It’s safe to say I’ve well and truly bid adieu to my comfort zone, which I left approximately 10621 miles away in Sydney. I could have effortlessly created a brand new one over here in England, but there comes a time to make a choice. A choice to either stay indoors when dark clouds swarm the sky, or drive out to the ocean and inhale the fresh salty winds. A choice to stay at home because of the long journey and uncertainty of the outcome, or to get on the train and meet a new friend. A choice to make excuses each Sunday as to why this week isn’t a good one to find a church, or to set that alarm clock and go. A choice to sit up the back and leave at eleven thirty on the dot, or to step out and introduce yourself after the service. These are just a handful of examples that I’ve had to make up my mind on.
If you’re like me and really, truly, one hundred percent completely hate the initial step out of your comfort zone, you’ll be able to relate to this post. Since arriving in the UK, I have made a decision to do exactly the opposite of what my first response would be. “Go outside today? No way.” So I go. Sometimes. Look, no ones perfect. But the point is this: stepping out of your comfort zone is the result of re-training your your mind to think positive “can do” thoughts instead of negative “no can do” thoughts. I wouldn’t be feeling as settled as I do now (a) without God on my side but also (b) without granting myself the confidence to get involved. It’s not an easy thing to do, I’ll be the first to admit that. But it is something that everyone is entitled to. No one should be missing out on life’s astounding opportunities simply because they don’t feel comfortable.
The trick is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Then before you know it, the uncomfortable stuff is actually comfortable stuff. Have I lost you? Let’s break it down. Think about the first time you did something. For example, riding your bike or driving a car or the first day of your job. Personally, thinking back on all of those things, none of them leave a comfortable memory in my mind. But when I think about where I am at with each of these examples in my life today, I couldn’t be more confident with them (except for the fact that I’m currently unemployed, but we don’t need to delve too deeply into that topic.) The point that I’m trying to make is that the first attempt at all of these things is the hardest. The initial stepping out into the unknown; that’s going to make anybody nervous, you’re not alone. But one thing to be assured by is that once that first leap of faith is made, the hardest part is over. You’ve stepped out of your comfort zone! That’s it, it’s all done. Then you just keep taking steps in the same direction, and everytime your right foot is placed in front of your left and your left in front of your right, it gets easier.
I’ve certainly learnt a lot about stepping out in faith this year. And I know I’ve got a lot more to learn as the months tick over. But the first step, the decision to change my way of thinking, is already done. It can only go up from here.
“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”
– Psalm 37:23
And here are some photos from the day when I decided to ignore the weather and follow my heart to the ocean. (Apparently I’m too lazy to edit them all.)