Learning to steer this awkward feeling without doubting every move you make; impossible you say. Would you believe me if I told you I am excelling every day testing this theory?
Not long ago I wanted to pack my belongings, throw in the towel and move back to the Dominican Republic, but then something changed for me, I realized that this was the easy way out. I did not come here TO LEAVE WITHOUT A FIGHT. This took some change in the way I thought, as we are genetically designed to look for the comfortable approach. If I wanted to succeed I had to push the boundaries and invite the feeling of discomfort while aiming for personal growth.
This meant I had to take the initiative and ask myself the hard questions. What was it that I wanted to achieve; do I need to seek new challenges; do I risk being exposed; do I speak my mind or bite my tongue; do I push to stand out, or just wait to be noticed. Waiting would have been easier, but how should the people around us know our intentions without us voicing them. So I did, I spoke up, I stepped out of my comfort zone. Calvin Coolidge says “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”
I was ruled by habits and those were the first ones I had to shake off. So what did I do? I started to take classes to better my English. If I wanted to be understood and taken seriously, I had to advance my language skills. I started reading books on personal growth and felt quite illiterate as it took me weeks to complete a book, but I did it. The knowledge and the words I gained, I started incorporating into my personal and professional life. I continued to voice my dream to everyone I encountered and found that there were others like me, on a different path, but with lessons to share. I reached out and found mentors along the way, I realized I didn’t have to do this all alone. Not only did they develop my skills, but they were able to point out my strengths and weaknesses and offered new innovative ideas to break through the barriers I encountered, but could not overcome. Asking for help was uncomfortable but invaluable to my success. Discomfort is a catalyst for growth it forces you to stretch, to change, to adapt to new surroundings, and it surely changed my outlook.
Of course not every risk I took or project I started had a positive outcome, but with every failure, with every setback I grew. I knew I had reached beyond where others have gone. John F. Kennedy said, “Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished with a guarantee of success.” So I didn’t let my failures define me, no they fueled me to reach further and to challenge myself more. Because I now knew my weaknesses, I started partnering with individuals that accelerated in areas I was limited in. I utilized their strengths, their natural abilities and combined them with my ideas to achieve each one of my milestones.
Soon I had others look to me for advice. Here I was so focused on me and my success that I didn’t realize the impact I had on my peers. I found a new passion in sharing my story with anyone and everyone willing to lend a listening ear. I felt empowered and motivated and knew there was more, so I listened to the people around me and out of a moment of testimonial arose a new chapter ready to be written.
I am excited to tell you that I now have a new goal, not one that I set for myself, but one that found me because I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and embark into the unknown. Motivational Speaking, who would have thought I would ever attempt this, definitely not I. Yet it is what I am passionate about and will find a way to perfect without a doubt in my mind.
Find what inspires you and take the first step. Don’t let your fear of the unknown hold you back, you never know what you will learn about yourself and the things you are capable of. Just know that your future self is waiting on your next move. So what will it be?