I have always loved trying new things ever since I was a kid. When I was on the Canadian National Taekwon-Do team, I learned that the only way to get really good at something, was to constantly push myself outside my comfort zone, learning new things, failing, and trying again until I succeeded. This in itself is a very humbling experience, and building resiliency through adversity, comes from a mindset of growth. After years of practice, being comfortable and thriving in discomfort and the unknown, has become a habit in which I try to maintain, in every aspect of my life.
7 Benefits of Ditching your Comfort Zone
- Live new experiences
- Enhance learning
- Meet new people
- Improve adaptation skills
- Develop stress management skills
- Build self-confidence
- Gain Self-awareness
There are several reasons why we should all try and ditch our comfort zones, but the truth is, it’s REALLY hard to do in practice. It takes courage, confidence and a leap of faith. It’s scary, because we all share the same fears around failure, humiliation, and self worth. The trick is to start with baby steps, and work your way up to larger steps.
Because sports had always been my priority, starting University in the SPROTT School of Business was outside my comfort zone. I was insecure and nervous about being able to keep up and attain the grades I needed and wanted, to be successful. Over the years, I slowly built up my confidence, through meeting people, going to conferences, working extremely hard, and starting to take more leadership roles in group projects. As my GPA raised, so did my motivation and momentum of confidence.
I am now in my fourth year, and this year, I decided to finally pursue one of my largest University goals. I just finished competing on my University Case Competition Team, in Montreal at the John Molson University Case Competition. When I started University, I never thought I would be at the level of competing in an academic event in one of the largest case competitions in the world. I felt a sincere amount of humility and pride, having this honour of representing my school, and being surrounded by some of the smartest business minds of tomorrow.
The week was full of competition throughout the day, and the nights were jam packed with networking events, cocktails, and social activities. I loved getting to meet and spend time with the other teams from different countries around the world. Everyone had such impressive, and captivating stories. Although we were very competitive, there was a strong sense of friendship, teamwork and sharing.
I learned SO much at JMUCC, and it was one of my biggest highlights of my University Journey. The part I was most proud of, was how I felt throughout the week. It was full of stress, unknowns, curve-balls, and nerves, and I felt extremely comfortable and happy in that environment. When I competed at World Championships for Taekwon-Do, I could feel myself thriving under pressure, and smiling at the craziness. At JMUCC, I had that same feeling of being able to manage the pressure, and rise to the occasion. That was really special for me to see how the skills that I developed in sport transferred over to my experiences in the business environment. I felt my confidence building during the week, and it felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
I am only weeks away from Graduation, and I am starting to be extremely excited for my future in the world of business. It will be a new chapter, and a big adventure, but I feel ready for it.