Hi friends, it has come to my attention that my Instagram posts are basically blog post length. 😛 Thanks to the encouragement from lovely Emilia of Simply Elaborate, I am going test out something a little new and try a shorter form, more casual type of blogging. Hopefully, this will motivate me to show up more here (on my site) as well as on Instagram. I’ll be the first to admit that consistency isn’t my strong suit, but I will always keep trying and trying again until I find something that works for me. We can always choose to begin again. So, here goes another experiment. 🙂
Anyways, onto the point of this post: the importance of getting out of your comfort zone.
Last week I spend a week in the woods of Canada at The Imperfect Boss Camp. And goodness, it was amazing. It’s hard to put into words exactly what happened to the 60 women who attended, but it was nothing short of life-changing.
I went to Camp unsure of my abilities, embarrassed of my crooked and slow journey, filled with comparison, and scared that I wouldn’t measure up to people’s expectations. I was nervous that my seemingly introverted self would feel lonely and that I wouldn’t connect with anyone on a deep level. I didn’t think I was vulnerable enough to bare my soul to strangers….my insecurities made me believe that I wasn’t justified to hold the space to do so.
Here is a short list of things that were outside my comfort zone this past week:
- Being in a room full of accomplished women, who I’ve looked up to for so long. I went to camp a day early to help set up and do some lettering projects. On our first night, we had a meeting with all the speakers and mentors. I felt like a rookie in the midst of rockstars and I was very intimidated. I wanted to hide. I felt like I did not belong in that room. I believed that everyone else knew exactly what they were doing, they had overcome their struggles and accomplished their dreams and were living each day fulfilled and happy. And here I was in the corner, flailing about, directionless and full of doubt.
- Sleeping in a cabin of other women and surviving in the outdoors. Listen, I grew up camping with my family and going to sleep away summer camps, but this was a lot more difficult than I expected. I was fully prepared to look cute and curl my hair and all that jazz, but mother nature had a different plan. One day it was pouring rain, the next it was hot and humid and by the end of the week, it was cold. As trivial as looking cute sounds, it is a defense mechanism that makes me feel more in control of the situation. So, complying to the weather, I wore t-shirts, leggings, and tennis shoes and put my hair up in a messy bun. I was comfy, yes, hallelujah, but it also broke down a barrier that helped me embrace my insecurities and be more vulnerable. It was like saying, ‘Okay, Kercia, you can’t hide behind your cute outfit and pretty hair. You are going to have to let people see you exactly how you are.’ And then there is the whole sleeping aspect. Sleeping is so vital and kind of vulnerable in and of it itself. Also, sometimes I snore and I just wanted people to not hate me.
- Traveling internationally by myself. I love traveling and I love traveling by myself, I really do, but there are so many unpredictable factors. From security to boarding passes and passports to customs, there is a lot that could go wrong. And if it does, I’m left to figure it out by myself. It’s empowering but it’s also nerve-wracking. I’d rather not end up in TSA jail.
- Meeting women in real life I know from Instagram. The way we present ourselves on social media may only show a few aspects of ourselves, but we are so much complex and intricate in real life. I was worried that I come off one way on social media but am completely different in real life. My friend Ashley (and leader of the camp) described perfectly when she said that she feels like she is loveable from a distance but not up close. This was also my fear.
- Sharing my struggles and difficulties face to face. There is a sort of distance that happens when we are vulnerable on social media. Trust me, I think it’s important to talk about the difficult things on social media, but it’s a lot harder to do so in person. To admit our struggles, to share the difficult parts of our stories, and disclose our brokenness out loud, in front of strangers…when we just want to be accepted and loved…man, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not easy.
- Being interviewed and filmed. Um, I’m not sure I will ever get over the awkwardness that comes with having a camera in my face. Being asked difficult questions and knowing you are going to appear in a video is another realm of uncomfortableness for me.
But I walked away from camp knowing that I heard and seen, loved and accepted. I am worthy and capable, exactly where I am. My voice and my story are worthy of being shared. I have a newfound sense of confidence and trust in my journey and abilities. And on top of that, I connected with and became friends with so many inspiring and imperfect women, who are so full of encouragement, truth, support, and courage. Oh, and I might have realized that I am much more extroverted than I thought. I was reaffirmed that I am truly never alone in my doubts, fears, and struggles and that these struggles do not take away from my inherent worth.
Talk about being transformed. And you know what? It all started from getting outside my comfort zone. Like, way outside my comfort zone. So, I just wanted to pop in today to encourage you to face your fears, take the risk, share your story, and get out of your comfort zone. Transformation, confidence, and connection are waiting for you. Take that step, you got this. No matter how far along we are in our journey, no matter our struggles or doubt, no matter our follower count or checks off our to-do list, we are all just figuring this out along the way.