One day, in one of my university classes, a presenter came in at the start of class to tell us all about this amazing opportunity to volunteer and travel abroad for a month with other students like ourselves. I was instantly intrigued, attended the information session, and signed up before I even realized what was happening. Suddenly, I was leaving for the Dominican Republic with no Spanish, no one I knew, and no idea what to expect. It was a scary, uncomfortable, tough, enlightening, and wonderful experience. Among many other things, I learned a valuable lesson about myself. Sometimes, to push myself to learn and experience something new, I just have to sign up.
The first few days in the Dominican Republic were tough. I was adjusting to a completely different way of life, both culturally and physically. First night, I wondered how I would make it through an entire month. However, as the month went on, I realized that I was surviving, quite effectively! Not only was I making it through, I was having an amazing, enriching, and enlightening experience that I’ll remember for a long time to come. Not only that, the fact that I had pushed myself to do something new gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride.
There are definitely times when I regret signing myself up for things; I get locked into commitments that I don’t want or need, or I come to resent the situation I have put myself in. However, these feelings are honestly few and far between. More often than not, I end up finding out new things about myself and the world.
Recently, I’ve embarked on a new adventure to stretch myself beyond my comfort level to try something new: contributing to BCHRMA’s Fireside Blog (launched May 25). I am now responsible for a blog every two weeks (instead of the once every couple months that is expected of me on The Refinery Blog) and am putting myself out there into the ‘blogosphere’ in a new and real way. Am I a little scared? Yes. Am I worried about coming up with a new post every two weeks? Sure. Am I excited? Definitely! And will I come out of this having grown and learned more about myself?
My point (yes, there is one), is to always push yourself. Push yourself past your preconceived notions of what you can accomplish, and take risks. Whatever strategy you employ to make this happen has to work for you.
I push myself by making a commitment to try something new.
How do you push yourself?