Trying new things can be difficult, especially when you have super daring friends and family. Many of my best friends like to ride dirt bikes, sky dive (yes seriously), cliff jump, rock climb, etc. Over the years I have been forced to try a few of these activities (I always say “no way” to sky diving). It was difficult at first as I was afraid, but junior year of high school helped to open my eyes.
I attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY for short) one summer and learned a valuable lesson. A major theme of the conference was to “get out of your comfort zone” and try new things. I don’t know if it was just the right time in my life or what, but that message really hit home. I have never forgotten it and try to live by it everyday. It has actually benefited me many times throughout life.
Aside from now owning a dirt bike, having some awesome cliff diving pictures, and traveling to Greece, there is one pure instance of when I just threw my comfort zone out the window and tried something new. It was the beginning of my junior year in college. I was in ResLife and we were having a diversity training session. I was an active participant, contributing verbally to the discussions. The presenter came to speak with me after about my background and said he would love to have me be an actor in a few of his other sessions. I was hesitant, but told him to let me know more details when he got them. A couple weeks later I was part of a presentation to Walsh’s faculty and staff (a nerve-racking affair when our President is sitting front row). Now, I am scheduled to act in a diversity presentation to a school board in Cleveland (and get paid a pretty penny).
That story shows how you can step out of your comfort zone and do anything (acting, sky diving, public speaking, singing). Whatever you want to accomplish, throw your comfort zone out the window and go for it. Who knows? Maybe you will become the next American Idol.