Taking that extra step

By: Ava Mrozik

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Motivating yourself to get out of your comfort zone can be tough. It takes a lot of courage to take that extra step and to expand further. Your first instinct is to avoid that one thing that you have never tried or given yourself a chance to truly experience it because you’re either afraid, self-conscious or had a traumatic experience the first time. However, the first time you take a step further and you do something that has once been out of your comfort zone, you will feel accomplished and possibly step even further the next time.

I have always been worried about what others may think of me so as a result, I used to keep my feelings or my own opinions in and barely say anything. I have always loved meeting new people and hearing about their experiences, opinions and ideas. I especially enjoy helping people feel better about themselves, dealing with tough situations or giving them my advice. However, I became so accustomed to listening to and helping my friends as much as I possibly could that I forgot to think about myself and how it may affect me.

While I enjoyed helping people, I began to lose track of my own life and how I was feeling. This unfortunately led to me struggling with my self-confidence and being uncomfortable expressing my own opinions or asking for help. My friends and family soon noticed that I wasn’t being myself, and it even took me a while to admit to myself that I was struggling. With the non-stop support from my friends and family, I eventually asked for help and began to realize the difference in myself and the people surrounding me.

The cliché that “no one is perfect” is indeed very true, but not that easy to accept. What I mean by that is sometimes we push ourselves to maintain this certain image that we want to continue to hold onto, but coming out of your comfort zone, even if that means taking a mini step each day or even week, can certainly make a difference.

It is extremely important to remind yourself that it is okay to say “no” to plans if you’re not feeling up to it, it’s okay to say you’re not having the best day and want to finally take some time to rest, it’s okay to ask your friends, family or professors for help. Taking that extra step is truly worth it, especially if you have not taken that extra step before.

If you’re reading this, take that extra step today. Even if it’s ordering something different off the menu, checking up on that one friend you haven’t talked to in a while, talking to your professor about that test you’re nervous about, or joining that club you’ve been interested in, but don’t know if you’ll like it. Push yourself a little more and see where it leads to.

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