Getting out of the Comfort Zone
Shalani Wilcox, Madison FFA
I remember standing on the stage, looking out into the sea of blue corduroy jackets. My sister lied. She told me that I wouldn’t be able to see anyone because the lights were so bright. But no; I could see EVERYONE!
Let me explain the background of my situation. The year previous of this event, my sister was elected as the 2009-2010 Idaho State FFA Treasurer. Like all state officers, she had prepared a retiring address to give at the State Leadership Conference in April. She asked that my other older sister, one of my older brothers, as well as myself introduce her for this speech. My nine-year-old self was terrified. But I put my brave face on, walked on that stage as only a determined nine-year-old could do, jumped up on my designated step stool, and I read my part of the introduction in front of the entire Idaho State FFA Convention. All the while I proudly sported my “FFA: Future Member in Training” t-shirt.
From this experience I learned a couple things. One: from that moment I knew I wanted to be a member of the FFA. Being on the stage was just as exhilarating as it was frightening, and I loved how enthusiastic the atmosphere was at the convention. And two: when we step outside of our comfort zones, we can experience life to the fullest. Too often, we find ourselves “playing it safe,” unwilling to try new things for the fear of failure. But outside our comfort zone is where we grow into better leaders and great people. Outside of the comfort zone is where we make lifelong friends and gain experiences that are worth telling about in the future.
For some, getting out of the comfort zone may be reciting the FFA Creed in front of their peers. Maybe it’s running for a District Officer position or being the first one to talk to that new student that just moved in. Whatever the case may be, it is necessary to go beyond our comfort zone. At the time it may seem to be impossible and scary; but looking back, those are always the times we have the greatest memories of. All it takes is one small step out of our comfort zone to make a big impact in our lives.
In my case, I didn’t realize just how much that experience as a nine-year-old meant to me until much later down the road. In my mind, this event doesn’t seem as though it happened all that too long ago. However, now I’m on the last leg of my FFA career as a senior in high school. Although it makes me extremely sad to be almost done with my FFA career, I am grateful for everything I’ve learned during my years as a member. FFA has pushed me to become a more outgoing individual, I’ve gained career experience from the many CDE’s and SAE’s I’ve been a part of, I’ve had countless leadership opportunities, and I have some of my best memories from FFA activities. None of this would have been possible had I not gone outside my comfort zone.
Don’t let your comfort zone restrict you from reaching your true potential. Comfort zones are only there to show us how we can better ourselves. Take a step out of your comfort zone and live your best life!