October 01, 2013

Pushing yourself

When's the last time you did something for the first time?

Pushing yourself can be one of the most uncomfortable tasks and one of the most frightening ways to grow, but it's so necessary. I think that breaking free from your comfort zone can be equally as terrifying as it is liberating.

I used to refuse to push myself...I mean really push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone. The comfort zone is happy, and obviously, comfortable. I knew what to expect when I stayed in my comfort zone. I could predict what would happen next and that made me feel safe. I was ambitious in high school and college, but still in a safe sort of way.

Since starting my job, I've slowly but surely started pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Because news flash - you have to make that decision and do the pushing for yourself. Working for such a high power office and being around high power people has motivated me to set my personal and professional goals even higher. And, I've learned that if you want to survive, scratch that, thrive in this world...you've got to talk yourself into doing things that aren't comfortable. I think we're all afraid of how incredible the results of pushing ourselves can be...we're intimidated by our potential.

I didn't realize that I'd crossed the line of comfort until I went to New York earlier this month. My first day there, I explored the city for about 5 hours by myself. I didn't have a plan, I didn't know where I was or where I was going, and I had no idea what to expect. But I got on the subway, got off, and started walking. As I walked around the streets of that intimidating city, I realized that I had pushed myself, and I was happy with the results. I loved that day in NYC because of the emotional rush of liberation, pride, and self-esteem that followed my gusty 5 hour adventure. I wouldn't have imagined doing this last year. But I've grown and I've learned how to push myself in even the most uncomfortable situations.

Another example: I used to be so afraid of introducing myself to new people, especially people in authority. Of course, I respected those people and wanted to be like them, but I wouldn't dare walk up and just start talking. Now? It's become almost second nature. If I'm lucky enough to attend an event with a person whom I really respect and want to meet, I push myself - pushing myself to overcome the nerves, the anxiety, the doubts - and I walk up to him or her and start talking. I remind myself that one day I plan to be successful and someone that a young professional is eager to meet (future role reversal), and it calms my nerves.

After meeting my ultimate boss (the governor) and realizing that people in power are people too; meeting other notable people recently has become easier and easier. Just this month I've met television correspondents, GA's attorney general, famous attorneys, and other really accomplished people in the political and communications fields.

And just yesterday, I sent a cold email to a woman who I'd like to serve as my professional email. Even if she doesn't respond, I'm proud that I pushed myself to write an honest email and press "send."

It doesn't have to be one giant push. It's taken me lots of time and lots of personal pep talks to get to where I am today. And I still have a ways to go.

I don't think you have to make a set plan or list of things to push yourself on (but if that's what works for you, do it). But I do believe when the opportunity presents itself -  at work, in your social life, in your family life, or elsewhere - push yourself. It's gotten me so far and created so many opportunities that would have never existed had I stayed in place.

Is there something you have trouble pushing yourself to do? 
What advice do you have?


  1. Love this and so agree - had a moment today that I wondered when I would be able to stop doing so many things that made me nervous because they were unfamiliar. Then I realized that if I did that I wouldn't really be going anywhere!

  2. I love this article. You are a great writer. It is very important to constantly push yourselve..to always challenge yourself. Thanks for the reminder and a million thank you's for visiting my blog.


  3. The only way we grow is pushing past our limits... sometimes it is really hard but so rewarding. I have a massive fear of heights but I am going to zip line... no matter how scary it is... kudos to you to challenging yourself, that is awesome :)

  4. great post dear ;) well said

  5. Such an inspirational post :) I've always enjoyed pushing myself, but when the going gets tough, sometimes I look back and wonder why I bothered. But then I realize that it's always worth it in the end.

  6. very informative post. Looking more to something like this


  7. Aw good for you! I have to push myself out of my comfort zone more and more too. It's a challenge but it's worth it!

  8. Hello from Spain: your reflection is very inspiring. I do not usually afraid of anything. I try to get what I want. Keep in touch

  9. Since graduating last May I have been pushing myself to try new things, especially doing more traveling. I'm so happy that I have been going out of my comfort zone because it allows me to have so many more experiences.

  10. Great post, i have to learn how to push myself. I'm kindof laidback most of the time

  11. You go girl! It is important to push yourself. Sometimes, we create out own boundaries and only through stepping outside of it can we truly know what we are capable of.
    Way to go!

  12. Love the words of wisdom here :) you are inspiring

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  14. So glad you stopped by, looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  15. This is so important!! I agree with Tyra...I compete only with myself, to become better, learn more and reach new goals...so important. Thank you for visiting my blog..hope you have a great week x

  16. Agreed and good motivation post for the early days of the week. Cheers for the write up and feel free to drop by me too anytime.

  17. very nice post!


  18. For me pushing myself into new things is just scary but I know I have to do it. I can't just sit and do nothing. I've a life to live, right? This post is really inspiring - thank you for that darling!

  19. Im glad that you are pushing yourself. I agree, everyone should push themselves, and even I have to. I need to break my comfort zone and get out there, I become shy at times.


  20. Wow!! Great post! This is the way! Go girl!

  21. Sometimes we all just want to be in our small comfort zone but someday it will end. Sooner the better, cos we don't really live in our own world. We cross paths and lives and have to learn and go out. Its a good thing as long as it makes you happy and learn news things. Good luck and thanks for dropping by my blog.
    Your new follower via GFC and Bloglovin, hope you will follow back.

  22. It's so important. Such a fabulous and powerful post, love. If you get a second, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest outfit. :)


  23. You are so right Vett: if you don't Pisa yourself sometimes, you will miss lots of opportunities just out of fear. Very proud of you my friend!
    Coco et La vie en rose
    Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
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  24. wow, good for you! i don't think i would have explored nyc by myself like that. way to go girl!

  25. This is a great post! I recently pushed myself WAY out of my comfort zone but also, I was in Brussels, Belgium a few weeks ago and got lost for 6 hours, it was sort of scary but also liberating to realise I could do it. (I'm from South Africa)

    x Nats ~ coraltintedperceptions.blogspot.com


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