I feel like 2019 for me was a rejuvenation year. After a pretty tough/stressful 2018, in 2019, I slept more, my mind was more relaxed, and I wasn’t as hard on myself on the little things like missing my 5th out of 5 gym sessions, or not having created a multi-million dollar company that will have me en route to making it onto the infamous Forbes 30 under 30 list. One thing I can say about 2019 where it may differ to other years of my life is that it was very… .
Comfortable. Full-time, respectable job which pays well and awards me the opportunity to travel often (of course, hard work comes as part of that package), stable relationship, great fam, living out in London, got my own tenant, tripping around the world whilst maintaining my online profiles (and this blog), which I very much enjoy building. That is essentially my 2019 in a nutshell, and as great as it was, and as lucky as I know that I am, I couldn’t say I left the year feeling necessarily very “fulfilled”, which was the first sign to me that I had fallen very deep inside of my comfort zone. As smooth as life can be in the comfort zone, it’s definitely not somewhere you want to be for an extended period of time if your goal is constant growth and development.
It’d been a while since I’ve been unknowingly nested deep inside the comfort zone. For most of my teenage years I was also seeking the opportunity to try something new and uncomfortable – that’s why I first started selling webdesigns online (which ended up going very well), and why I decided to apply to be Head Girl at my school (which… definitely didn’t go as well… at all). The last time I was here it was 2014 and I’d been lucky enough to secure my first spring week internship application to an investment bank and been fast tracked to apply for their 10-week summer internship. Things were going well – too well – and as a result, I got very comfortable and my natural “drive” drizzled out. To spruce up my CV I knew I’d have to apply for a university committee, and I purposely sought out the least contested role in a society I can’t say I was heavily involved in over the year because I knew I was likely to get it (which I did, and it was a great society to be on the committee for in the end!), as a result, I passed up the chance to apply to a role in a society where I’d met a large bulk of my friends, because I knew I’d have to put up a fight and I did not want to have to disconnect from where I was comfortable in order to do so. Later in that year, with an internship secured, my initial thought was that the only team I’d ever want to join is whichever one required me to lift the littlest finger. In 2015, after meeting Levi, I absorbed a bit of his drive and rediscovered my hard working self that, since my teens, had never been happy building a nest within my comfort zone… so why was I doing it now?
Being in the comfort zone isn’t the worst place to be. First of all, in 2019, I felt like I needed it. 2018 had been a super stressful and up and down year, in 2019 I felt like I was enjoying the fruits of my labour and I really felt myself grow within my job at a pace and to a confidence level that I was really proud of. I needed to give my mind a break from the thoughts of thinking I would amount to nothing because I woke up hungover one Sunday and was working a 9-5 (or really 8 til who knows when), which social media is quick to tell you is the absolute wrong way to live your life. But now that the year has passed, I’m ready now to ramp up the gears again in looking forward and looking to enjoy the sometimes strange feeling of simply being… uncomfortable.
So if you’re reading this, and you feel that it’s speaking to you (like how you watch a Gary Vee video and maybe feel a bit defensive as a lot of the things he’s talking about pertain to your life… guilty), then maybe it’s time for you to think about taking a leap out of your comfort zone. I’m not telling you to quit your job off of the idea of starting an multi-million $ tech company, I’m just telling you start to get more comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. Whilst it’s easier to do when you’re younger with less commitments (I have no kids, for example), it’s also never too late – it may just take longer or need more careful planning.
After a rude awakening to kick off 2020, I’m ready to start to reconnect with the feeling of discomfort after a very cosy 2019. It’s a very high level statement and who knows where it’ll take me, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the year brings.