenge for me to even think of ways to get out of my comfort zone!
My first real challenge of the year was when I had my panic attack on my second day of TAFE and I still went back to campus and not only switched courses but switched campuses too. This was just out of my comfort zone and something that I would've never been able to do a year ago. So the year was off to good start.
I then had another trip over east to celebrate ReachOut's 20th Birthday in March, which was maybe between my comfort zone and out of comfort zone as I had had a similar trip in November prior. But I did get to explore the city on my own so that counted towards it being out of my comfort zone.
The rest of the year has been rather uneventful, I mean I have attended events where I have barely known anyone but other than that I have remained firmly planted in my comfort zone.
Until I realised that maybe I should go big or go home, this is a decision I am still questioning and I get anxious even thinking about it! In November down south all the school leavers gather for a week long celebration, it can get out of hand and very crazy.
Thankfully an organisation has stepped up to help make safe areas and provide support to the school leavers, this organisation requires 200 volunteers. It also just happened to have Diploma Prac program where you could get credit for volunteering. A few church friends of mine do it every year and they encouraged me to do it as I would be perfect for it, especially considering my studies and how amazing it is. So while I was finishing off my Cert. 4 I applied to volunteer (this was after I had been accepted into the Diploma of Community Services) and got one of the ten diploma prac placements because it was now or never. My anxiety immediately spiked after I had submitted everything (including payment to cover accommodation and food) and I started freaking out. I pretty much prayed to God that if I should be doing it, he would sort out all the logistics including the details with my course coordinator (as remember I applied when I was still doing my Cert. 4!) and my anxiety levels. So I start my diploma, I explain what I have signed up to do to my course coordinator figuring if he says no then I would contact them and withdraw my application (which I could do). But of course he looks into it and says I could do it and not just that he would drive down to personally check on me despite being told prior (by the department head who had given me a verbal approval of it) that he wouldn't be able to due to the distance and time. So it's happening and come November I will be getting waaay out of my comfort zone and as always God has done all the work to make it happen.
I am freaking out to say the least, but I figure God is on my side and I am thankful that I now know 3 people who are on the team with me (my friends who encouraged me to apply and my cousin). Everyone I have mentioned it to has told me what a great opportunity it is and how I will enjoy it, but it still hasn't eased my anxieties about it.
I don't know what I intend to get out of it, maybe new networks and friends, maybe new memories, I don't really know, all I know is that its time for me take chances and not be so afraid to get out of my comfort zone.