There was one time a few years back where it sunk in that I was watching people around me constantly challenge and push themselves to the limit, knowing full well that I always take the easy route in every situation, staying firmly within the confines of my own comfort zone and skirting completely around this truth. I had always prided myself growing up on being a truly ambitious and hard working person focused on constant growth, and the path I was going down I knew would simply never get me to the success I dreamed of. We can all see that success isn’t easy, and if you aren’t willing to grind and often step out of your comfort zone, you’ll block your own path to it…
Here are some ways I impacted my own growth:
- My blog was a secret tucked far away and only a few close friends, family and and of course Levi were privy to the information that is existed. Because I was so embarrassed about anyone seeing what I was up to – it meant that I really didn’t put my all into it (actually my content was rubbish), and I couldn’t promote it to the fullest extent just out of fear that someone would one day find me. I wouldn’t say I started to really step out and put this effort in until late 2015 (I count it as my blog’s re-birth, if ya’ll were wondering)
- Not socialising enough – letting shyness stop me sometimes from even speaking a word in some cases, and forever regretting it
- Not pushing myself – taking the easy option out to get to 80% of what I really wanted
- I allowed people to walk all over me
- I wanted to take the most pain free route to success that required a very minor grind and as little hours as possible
Over time I’ve worked on developing both myself and whatever my focus is (be it blogging, working, uni, etc.) Whilst this is something I continue to focus on I know that I have over time become more self aware, less naive, and overall more ambitious to reach what I want to achieve in life. There were a few main ways I started to take a step out of my comfort zone…
I became loud and proud about my blog
Okay, maybe not quite loud and proud, but… loud-er and proud-er. I’ll admit, it still feels weird when people I know ask me about my blog. Maybe because it was something I held so secretly to myself for a while it feels strange to know that people see photos of me prancing around in Nottinghill, taking myself very seriously, or from time to time read all the very honest words I jot down here. But at the same time, this blog is a huge part of my life. I essentially treat it as a part time job, it represents me – my full name is all over this sh*t – if you want to find me you can. So, really, what is there to hide? This is what I’m up to and I’m actually pretty proud about it; I definitely don’t hide away from the fact anymore. Being more free with my blog has allowed for it to grow as I can focus less on trying to hide things and more on ‘being unapologetically me’.
I forced myself into more social situations
I definitely wouldn’t say I’m an anti social person, but I’m sure we all have days where socialising is the last thing on our minds. In my second year of university, I started to skip out on a lot of events that I felt wouldn’t be worth my time, or when I felt like I couldn’t be bothered to land myself into huge social situations when what I really wanted to do was sleep and/or eat (or just hang out with people I already knew, and was already very comfortable with). But when I decided to head down the realm of self development in my third year this is something that I actively worked on changing. Essentially: sometimes I just push myself into uncomfortable situations if I know deep down that it can only lead to something good, and that the only thing stopping me are the words in my head. For example, when I interned in 2015, there was an Managing Director that had a room directly next to where I sat. I knew that it only made sense for me to go and introduce myself and have a chat with him but obviously had a lot of pent up nerves around the fact that I was only an intern and more than half his age. After a week of psyching myself up, I went into work early one day, knocked on his door, and shook his hand. That same day, he set up a meeting with me just to chat, and would forever shoot me a smile when he saw me around. The funny thing about this approach is that you may have to seriously psyche yourself up, and could be feeling very nervous, but once you’re in it – the nerves totally go and you realise it simply isn’t a big deal.
I introduced photography to my blog (with myself as the main subject)
I am actually quite awkward when it comes to taking photos, which you probably wouldn’t guess given I plaster literally hundreds of them all over my blog and social media accounts. Over time, blogging (and I guess fashion blogging in particular) reached a place where everyone was taking stunning, almost professional photos of themselves for their blogs – it was no longer a set your timer and pose in your room type of thing. But the thought of venturing outside always scared me. Again – I was hindering my own growth and the growth of this blog! One of my first things I did when I started working on myself as a whole was call up my friend Ope who’s a photographer and ask her if she could help shoot some photos for me. After some time me and my friend Andre would help each other to shoot and actually I think we really grew out of this’photo fear’ together. Whilst I can still get fairly self conscious now and again when taking the photos you see here – I say for the most part I have become pretty open and comfortable with the whole experience. There can literally be 20 people walking around doing their shopping and I will still stand in my heels and comfortably shoot my blog photos. Who cares anyway? You’ll never see these people again and if they are going to look, I’d rather they see me feeling myself than looking totally uncomfortable.
I stopped taking the easy way out
If you want something and you decide not to pursue it because you want to stay comfortable in your box – you will without a doubt regret this decision one day. I can definitely speak from experience and say that I have chickened out of choices and down the line wished I hadn’t. I can’t (completely) imagine anymore these days really wanting something and deciding not to pursue it for no other reason than being fearful of others’ opinions or the outcome. One thing to remember is that even if you do go for something and it doesn’t work in your favour – it’s still a learning experience and you can know that even if things didn’t work out as you’d hoped, you actually tried.
I think the best outcome of me deciding to really focus on pushing myself out of my comfort zone has actually been a huge growth in confidence. In the space of maybe just two and a half years I have seen so much change and it makes me excited to see what the next 2 and a half years will bring.