Thursday, June 28, 2012

Living the Life you Love II

I'm still on holiday for another two weeks. Today's guest post is from a fellow adventure traveller. She moved from Australia to Germany and keeps a brilliant blog about the experience. 

To Discover Your True Self Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are called comfort zones because they are precisely that.  When you are in your comfort zone, you know the lay of the land, you don't have to concerntrate on much and you fit into the well worn grooves of your life.  It is comforting and whilst comfort zones are important places to have to allow us to rest and recharge if your whole life is one big fluffy comfort zone, you are stifling your personal growth.

To find out who you truly are and what you are capable of, you have to throw off the comfy comfort zone and go and explore uncharted lands.  This can be doing something you have always wanted to do, but were afraid to do so, like taking a drama class or joining a choir or taking a cooking class.  Or if you are insane like me, this means moving your entire life to a foreign country where you can't speak the language and don't know a single soul.

When I moved to Germany, almost 2 years ago I had just a suitcase and a job offer and only knew how to say Hello, Thank you and Goodbye in German.  I was thrown way out of my comfort zone and into a strange foreign land and I had only myself to rely on.  If I wanted to buy groceries, find out where to buy train tickets or navigate the tricky land of German health insurance, then I had to do it myself.  Of course I had help from friends, but I had to build those support networks from scratch.  Those early months were some of the toughest in my life, but through them I found out just how capable I was.  I was able to throw out parts of my personality I didn't like and cultivate the parts I did like.  I had no one around telling me who I should be or reminding me of who I was. However, if I stuck to what I was like in my comfort zone, I would probably still be sitting in a small studio apartment not knowing a single soul, instead of having a wide range of friends, both German and expat and having the time of my life.

Of course, not everyone is going to get such a life changing experience that will allow them to basically reinvent themselves.  However, you can stretch yourself and test your limits by getting out of your comfort zone.  By doing something you have previously been afraid to do, you find out just what you are capable of.  By joining a new social group based on a common interest, you get to explore part of yourself you might have kept hidden through fear of ridicule or people expecting you to act a certain way.  Also, you never know who you might meet and what impact they will have on your life.  One of my mottos is that you can never have too many friends and you never know if the next person you meet will be someone who will change your life for the better.

Get out of your comfort zone.  Explore your city like you are a new arrival rather than a long-term resident.  Gather up all your courage and do something new, because you won't find out who you truly are whilst sitting on the couch. 

For more brilliant writing from an exPat Aussie, visit: 

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